Archive for the ‘Featured Indie Designer’ Category

Featured Indie Designer : Julia // Rennes

June 3rd, 2013

Hello friends! Today I would like to introduce you to our new Featured Indie Designer for June – Julia of Rennes. Rennes is a Boston, MA based design house that produces the most adorable clothing, bags, and other leather goods. Julia creates everything by hand, and you can just see the love put into every piece. I guarantee you’ll be smitten when you see her collections! Make sure to head on over to her shop and check everything out, and stop by her blog, to0.

You will see Rennes’ banner displayed on the sidebar for the entire month of June, so you can click over and shop at any time! And Julia will be back later this month to tell us her story about becoming a designer. You’ll definitely want to check back for that!

 

Make sure to visit Rennes all around the web:

[ website ]

[ shop ]

[ blog ]

[ instagram ]

[ pinterest ]

Becoming A Designer : Merl of Clyde’s Rebirth

April 16th, 2013
Today we have our April Featured Indie Designer, Merl of Clyde’s Rebirth, here to tell you about her road to Becoming a Designer. This woman is super funny, an amazing jewelry designer, and an all around  amazing person. Scroll on down to read her story. And when you are done, make sure to stop in and visit her shop, etsy shop, and blog. (Don’t forget you can find her banner over on the sidebar for the rest of the month!) 
Hello Megan Nielsen Devotees! Before I dive into the story about becoming a designer, let me first say how tickled pink I am to be featured on Megan’s blog. She is one of the most hilarious and sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet from ‘the internet’ and I have only the utmost respect for her and her successful business. But enough about her, you came here for me! ;)

In November of 2009, I decided that my new mantra would be ‘now or never’.. it sure beat the old one of ‘don’t hit the child no matter how ill behaved they are.’ I was working at a photography company that gave me phenomenal technical skills, and a twitch from having to deal with snotty kids and arrogant teenagers day after day. Since I valued what little sanity I had left, I decided to quit and design one of a kind jewelry full time. This was obviously a logical choice as the pieces I had made for my mother at age 4 were amazing…… Surprisingly and thankfully enough, I had more creative gusto than I might have given myself credit for, and after receiving amazing support and feedback for my first couple collections, I knew I had found the right fit career wise.

It was definitely not smooth sailing every day however. At first, since I was merely working from home out of a corner of my living room, I would wake up and get dressed and saunter over to my desk to tackle the day’s tasks. Eventually however, working in my pj’s became the norm and there were lots of kitty playtime breaks. I hadn’t taken into account how social of an individual I was[/am] and it was actually slowly killing me to spend 80% of my day alone. It was right about then that I was introduced to fashion blogging and a whole world of stylish, friendly ladies exploded in front of me, saving me from having yet another conversation with Clyde. I also made sure to schedule lunches with friends, and reach out to other creatives in my city who would understand the slightly insane path we chose for ourselves; people I could call or text in a panic when I’m rethinking ever quitting a secure, well paying job for the constant uncertainty of being my own boss in a design field. That support group then, and now is my lifeline and I don’t think I could be where I am without it.

I am very, VERY lucky that I can say I love my job[s] 90% of the time. [Don't talk to me about accounting.. I hired a professional for that noise.] I’ve worked hard to build my brand from small 5-6 OOAK piece collections every couple weeks to a reproduceable line available every season. It didn’t happen overnight, but the process has made me so much more thankful for any successes now. If I could dole out one piece of advice for anyone else just starting their journey, it would be this: don’t give up. I posted a quote from Ira Glass on my blog a couple weeks ago that every beginner in a design field should have plastered in their work space. He basically said that, starting out.. your work won’t ‘suck’ per se, but it won’t be what you’re ultimately capable of. You have to stumble through the learning period -the length of which is different for everyone- before your design taste level and your actual work reach the same level. I don’t exactly cringe when I look back at my early jewelry designs, but it’s definitely the same level of loving embarrassment that you get while looking at your baby photos with your mom’s commentary while sitting next to your beau for the first time. Don’t compare yourself to others in your design field, as you have no way of seeing behind the scenes or knowing where they came from. Just keep your eye on the prize [ok coach merl] and keep doing what you love.

