Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Meet the designer: Personal, business, inspiration and much more...

This week is an exciting week for me! You wanna know why? It's my birthday! Another year older and another year wiser, or so I like to think. So what better time to take the limelight and write this months blog post all about me and a few Q&A's I thought you guys would want to know the answers to.

A little bit of personal info about me...

For those of you who don't me, my name is Lindsey! I am the owner and designer of Loula's Boutique, a unique handmade clothing label for ladies and girls or all ages and sizes. I live with my boyfriend Mark and our rescue dog Gracie, both of whom I am absolutely head over heels in love with. I am a huge animal lover,to the point where I must meet and greet EVERY single animal I come into contact with. Cows are my favourite! I am vegan, mostly for the animals partly because VEGAN FOOD IS ACTUALLY SOOO GOOD! I love gin, in fact most alcohol! This must have started from a young age when I was rushed to hospital only to discover that I was blind drunk from drinking a bottle of brut aftershave in my cot, and it was all downhill from there.

(Me and my boyfriend Mark)

On turning another year older...

I'm currently just turning 29 which is worrying for most people my age, but not for me. I have had 29 brilliant years. There's been up's and downs but generally I feel like I've achieved a lot of the things I wanted to accomplish by now. I started my business Loula's Boutique when I was just 23 years old and I remember the battles of being such a young business woman. I found that people would try and take advantage of my naivety and limited knowledge for their own personal gain. I feel like I've now come to a stage in my life where I can be assertive with what I want and not let people walk all over me but I've also learned to do this in a way that doesn't upset people and I think that age and experience has played a big factor in this.

Getting inspiration...

I often get asked, where do I get my inspiration from. Well the answer to this is everywhere! Before setting up my business, I was heavily inspired by the likes of All saints, Vivienne Westwood, lady Gaga and Robert Carey Williams. I adored the unique textures and shapes that each one use that really stood out from anything I'd ever seen before.Taking something really quite unusual and making it really work as a style. I also loved the business concept of American apparel, where every single piece of clothing was so wearable and versatile for different occasions as well as being available in every colour way. So from both of these influences, I knew I wanted to create something in between the two. Once I had set my mind on the basic overall look of the label, each collection was usually inspired by things I saw day to day. I lived in Leeds for quite a few years and I was really inspired by the whole Leeds scene dress style where people aren't afraid to really stand out. It's like a really unique expression of self through clothing that was made up of both contemporary and vintage influences. Social media also plays a big part in my designing, I'll usually see a nice neckline or sleeve shape on Instagram and think 'ooh I want to have a go at recreating that Loula's style' and then my mind will suddenly start designing a whole dress from just that one element. I'd say finally and one of the most important influences on my designs, are my customers. I've found it really important to listen to what they want as most of the time, what they want is usually what a lot of other people also want. It's also really all trial and error with putting collections out and seeing what sells and then working on those design elements that have been popular.

(Original sketch for the Lola dress available here )

Staying motivated...

Being responsible for your own workload and staying motivated is never easy and you would think that motivation would flow when doing your dream job, but the reality is it doesn't. It really comes and goes in blocks and the trick is to take advantage and put in extra hours when it comes and set yourself a minimum workload of easy to achieve tasks when it goes. I always have to do lists on the go which really helps keep me organised and on days when I feel really creative, I'll get all my sewing and designing done and the days where i don't feel like moving, I'll get all my social media and marking sorted. I guess I've really learned to adapt my workload to my current state. When I first started out, I would just try and work through my to do lists in order and try and make myself be creative when I wasn't feeling it and find myself getting fed up and giving up, so this way really does work much better for me. I also try and listen to a lot of motivational speeches, attend business advice talks, read self help books or just surround myself with motivated people in the blocks where my motivation goes and this always boosts me back up. An idea that has really stuck with me throughout my business that improves my motivation  is that I used to work really hard for previous employers helping to make someone else's dreams a reality so if I could do that for them then surely I should be able to work even harder at my own.

Do you make your own clothes?

This is a question I get asked quite often and if I'm being completely honest, not very often. It's not that I don't love sewing my own designs, I really do. It's just that when you spend nearly every single day making clothes for other people, the last thing you want to be doing in your free time is more sewing. I think most people in most professions would say the same thing. So where do I get my clothes from? Well firstly I really like support independent businesses, not only does it put money back into our economy and opens up more job roles, but it also ensures that you're getting something unique. I also buy a lot of second hand, I'm a strong believer in reusing and recycling to look after our planet and again it ensures you are getting something unique.

I hope you have enjoyed reading a little bit about me and what inspires and motivates me! If there is anything you would really like to know or you have an idea for my next blog post, feel free get in touch, my inbox is always open :) loulasboutique@hotmail.co.uk

Get 20% off the website until the 8th april 2018 with discount code 'birthday20' at the checkout of loulas-boutique.co.uk

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