Text box- destiny is

Destiny is for losers. It's just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen. - Miss Blair Waldorf

Monday, 22 November 2010

An Interview with... Alexandra from Makemeadress

Today, from the wonderful world of Handmade and Vintage! I've interviewed for your pleasure Alexandra from the online Etsy store Makemeadress. She was wonderful to interview so thank you for letting me!

How long have you handmade things?
Since I was a little girl playing with my mum’s fabric box and my grandmother’s huge array of clothes, shoes and just about anything else you could wear.
Black Lace Cocktail Dress - $210.00

Did your grandmother and mother ever encourage you as such or was it more self-driven the need to create?
I wasn't actively encouraged to create but was actively taken to dance classes nearly every day. My grandmother was a dance hostess in the 50's and thought I should be taught properly. I was more interested in the costumes and was eventually told I would be better off designing the costumes than dancing in them! My mother is very creative and is a wonderful support.

Where do you work from? Office space, the lounge, outside?

I'm lucky enough to have a studio where I live.

Do your surroundings reflect how you design?
Not so much, I'm sure if I lived in the city my designs could be a little different but out here in the country I'm able to run away with my imagination

Do you sell in the countryside, or go into London etc. for ideas occasionally?
We always take holidays in cities which are great for ideas and to be around a buzz. Our nearest city Bristol is only a short drive away and is an amazing hub of creativity. 

Little Black Organic Cotton Dress - $190.00

How do you get you’re inspiration for new products?
I am constantly watching old movies, pouring through books on the golden age of design and have an unhealthy addiction to vintage clothing and fabrics. I find inspiration in just about everything and live and breathe dresses all day long.

Is there anything special you do when stuck for an idea or on an item? i.e. walk?
I usually get to a point with each dress where need to step away and not look at it for a few hours. When you have been staring at the same dress for sometimes twelve hours a day, you need to get some perspective. 
I take trips out, we'll go to exhibitions, and there is an excellent fashion museum only an hour away. I watch a lot of films and visit flea markets and vintage shops as much as I can. I love people watching and seeing how people style themselves which is always inspiring.

How did you get into hand making stuff?
I started with textiles at school and went on to study fashion design at university.

Were you brilliant first off, or did it take a few attempts?
It’s taken 27years to be good at what I do; making dresses is a very long and endless process of learning. Every dress is different and there is always a new way to cut a dress. I hope to be brilliant when I'm 90!
Black Lace Peter Pan Dress Collar -$35.00

What led you to creating your own business?
Since graduating I had the option to move to London to work or stay living in the countryside; I chose to stay and as there aren’t many fashion jobs in the countryside I decided to set up my own business.

Do you think it’s been worth it?
Yes! Its hard work but I love every day that I get to work on new commissions and am happiest creating dresses all day long.

Is there anything you would change?
Being more confident to make contacts and network - but I'm working on this.

Do you get many difficult customers, and if so how do you manage not to yell at them?
There is no such thing as a difficult customer just a great challenge!
Of course there have been times but they generally just need some reassurance and everything is fine.

Is there any particular reason you started your online shop, apart from you love it?
Selling on-line has been the best way to reach lots of customers interested in the same vintage look as me. My perfect customers are rarely found walking down the dirt track to our house in the middle of nowhere.

Blue Red Cosmic Print rockabilly Dress Sample -$80.00
If you didn't make dresses what else would you of done?
I would have been a terrible dancer, singer or a very mediocre actress maybe?! I nearly went into fine art but was still sculpting dresses. I like the idea of teaching one day. 

What are the things that you most enjoy about owning your own business? 
I get to work with wonderful customers on their ideas and get to work on dresses every day.

What is your next step for your business or is selling online it?
I'm working on a new collection of bridal gowns which will launch early next year and I will be working with local boutiques selling one of a kind dresses.

Thank you for reading the interview, and be sure to pop along and have a look at what other items they have, there are also the most wonderful clutch bags as well! 


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