Friday, March 15, 2013

An Interview with Birch Designer Rebekah Ginda

We are really excited to bring you a little closer to the designer behind "Robotic", Rebekah Ginda.  We asked Rebekah a series of questions for a closer look inside the creative process.  Enjoy.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what your career path looked like so far?

I ended up in the world of textile design a bit by chance, but I am so glad that I did.  My degree is in Apparel Design and I planned on going into costume design since I love to create.  But a design internship with Nordstrom in my Junior year lead to an opportunity after I graduated to cover the maternity leave of the team’s textile designer.  I fell in love with the position, and when the designer decided not to return to work, I was thrilled to sign on as a full time artist.  I stayed in this position for 3 years, until 2008, until I decided it was time to become a freelance designer so that I could spend more time with my son, who was 1 ½ at the time.  Three weeks ago I gave birth to my daughter, and feel so fortunate to have a career that lets me work from my home studio and be inspired by my children.

Robotic is your 2nd collection with us at Birch Fabrics Organic (we're so proud), do you have any personal personal preferences for organic fabric?

I love being able to design collections for organic fabric.  As fun as the industry of fabric and fashion can be, there can be negative impacts on the environment if fabric is printed irresponsibly.  I can really be proud of my fabric collections with Birch, knowing that you only use organic cotton, low impact dyes, and no pesticides. It’s always a nice feeling to know you are being a good citizen of the world.

Star System Quilt featuring Robotic by Lunden Designs

When did you know you wanted to be a fabric designer?
When I started freelancing, even though my experience was in designing for the fashion industry, my goal was to design prints for fabric yardage.  The chance to create fun and whimsical collections, plus the fact that I love sewing made it a perfect fit.

What does your design process look like?
Once I have an idea for a collection, I let it sit in my head for a couple days and see how the concept expands itself.  When I have the feeling that I have good print ideas cooking up in my brain, I bring out my trusty felt tip pen and sketch book and start drawing like crazy until I feel like every idea is represented on paper.  Lots of times the prints don’t end up where they started, but that is part of the journey of creating.  It’s fun when I can even surprise myself!

Where did the inspiration for Robotic come from?
I don’t know about you, but in my high school science classes my notes were filled with doodles.  Designing this collection I tapped into that science-doodle vibe.  I started by creating the print with the robots in the lab and the rest of the collection became a story about them – what does their rocket ship look like? Their library?  Their secret formulas?  Their pet dog?  I had so much fun with this collection and I hope that inspires people to make fun projects with it!

We here at Birch Fabrics are really drawn to fabrics for boys, do you have a preference between girl and boy fabrics when designing?  If so, what are some of your favorite fabric subjects or themes?
Being the mom of a 6 year old boy I know how impossible it can be to find cute things designed for boys!  I don’t know why there are never-ending choices for girls and then things designed for boys get limited to stripes and sports.  So naturally I think it’s fabulous that you all at Birch have not forgotten about the boys or about their mothers who want to make them things out of cool, unique fabric.  
It’s hard to say what my favorite themes are for fabrics.  I tend to be drawn to certain fabrics because of the art style – I love fabric where the motifs look like they could be illustrations in a children’s book and have a distinct artistic style.

Photo by Heather of Littlest Pretty Things Blog (

What projects do you envision Robotic used for?
PJ’s for adults or kids would be great in this collection (or for my son’s stuffed meerkat whose last pajamas got sucked into the vacuum cleaner!)  I can also see these fabrics working great for school items such as book covers, pencil cases or tote bags.  I think the contrast of making girly/ruffly dresses out of the non-girly fabric could be super cool too.  So many possibilities!  But the first thing I will be making are a pair of robot boxers for my husband, per his request.

Alright. Give us three words to sum up Robotic. Go!
Whimsical, Illustrative, Nerdy

And last but not least, we readers want to know…..Niel Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin?
I’ve always been partial to Buzz Aldrin.  Maybe just because his name is “Buzz”.

Thank you Rebekah, for taking the time to let us inside your world for a little while!

Now available through Birch Fabrics
Robotic is now shipping to fabric shops worldwide.  Shop owners can place their orders by email at

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