Identity crisis ! April 02 2018, 0 Comments
Up till a couple of years ago, I sold nothing but made on the premises items in the shop, this was my original concept and was possible for many years because I had 2 lovely assistants , one after the other for a total of almost 20 years.
Here , model Shaolei is wearing a recycled dress in the grunge stye which was popular when I first opened 26 years ago
Both were fully trained designer dressmakers , and together we were able to stock the store and undertake all sorts of couture appointments. We did a thousands of prom dresses , wedding dresses and other special occasion wear. I thoroughly enjoyed those years and the fast paced , deadline driven environment .
Here is a couture silk evening gown created exclusively for the customer .
Here are two couture wedding dresses , two of many I have designed and made
Time moves on and my assistants have left to pursue family life , I decided a change was needed. I decided I no longer wanted to employ an assistant and would go it alone.
But how was I to manage the shop and create enough stock to fill it all the time. ?
I've tried a few different ideas over the last 3 years . At first I tried to keep it all the same. It soon became apparent I could not manage it all alone , I had no time to design for the rails due to the constant demand for couture . Something had to give . I found that couture wedding gowns and prom dresses , although very rewarding in their own right were not giving me enough creative scope so I decided to cut back on the amount of commissions undertook .
To replace this , I started having dresses made abroad and selling those. After a while I decided this was also not for me , as I didn't have enough control over the finished product.
An example of the dresses I was having made abroad.
I started selling vintage and second hand items. I have always loved and worn second hand so I feel I have a good eye for it. Here is an example of a beautiful 80s dress , in store as I write this blog .
This has been a popular service , and has introduced loads of new customers who are specifically looking for that .
I have also re introduced knitwear . I love making knitwear but had no time for a lot of years .
An example of knitwear currently available .
Recently I have also created a line of soaps. Which is an interest I have had for a while .
Altogether , along with my sewn designs , I am aiming to create more of a mixed boutique experience for my customers . I have realised that I can create a more varied walk in experience and be a designer within that environment .
Two examples of my creative work
Selling other things has liberated me as a designer. I feel that now I can return to my passion for developing my exclusive design lead look , whether you have that off the rails ready to wear , or designed and created specially for you .
I am also able to start wholesaling to selected stores around the country , which is a long held ambition of mine.
Wholesaling in Maggi and Suzi Boutique , Inverness
I feel the future direction of the shop is starting to emerge , and my stores identity crisis is coming to an end 😁
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