The Ultimate Heartworker: Julie Pinzur of Mokuyobi Threads

  • 5 min read
Winner of Heartwork's Instagram Contest, #weloveofficeflair, Julie Pinzur, is truly an inspiration for doing what you love.  We were so excited to see her winning photo we could not wait to find out more.
1. Can you tell us a little about you and the (heart)work you do? 
I have a clothing and accessories brand called Mokuyobi Threads that is completely run by yours truly, and I work in my home/studio which I make a very inspiring and colorful place. I sell mostly hats and bags right now, all of which have some awesome bold (and colorful, of course) prints that I designed. I make the patterns for the bags/hats and sew the samples, source all of the materials, ship them to the domestic manufacturer and they are all produced right here in the USA! I also do freelance illustration, plush art, and sewing. My portfolio for that and a lot of my patterns can be seen here:

2. What is the inspiration for your space and its design? 
I am a bit (understatement of the century) of a collector of all things awesome & colorful and I think the best way to show off lots of cool stuff without the cluttered feel it to keep everything else white. White walls, white furniture, high ceilings. Little pops of color everywhere make the space interesting and fun as long as you keep it organized. I am a bit of a neat freak, although when I get to working, the space can look like it got hit by a tornado. Just have to remember to clean up every once in a while, especially when having guests over or taking pics!

3. We love the way you have "flaired out" your Active Duty bookcases and also the front of your Cargo Storage cabinet.  Can you talk a bit about personalizing your space and how it influences your work?

A lot of it is inspiration. All of the images on the front of my mint cargo cabinet are tear sheets from magazines that give me an idea or get me excited about making something. It's great to always have these images staring me in the face because they're like little reminders saying, "Hey! Didn't you want to make something like this?"  One of my favorite ones is a tiny image from a men's sock ad that inspired me to make a mini quilt composed of all different types of fabrics that I colorblocked together to make each square.  If I had never seen that sock ad, that quilt wouldn't exist.  


My bookshelf is a collection of inspiring design books from all over the place.  When you put them all together it can turn into something else entirely and have a big presence in the room.  I think it's important to surround yourself with other artists/art/work that inspires you to work harder and become a better artist.  Whenever I see someone that is doing something really cool I say to myself, I want to make something really cool and have people say that about me.

4. You have done a great job with mixing colors and materials. Many of us love color but are a bit anxious when it comes to color and mixing colors in a space. What was your approach? 

I think I always loved color a bit too much. Growing up and well into college I would wear very colorful outfits that just felt right to me. Each part of my outfit had to be a different color; red pants, yellow shirt, blue sweatshirt, green shoes, orange bag, but I always avoided pinks, purples, and any shades or tints of those colors. I would only wear the most saturated hues of those specific colors. It was really intense. 

I bugged my parents forever to let me paint my room, going from all white to a blue wall, a green wall, and two orange walls facing each other. They finally caved in once they saw my creative side shine through and they let me paint my closet doors too. I made this giant rainbow spiral. That room is definitely a color overload for me now but I can still appreciate what I was trying to do with using color as an expression back then. 

It was actually more of a challenge for me to tone down my colors than spice them up, especially when I started making products to sell. I had to make them for a market, not just for myself, so I think that forced me to look a little harder at what I was doing and see why I needed the change. Now I definitely appreciate (or will be more likely to consider) way more colors, shades and tints included, as well as a subtle pop of color with toned down whites and neutrals as a base. I think my color palette is always slowly evolving, now more with trends than before but there is definitely a gradual change even obvious from looking at my portfolio from past to present. I still don't make or wear anything with black since it's so blah to me. Charcoal is as dark as I go. 

5. We all spend so much time in our "office". What would you say to other people inspired by your space who want to create their own cool office??

It can be the hardest thing to see a space and say, "I want my space to look like that!" Your office should be uniquely you and represent your brand. You want it to be cool but you don't want it to look like every other space. Go for colors and designs that you love. Filling a space with little tchotchkes and art that speaks to you will definitely make your space yours. Spray painting frames to match the art and hanging up a bunch of pieces together can be an easy design win. Display things you use in your office. I got these really cool glass vintage jars with plastic tops where I keep big rolls of different colored thread. Every little thing just adds to the space. The 'cool' factor will follow when you bring it all together. 

If you're an artist, don't be afraid to put up things you made. You should love what you do and be proud when you see something you put your time into. It can also be a great conversation piece when you have people over which can always lead to a sale (says the entrepreneur in me). Always be promoting yourself. 

Check out Julie's blog at: 

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