We are very excited to welcome our newest Instagram contributor to the Little Gatherer gang... The amazing Renata aka @curated_by! With a penchant for light, colour and all things beautiful, Renata spends her days capturing these little moments with her signature touch of quirk. There is something special about her images that makes them almost surreal, anyone who can make a girl with donuts for eyes look like a high fashion shot has got some serious talent! Once you see her beautiful images we know you will be just as excited as we are...
A mother of three beautiful girls, Renata has always been obsessed with Fashion. She recalls spending her younger years saving her pennies for the ultimate pair of RM William Boots or the latest Vogue, while her friends were saving for teen magazines and stationary. Music was also high on her list, weekends were spent with older cousins in the front row at rock concerts, decked out in the exact RH William Boots she spent six months saving for, a Suede skirt and ripped up band Tee. "Nothing much has really changed when I think about it, except now a babysitter is involved and recovery time is a week minimum."
Starting out her career in Fashion Business Consulting, Renata soon realised that her true passion was to work for the fashion brands themselves. This change led her to work for an amazing range of fashion houses both in Australia and abroad, including the likes of The Corner Shop, Alexander Wang, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten and Kenzo.
"This experience changed my life. It made me realize that you must continue to push yourself, learn, live and LOVE! I met a beautiful group of humans along the way, we are all still the greatest of friends and inspire and create new things every week."
After the birth of her third daughter, Renata started freelancing. It was during this time that she started Curated By, a role that has allowed her the freedom to create on her own terms while at the same time explore her love of fashion, art and interiors. It didn't take long for her beautiful imagery to get noticed and she was soon collaborating on shoots with various fashion and interiors brands, and was asked to become a regular contributor to La Petite Magazine. As they say... The rest is history!
Living her life with a youthful spirit, Renata's sense of freedom and adventure can be seen in her stunning images. At the very beginning she imagined her dream role, something she thought couldn't even exist in this world, but her positivity and can do attitude has seen her do just that... "Anything is possible. You just have to fight for it if you want it! I think this is reflected in my images somewhat too... they slightly push the boundaries, but in a beautiful way that’s still feminine and soft." Well we for one cannot wait to see the beautiful images she will share with us on the Little Gatherer blog!
We caught up with Renata to find out more about her stunning images and what inspires them...
What inspired you to start Curated By?
I always knew I wanted to have my own brand but I wasn’t about to start sewing with a needle and a thread or open a traditional bricks and mortar business that required me to be somewhere most of my week. It had to be flexible and I had to maintain my freedom. And I wanted to be able to catch up for a coffee with my girlfriends whenever I wanted. I never thought it was possible that something like this could exist right? I mean basically I needed to win the lotto!
I still dreamt of something for myself but I just couldn’t articulate nor express what that was. Falling pregnant with Mila was the blessing I needed so desperately to shift my perspective and make a change once and for all for the better. Don’t be fooled I worked up until the day I had Mila, delivered her and then went straight back to work with her in my arms in the office breast feeding and talking spring summer collections. So change didn’t come easy. Curated by began as a way to continue to be creative whilst finding my feet with now 3 kiddies on a very short term break.
Exploring my personal style from Fashion, Kids, Home and Lifestyle further and without boundaries of sales targets, budgets and constraints of someone else’s business somehow it grew quickly and I was beyond excited when I reached 100 followers I thought this is CRAZY! Fast forward only a couple of months and I was collaborating with designers, local and international, in both kids fashion and interiors as well I was asked to contribute to La Petite Magazine which cemented that this was a really big deal kind of corner I had just turned. It is now a full time business and I have the freedom to raise my baby girl without giving up my creative passion (and sanity!) along the way.
Some of my amazing clients have included Gardner and the Gang, G Nancy, The Minimalist Store, Bobo Choses, Popupshop and Sons and Daughters Eyewear to name a few. Currently I am working on a campaign brand launch for a new Australian Children’s Label. Its an exceptionally exciting time as kids fashion is such a fresh industry from the perspective of blogging, social media and imagery. So it’s great to be a part of this shift and to deliver something innovative and create original content.
But my love for interiors is an equally deserving participant in this journey. Styling and photographing up and coming innovative products from around the globe is a dream come true. When brands such as Playtype contact you to shoot their product, I have to say I truly feel as though I have won the lotto after all! And in return I will only keep striving to better my skills and delivery. I don’t want this journey to end!
What do you love most about what you do?
The freedom. Choosing projects that interest me and only working with people and brands I love every single day. I have total control about what I do and when I do it. This for me is worth more than words can relay. Meeting interesting and like-minded creatives has been the biggest joy also. Over social media but even more so in real life too! The world definitely connects the right people together and for that I am grateful. I have met a handful of woman via Instagram that I definitely know are friends for life now.
Every day is 100% creative. Searching for locations, sourcing props, editing images, concept development. The possibilities are endless and exploration captures my adventurous heart. Photography has been a surprise love. It was originally all about the styling and finding new fresh labels to work with. My natural skill sets gravitate on this platform quite comfortably. Photography was secondary.
However I realised that you do need both and I am learning quickly about the technical side of things and have been taken aback as to how much I am enjoying both sides of producing an image. That’s the thing with life and choices, you open one door sure one door closes but another 1000 open! You just don’t know where your life can take you so have an open mind and heart and work hard at what you love!
What inspires your images?
My friends I have to say firstly. I am very lucky to be surrounded by pretty creative people who are all doing such incredible things. We are all about the same age and to constantly see them pushing themselves harder makes me want to continue to better myself firstly as a person and then through my work.
For me the thrill is pushing the boundaries and trying something different. Taking an amazing photo that is beautiful but emotional and fresh excites me so trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone. I have a long way to go for sure, but you have to try. And work for it.
Where are your favorite places to shop for kids?
I have so many wonderful friends in the industry with great online stores it would be impossible to choose some favorites as there are so many! But if I have to choose, Four Monkeys is up there as are Minibots, Stars in a Jar, My Messy Room and of course Kido Store. They have you covered with their own personal twist on various trends and new brands.
What did you love most about being a kid?
In hindsight, Time. There was so much time and one day felt like a week and one week felt like a month. I remember counting down to summer holidays for what seemed like forever. Now seasons come and go and years pass by and this makes me somewhat sad... time is fleeting. I wish I really had more time to spend with the girls and my husband and create! If only we didn’t need to sleep. Perhaps Edward Cullen can share some tips?
But as a child, I loved summer. The long days, the water, the beach. Having 2 ice-creams before dinner. The sound of cicadas in the evening. Sunshine. The smell of freshly cut grass on a Saturday afternoon with mum serving slices of watermelon to the kids besides the family pool. Thank goodness I am a Sydney girl, we have this kind of weather for probably 7 -8 months of the year! This is when I feel my best as a human. Warm weather speaks to my soul. Daylight saving means I have more hours in a day to shoot too which is just so much fun!
If you were to invent the ultimate ice cream, what flavour would it be?
I definitely don’t have a sweet tooth so it would have a salty base concoction such as peanut and lychee. However bring me a platter of cheese and olives any day! That’s the Croatian in me. We love our antipasto. My fridge is overflowing in all things European.
Renata will be sharing her first post with you very soon... Exciting!! In the meantime you can follow her journey over on instagram.