Friday, November 04, 2005

Conversations with Emerging Designers

Rebecca Doyle tossed her blackberry into the sand and said: "Damnit! I WILL do something with my life that makes me incredibly happy!" which is how the fabulous London based online jewelry boutique,, came to be...

Emily Blumenthal wanted to fill a void in the handbag market, so she invented a mini purse worn on the wrist. She launched it, marketed it, then licensed it, and now her sales have shot up.

One Good Bumblebee
Katey Nicosia, designer of many, many things and manager of her online store. She discusses how she started and manages it, when a generous $500 from her dad to help start the business only lasted for 10 minutes.

Calendine Paper
Samantha Baker and Kimberley Sanderson-Hutfilz are a team who makes unique pieces of stationery using the letterpress method. They were friends from work, knew each other's styles, and dove into business together.

What Are Conversations with Emerging Designers?
I ask a lot of questions. It's how I've made any progress in my many careers. I just keep asking questions and applying them as needed. As an aspiring designer, I have to ask questions of different people all the time in order to make the steps I need to bring my design lable, Katie James, to the masses. "Do I sell online or in boutiques?" "When do I need a lawyer?" "Do I patent this thing?" The questions constantly bombard me.

One afternoon, I emailed a designer to ask her a question about her online shopping cart, when it occurred to me: "If I want to know this, I bet others want to know this, too." The designer answered my question, and she also agreed to be my first official Conversation for FashionMista, the blog originally intended to chronicle the steps of starting and maintaining a fashion design business.

And so a series was born. A series of conversations with emerging designers, asking them juicy questions like how they got outside funding (if any) and what shopping cart they use on their websites. These interviews are invaluable. Each time I finish one, I am that much smarter when producing my products and bringing them to the masses or the few.

If you would like to be updated when a new Conversation is added to FashionMista, email me at and I'll add you to the my totally private list.


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