in case you want to get to know us a little bit better, keep reading!:)
We are both from Budapest and we met circa 10 years ago at a ‘preparation school’ and then we went to university (MOME) together where we both learned textile design.
Vani studied clothing design and knitwear design while I learned accessory design and knitwear design.
During the university years we worked on several projects together and we also became close friends, so even when I moved to Madrid and then to Berlin we stayed in touch, and spent time together.
At the end of 2016 Vani told her idea about starting a knitwear brand (at the beginning more like a homewear collection was in our heads) focusing on sustainable production. I was all ears so we started working on it.
We wanted to find a hungarian/german factory, so it can be close to where we live, products don’t have to travel across continents unnecessarily. Right now I don’t wanna describe the situation in depth, but it was a long and hard run since we were small without big numbers and budget. After 1 year we could finally settle with a small factory that we still work with. An old couple runs it and they have only 1 employee so I can say they have put their life and heart into making knitwear.
It wasn’t just the love for designing and knitwear that kept (and still keep) us going.
We did believe it makes sense to offer an alternative to fast fashion brands..or at least part of them. We, personally, were looking for alternatives when we wanted to buy, let's say a bag, a t-shirt, a blanket, or a skirt etc. We wanted to give our money to businesses who want to make a difference, who care about people who make their products, and our future on this planet.
The passion for that and the love we had for knitwear and natural materials brought OAT AVA to life.
The two of us did everything , design, website, marketing, packing, shipping, customer service, production management, social media, etc, you know, all the stuff a brand/business needs to stay alive and hopefully to grow. Somehow, in an organic way, different tasks, jobs has started to belong to one of us, and it looks like this to the present day most of the time.
Vani is in contact with other companies. When we need to make a phone call, she is the one who can handle that better. She’s more of a peoples person, she doesn’t make a big thing about starting a conversation. When a bureaucratic manner occurs, she’s more likely to get it done.
She’s also responsible for production management, making the graphic design of manufacturing sheets and for our newsletter.
She lives in the countryside in Cegléd and has a family business where they are growing and selling the yummiest organic vegetables.
Vani is spiritual, vegan, loves to do yoga, paint, play with Playstation games.
I make the website, marketing, social media, customer service, managing the stock/shipping.
I’m more critical and tend to question everything. I like to make sure that there is not even a tiny mistake in what we give out of our hands. I like to stay in the background since I’m shy and an introvert. I can be more infantile but I’m also the strict one.
I like to knit, read, eat one or more apples, and also a bar of chocolate each day, watch post-apocalyptic movies, and just started experimenting with handpoke tattooing.
When we started OAT AVA, I lived in Berlin, then moved back to Hungary to live there for 3 years before I moved again with my family, this time to Graz, Austria.
Our personalities are different on so many levels, yet we complement each other very well.
And we are also tired moms of toddlers who sometimes just want to survive the day and try to navigate in life and go after what they believe in and love.
That was all for now.