Jen Roberts and Sandra Mason

IMOK | Email | Website

Where and what did you study and what year did you graduate?
We both studied hospitality management a year after high school which is where we met. We both graduated in 2000. I went on to supervise and then manage cafes and restaurants while Sandra decided hospitality wasn’t for her and went on to study photography, graduating in 2003.

When did you launch your own business?
At the end of 2004.

What motivated you to start your own business?
It was all about being creative and having a platform for us to share our work with the world. After we produced our first run of t-shirts it was really the reactions that we got, backed up with sales that made us realise that we could turn this into a feasible business.

How would you describe your business to someone who didn’t know you?
IMOK invites you into their world, a world that says ‘I’m ok if you are? ‘ This philosophy can be felt flowing out of a range of quirky, cute, layered and at times melancholy collection of illustrations. Designs are adapted into various art forms including a range of girls and guys t-shirts, hats, scarves, canvases and prints.

What are the most challenging parts of being a designer running a small business?
Cash flow and time would be the most difficult things, meaning having enough money to see all of your creative visions come to life and as artists you want to create all the time. But with a business comes paperwork, accounting, marketing, answering calls and emails leaving only a little time to do what you really want to be doing.

What inspires your design projects?
We like things with a street edge and things that are unconventional. We are inspired by all art forms especially graffiti, stencil art, graphics, photography and character design because of the underground and edgy quality that comes with them.

What are the next steps for you?
We would like IMOK to exist and be stocked worldwide. The idea for IMOK is to have the characters, designs and message reach as many people as possible. By bringing not only a new trend in street clothing but a powerful message that is delivered by distinctive IMOK characters.

Published 15 July 2008.

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