Spunky and Supportive

Spunky Bruiser clothing involves “confident clashing sustainability,” according to Rebecca (Bex) Frost. A small team of designers with Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation, they are wholly committed to fair, safe and ethical manufacture in Australia. “No jet fuel, no poor working conditions, no sweat!”

Label Soto Smith works in collaboration with Spunky Bruiser. Soto Smith (AKA Cristian Olea) represents street culture and in Cristian’s words, is “possibly not for the faint-hearted.”

Regulars at the Handmade Market, they are back with a new line that represents an amazing collaboration with Studio A. Studio A supports and promotes artists living with intellectual disability by providing them with a working studio space equipped with specialist materials and support staff. Studio A represented artists, Emily Crockford, Damian Showyin, Declan O’Connor, Rachelle Rodriguez and Jeanette Scanes have created new textile-based artworks that appear on selected garments in the Soto Smith and Spunky Bruiser lines. This Collaboration sees Studio A artists explore the realm of clothing design for the first time and has been incredibly well received so far with the project launching mid-July this year.

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Bex and Cristian say: “The Studio A artwork has been the anchor point and drive in our design process for this project – to honour the artists’ original vision and develop the pieces into something completely new and wearable!”

One-of-a-kind, hand-made pieces will be available at Handmade, such as the Bomber Jacket pictured featuring handwoven sleeve design and hand stitched back panel by Damian Showyin. Limited edition garments featuring digitally printed designs on fabric inspired by Studio A artists’ paintings will also be available.

Spunky6While we were talking to Bex, we asked her our five questions:

  1. What is your business all about?
    Spunky Bruiser is all about making clothing in a truly ethical and sustainable way, from the design process to the manufacture process. At our store in Sydney we are all about working with other artists and creative entities to share creative process, push boundaries and share stories with the public who enter the space. We believe this creates a strong message and support network in our community.
  2. What advice would you give to first time stall holders at Handmade?
    As a market veteran with almost 10 years experience I would say just dive in! You’re never really ready. I would also say be original, try to make or display differently to anything you’ve ever seen before. Be brave.
  3. What’s the best thing about Handmade?
    The customers respect the time and effort you put into your process and understand your pricing.
  4. What’s new for the next market?
    Lots of bright Spring colours and the Studio A Collab garments being offered at Handmade for the first time.
  5. Sum up your business in THREE words.
    Inclusive, innovative, ethical



Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


  • 28 & 29JULY 2018
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  • 7*, 8 & 9DECEMBER 2018
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