Thank again to Megan for inviting me to share my story and to Holly for putting up with my scatterbrained replies :)

Thank you to Merl for being a part of the series! Visit her all over the interwebs, here:

shop ]

{etsy shop }

blog ]

twitter }

facebook ]

Becoming a Designer series by Megan Nielsen

Featured Indie Designer : Merl // Clyde’s Rebirth

April 1st, 2013

Hey everyone! Meet Merl, our Featured Indie Designer for the month of April! Merl is the genius behind Clyde’s Rebirth –  an eco-concious jewelry brand. She creates her jewelry using vintage and pre-loved materials, and even packages them in vintage scarves as opposed to paper products. How amazing is that?! And on top of that, she also happens to be a eco stylist, photographer, and adorable blogger. I’m pretty sure you can add wonder woman to that list, too.

You will see Merl’s banner displayed on the sidebar for the entire month of April, so you can click over and check out Clyde’s Rebirth any time. And Merl will be back later this month to tell us her story about becoming a designer. So stay tuned for that!

Make sure to head on over and visit Merl and Clyde’s Rebirth:

[ shop ]

{etsy shop }

[ blog ]

{ twitter }

[ facebook ]

featured indie designer: ANN-YA

February 1st, 2013

Featured Indie Designer ANN-YA

Hey guys! Just a little reminder to check out our Featured Indie Designer ANN-YA. She has a whole host of awesome new leather goods in store – so head on over!

And if you’ve got a minute, here’s her piece for our Becoming a Designer series! XOXO

becoming a designer: Anja Verdugo of ANN-YA

December 18th, 2012

I’m very excited to introduce you all to the next guest designer in our Becoming a Designer series! I’ve been following Anja’s blog Clever Nettle for years, (actually it’s one of the first blogs i ever read!) – so obviously i was very excited when i saw her launch her brand ANN-YA last year. She has a fantastic aesthetic – and i feel a truly wonderful eye for good details. Though she began in apparel, recently she’s been doing more leather goods and accessories, and they are honestly just to die for! 

Anja is our current Featured Indie designer, and you’ll see a banner for her displayed on our sidebar for the next few months if you’d like to visit her store at any point!

I really hope you enjoy reading about Anja’s road to Becoming a Designer – and once you’re done, please visit her gorgeous store, her vintage on Etsy, and her blog

{Thank you so much Anja for taking the time to be a part of our series!}

Hi! My name is Anja and I have a small line called ANN-YA (hint: that’s how you pronounce my name!). I’m currently focusing on leather goods, but have tried my hand at clothing as well. My line just had its first anniversary this fall so this post is a perfect opportunity to reflect and talk about my experiences up until this point. Thanks to Megan for this awesome series and for giving me a chance to share!

 

 

It started with a desire to make clothing- after countless years of having “sew a dress” on my to-do list, I finally took some sewing classes at an independent school and also learned the basics of patternmaking. My mom is awesome at sewing and would have happily taught me when I was younger, but I was a total brat about doing anything that required an ounce of patience (obviously crucial for sewing!). In 2011 I made and sold several simple pieces, but when I started work on a second mini collection the realities of having a clothing line hit me and caused me to change my focus. I had several issues- I didn’t know how to grade my patterns into other sizes, all the fabrics that I liked were too expensive and the textiles I designed were even more expensive to print, and overall my sewing skills weren’t strong enough yet to realize my design ideas. I didn’t want to wait for years of sewing experience in order to continue working on my line, but I couldn’t afford to outsource any of these tasks either. It became obvious that a clothing line wasn’t going to happen for me at this time. I have to say, I have tremendous amounts of respect for anyone who can start a clothing line all by themselves, it’s a pretty amazing feat!

 

 

Shortly after releasing my clothing, I also began making and selling some leather goods, and I was feeling really inspired by this. My experience with leather was also fairly minimal when I started out, I took one class that taught the basics of hand-stitching, different machine-sewn seams, dyeing, finishing, etc. I upgraded my sewing machine to a tough 1950′s Singer and bought some basic leather tools. I experimented with marbled paint treatments, dyes, tooling stamps, and felt a real sense of creative freedom from the beginning, something I wasn’t able to feel with clothing. Sometimes the leather does the work for you- a natural, raw edge can be the best looking thing. Aside from my own paint and dye finishes, I still get fabric shopping-style satisfaction of finding cool prints because there are lots of unique leathers out there. I love that my work is quite varied, I really need that to stay motivated since I do everything by myself.

