Gaye was born in the south, and grew up in the north of New Zealand. Along with her sisters, she took to sewing and knitting early and as a teenager was constantly making clothes for herself. Gaye moved to Australia (sewing machine in hand) in the 1980s where she continued to pursue her interests in sewing and photography, while working a wide assortment of jobs including stints working as a milliners assistant.
Gaye returned to study as a mature age student, completing an Honours degree in Visual Arts and a Masters in Cultural Studies at Monash University then worked as a moving and still image cataloguer for a number of years. Ten years ago, she decided she wanted to develop her ongoing sewing activities into her primary occupation and to this end completed a NEIS small business course, launching Gaye Abandon in 2005. She kicked off her business initially by making wallets, purses, and clothing from vintage fabrics which she sold primarily through craft markets. In 2006 she and a friend started the Body Parts Winter Accessories label which transformed recycled, felted wool jumpers into snug handmade winter accessories.
Under her Gaye Abandon label, Gaye continues to handmake homewares and accessories from felted jumpers and other upcycled textiles. More recently she has started creating wall pieces, expanding on the techniques she has developed for her product range. Her work has a strong emphasis on sustainability and recycling and she employs repurposed materials wherever possible.
Last year, Gaye began passing on her extensive sewing and upcycling expertise in workshops and classes held in venues across Melbourne.
Gaye Abandon is a small-scale, craft based label run by designer/maker Gaye Naismith, producing one-of-a-kind and limited edition accessories and homewares. Handmade in Melbourne since 2005, the range re-purpose second-hand and remnant materials wherever possible and is committed to sustainable, ethical and local production.
Most Gaye Abandon products are exclusive to our online store and can be shipped worldwide. Recently Gaye has begun offering workshops in hand and machine stitching, mending and textile upcycling from the Gaye Abandon workroom in Footscray.