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 😁

Thank you for reading. If you liked my blog please consider leaving a like or comment , or share it for me . It all helps support my business, and I appreciate it   ❤