 

 

I’ve been self-employed since 2007 when I started selling vintage on Etsy. My ultimate goal since high school has always been to work for myself, it pushes me to do my best work and to actually care about the success of the company (aka my life). I never felt like I fit in or belonged at any other job, which made my “career” (always sort of a joke word to me) path to be self-employed quite clear. Things like pricing, wholesale, linesheets, and purchase orders were all new to me but luckily the internet is full of information and my friends have been so awesome about giving me advice and answering my questions. There’s this complicated vibe online when it comes to asking for help from creative people who run their own businesses. You obviously shouldn’t write to a jewelry designer and say, “Hi! I like this necklace, can you tell me how to make one?”, which unfortunately happens all the time. People can be really protective over knowledge that they worked hard to obtain, for good reason, and you don’t want to cross that line. It can make asking for business-related help seem intimidating, and I’m eternally thankful to every person who has shared their wisdom with me and been totally kind about it.

Aside from working hard and honing your skills, I think the best thing you can do for your business is to be an active part of your community, both online and in your city. If you get to know other designers, creative people, supporters of independent fashion, bloggers, shopkeepers, etc, you will be part of a really powerful and inspiring network. As a bonus you will probably get to know people that you have a lot in common with and you’ll find new friends, too! These connections are invaluable to me and I am so grateful to everyone who has ever helped me out in any way. I’ve been lucky enough to participate in several local trunk shows, pop-up shops, even a fashion show, and my list of stockists has expanded from local boutiques to other awesome stores around the country and online. I’m really excited to be making things and can’t wait to see where this project will lead.

Becoming a Designer series by Megan Nielsen

2012 indie designer gift guide

December 4th, 2012

I love Christmas shopping – actually i just really love giving gifts. Those who know me best know i don’t really need much of an excuse – random gift out of the blue, i’m on it. Tell me you are pregnant, you will receive maternity clothing. You sew? you get patterns. You’re homesick, you get a care package. Tell me you have an obsession with something, and it’s pretty much on my mind every time i shop. I generally plan for Christmas for months, because i really care about getting my friends and family thoughtful gifts.

Over the years, as i’ve been growing my own indie design label – i’ve come across some truly talented indie designers. I’ve seen how important it is when people support my business, and so i’ve been striving to support more indie designers – especially over the holiday period.

So i thought i might share with you some of my favourite finds from some of my favourite indie designers. Please check them out, they are truly talented artists.

Anja’s marbled leather is just amazing. period. I love all of her new accessories, and these marbled leather cat coasters are pretty much the best thing ever for cat lovers. right?! seriously.

Oh Merl. There isn’t a jewellery designer out there i love more than Merl. She has the most amazing aesthetic, her design is flawless and unique – and she herself is one of the kindest sweetest people i’ve ever met. My collection of Clydes Rebirth necklaces is fast growing and with good reason. Her new collection is just wow, and i’ve already gone nuts and bought myself (cough) a few presents hehe.

Foundry is one of my newest finds – and i pretty much love everything Alana comes out with. I recently bought this print for our family room, and i love catching a glimpse of it during the day. Such a great reminder.

Rennes leather accessories are just amazing in my opinion. Julia has a real eye, and I feel like all her pieces are the kind of thing you use every day and keep forever. Her totes and pouches are my favourite.

I’m really into pretty dishtowels these days – and my favourites are the florals from Lisa Rupp. They are even prettier in person and last beautifully.

I’m kind of obsessed with Albie Designs city prints at the moment. I love that they perfectly capture the heart of the city, rather than being a technically correct rendition. The D.C. one is obviously my current favourite, i miss that lovely city and the wonderful friends in it.

I have been head over heels in love this Odette pod ring for ages, and who can really go past arrow bangles? not me.

You’ve probably heard me gush about Melissa Esplin a number of times – she’s the graphic design genius behind Megan Nielsen patterns cover art. She has a number of gorgeous instant download art prints that i love. I have this “You are my favorite” print hanging in our room, and i freaking love it. I was also going to recommend her calligraphy beginner gift pack too, but it’s sold out. yeah she rocks.

How cool are these Red Rhino leather and gold bangles? I really love the colours and the natural feel to them. They’re so awesome

Leah Duncan‘s store is always my first stop when i want cute new art for my house. She does amazing prints, cards, scarves, cushions, calendars and teatowels – and they are all amazing. I typically have no self control, they are that good.

What about you? Who are your favourite indie designers? Do you think you’ll shop indie for the holidays?