Friday, January 17, 2014

Interview with professional fairy outfitter Gigi

This formerly emaciated kitten wandered into the right house...

I met GiGi and her daughter Gem at a street fair in Glebe. They had a stall selling the most spectacular children’s fairy outfits. I asked if they made these for grown-ups. “Are you kidding?,” GiGi asked incredulously. “We outfit most of the professional fairies in Australia”.

A week later I found myself investing in not one but two fairy outfits, which have come in handy for special occasions and odd requests (such as judging the NSW Cavy Club’s guinea pig parsley eating competitions). And I’m not even a professional fairy.

Aside from a love of tutus, ribbons, fake flora and sequins, GiGi and Gem love their cats, and they've just fallen for a little ginger boy.

Greeting some cattle in a GiGi's fairy creation (nb I don't actually endorse fairy couture as work wear for vets, twas just a good photo opp). 
Who are you and what do you do?

GiGi, of GiGi's Fairy Fashion. Creative maker of fairy fantasy pieces and designer maker for female clothing on King St.

What a fairy shop looks like. An explosion of colour and sparkly things.
How did Gigi's Fairy Fashions come about?

As a hobby that took on a life of its own. Due to the wonderful reaction of children and parents to the product, the hobby turned into a business, and front that point, here we are many years later.

Who wears your elaborate fairy and mermaid/merman costumes?

The customers who wear them start as tiny babies for their Christmas, to Santa photos, all the way to movie sets and advertising agencies, not forgetting all  the wonderful children and parents, who recognise a classic fairy tutu as a milestone into the little princess world. Many of the little fairies insist on dressing like the fairy princess' that they hear and read about in their story books.

Can you tell us about your new kitty - how did you meet?

One evening, we often feed our neighbours' cat across the way, as they tend to forget in their busy lifestyle, so he wonders in about once a week for a pat and food. This time, he had a very skinny little stalker following him in the dark of the night (I think they were also avoiding the thunder storm that had just started).

After removing our neighbours’ little tubby kitty back home, we attended to what had strayed in. The poor little thing was so skinny and could barely stand, just wobbling side to side and looking a bit cross eyed.

We placed some food and water near the door frame that he had been standing near. He was too scared to stay around when we came near him at first. 

Starving, he ran over to the food as soon as it was placed down. Since gaining some trust over the evening, he had a small nap after his food, just keeping in eyesight the open door we had left for him, so he could leave and go back to his home. He left after about three hours and then next day he was back and decided that we were right for this time and affection. We placed posters up around the neighbourhood and checked online for any missing advertisements and had not had a chip. We still have not named him yet, after 8 months!

How would you describe your bond?

As he sleeps at the bottom of the garden, usually trying to cover himself with leaves, and finds it funny to jump out when he thinks no one can see him. We only see him in the evenings for quality time. Usually when we dish out his dinner…

He's an independent cat, and we have very different hours, so when we get time to relax, we usually have a ginger little guy come out of the garden and sits on the couch next to us, often laying on the remote and not happy when you try to take it. 

Puss enjoys affection...on HIS terms.
Your place must be a wonderland of ribbons and tulle. Does kitty get involved with the dresses?

This little one does not! He is interested when we lay down some things to cut, he has a thing for scissors!

We previously had two female cats for many years and we often found them trying to make beds in the fabric or in the stock and pulling it down to curl up in. Both of the girls loved flowers and often found our "missing" cat in the boxes of silk fake flowers.

What are the three traits you think define a good vet and why?

  1. Patience 
  2. Able to clearly explain what needs to be done and options with outcomes.
  3. Being positive.

Do you have any advice for vets and vet students about relating to owners and their pets?

A vet to us, is the one that is sadly, usually the closest one to our location. Having previous cats, car travel, even to the cats that are used to being in a car, becomes a very big issue with wetting themselves or worse, and the stress that places on the owner and the animal [Look out for SAT's post on getting to the vet with minimal stress].

When visiting a vet, for when you're animal is only going for a minor issue, we are very grateful for the ones, that have gotten to know your animal and remembers the little things that have occurred with them throughout  the years. The ones who pay attention to the owners and the animal and just giving them time for when tough choices must be made.