This holiday shopping season, be sure to check out the clothing and accessories chock full of attitude at Crossbones Couture and Crossbones Collateral.
How did your interest in fashion begin?
Actually, my interest in fashion stems from being pretty anti-social as a youngster. Since I had no friends to speak of, I decided to use my energy being creative. If I could create clothing that reflected the way I saw myself, and portrayed it to the outside world without making me feel uncomfortable, then that is what I created.
What motivated you to start selling your designs and what were your expectations when you started?
I feel that there are so many young people that either get lost in the crowd, or stand out for the wrong reasons. I go to the mall, or the movies, and see young girls with their bellies bared, and their pants leaving nothing to the imagination, and guys with their boxers hanging out, and the look on their faces tells me that they feel uncomfortable. I am interested in fashion not only as an industry itself, but also as a means for people to be able to express to the outside world the way they feel comfortable being, living in their own skin. I am a mom, and I’ll be damned if my stretch marks are not battle scars, so I should be able to let them peek out. Girls should be able to have fashions that let them express their own unique style, while still being respectful to themselves. Baby girls and baby boys do not need to be stuck in pastels, let them rock skulls! These ideas drive me to create the items that I create.
Do you have any formal training in fashion, art or design?
I actually was trained for 4 years in ceramics and jewelry design and metal smithing. For a second I tossed around the idea of going to college for it, but obviously, that was not in the grand scheme of things!
Is Crossbones Couture your primary job?
As of right now, it is! And I could not be happier!
How many people are behind the scenes at Crossbones Couture?
Funny thing is, I thought at first this would be a one woman show, but behind the scenes I have the most WONDERFUL fashion critics. My husband Greg, and my son, Evan. Literally, they keep me on my toes. They tell me when a design is not functional, when my design sucks, or the colors are not right. Evan actually helps me sew for larger orders, or when I am getting ready for shows! I actually have a binder FULL of design sketches of Greg’s that will hopefully see the light of day soon!
What are some of the best and worst aspects of being an independent designer?
Some of the best aspects are being able to be inspired by every day life, and being able to translate that into my work. I really feel that design in a DIY sense has come so far, and just recently, has really come into it’s own. I feel blessed to be a part of a community of designers and business owners that are supportive of each other’s work, and I feel that the fashion design community is a very unique market, where the competition is fierce, but at the same time, so respectful. One of the downfalls is self doubt. There is not a day that goes by that I do not pick apart my work, and feel like I could do more.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get inspiration from life, in general. I look at items that I see everywhere, and when something sticks with me, either a color, a shape, a color combination, I write it down. This has not only made my designing a lot more functional, but it also forces me to take some time to stop, respect, and admire the small things.
How would you describe your designs?
My designs are edgy, with an eye for comfort, wearability, functionality, and attitude. Why would someone want a dress that is uncomfortable, that you can’t wait to take off? But it HAS to look good, damnit, or else, I just won’t make it!
Any advice for aspiring designers?
Design and create what your mind tells you to make. Don’t listen to people that say “That will never sell!” or “That is a HORRIBLE idea!”. If I had a dollar for every event or group that told me that my items were too edgy, graphic, dark, or revealing, I would be rolling in the dough. People don’t like my designs, because my designs make them feel uncomfortable sometimes. I make shirts that say “FUCK CANCER!” That is how I feel, and if you do not feel the same way, don’t buy my shirts! Did I stop making them when they offended people? No way in hell!
Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I work on cars, and I like to read. I also work out like a fiend.