You guys! I have been so flipping excited about doing this blog post, as these are the most gorgeous unique dolls that are created by Igna. Every time I see another one of her posts showing her latest designs brought to life. The thing I love best about these is that they are all so special & all have their own personality. So before I continue blubbing on, I will let Mox & Louise speak for herself…
Name: Igna (Louise) Schwartz – Louise is my middle name, and was my grandmother’s name. She was the creative vein in the family tree. Using her name for this venture is like a little nod of acknowledgement. The Mox part is basically a “nickname” for mosquitopress, which is also my email. “Mosquitopress” is a very interesting story, not really relevant here, but if you are interested, let me know!
How can people order from you: South Africans (locals!) are welcome to contact me directly via Instagram or email.
What makes your goodies different to others: I’m currently working on a authentication site (using QR codes) where you will be able to register your doll as an original and unique Mox & Louise creation, a one of a kind art doll. Future plans are to set up my own online shop, but until then my dolls are only available directly from me or from Etsy. Not keen on commissions as I like to follow my own muse, but let’s discuss.
Tell me more about what you do: I’m mostly self-taught as far as sewing goes, and that started when I was six. I can remember sewing on my mother’s sewing machine on the dining room table and not being able to reach the pedal unless I did it standing up! The first things I sewed were dolls’ clothes of course and later on clothes for myself. Later in life as an art student it was a very helpful skill as I could dress myself in all kinds of crazy as well as make soft sculptures.
So, after many years in advertising I quit to raise my boys. My creativity always needed an outlet though so at first I painted. Fun, happy whimsical paintings. Then came the bohemian handbag phase. About 1000 hand-stitched and beaded OTT boho handbags later I was totally over it. The bag business grew too big and started losing it’s shine for me. Admin, CMT issues, crazy production schedules – it was really not appealing any more. But it was huge fun while it lasted!
Next came Ebony & Ivory, a partnership with an old friend. We’ve been in business now for almost 16 years and jointly own a ribbon, craft and vintage shop in Cape Town. (check out ebonyandivoryribbons.co.za or Instagram or on Facebook if you want). That’s still going strong, but I started feeling the need for a different creative outlet. Something where I didn’t need to consider bulk production, or costings, or any of that grown up retail stuff. I just wanted to quietly potter and create again in my studio, at my own pace, just sommer doing things I love with no pressure. Initially I played around with textile jewellery and all kinds of experimental nicknacks. Then one day, for no apparent reason, I decided to made a doll. In all the years I sewed and made stuff, I never once made a doll! So this calling was totally out the blue. I tried making a few dolls, all of them technically failures. As I was driving along one day, a picture of a doll flashed through my head. I couldn’t wait to get home to try it, and voilá! The first little Mox & Louise art doll saw the light! She was really weird and quirky, but a few dolls later I got the hang of it. I think what makes my dolls different to others are their whimsy and physical attributes. It’s a combination of fabric and wire and paint and buttons and dressing up and theatre. They are inhabitants of my imagination, and each one are created spontaneously without pattern or plan.
Favourite products: not sure if we are talking dolls here. If so, that’s a hard one as I am part of a very creative, imaginative and dynamic doll community on Instagram. There are some truly wonderful doll artists out there! If it’s a general question…my new thing is natural, organic locally made cosmetics. Honeybush goodies. Lotions and potions. Makers tapping into our amazing array of local plants and traditions to create very good products.
The Quote I live by: Don’t postpone any fun you could be having today till tomorrow.
This was such a fun “chat” to have, & I am so grateful that Igna took time out of her extremely busy schedule to answer my questions & let me know a little more about her very special business. Make sure you follow her on her social media platforms & order one of your very own – I am still trying to decide which ones are my favourite as I just adore them all!