Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Interview: Vanilla and Lace

The next two guests on my blog are two people I'm very very excited to have here. The first one is Abi from Vanilla and Lace, she sews beautiful dresses I fell in love with the moment I saw them. And the next one... I guess you'll have to wait for it! Enjoy!

Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
I'm Abi and I live in the very rainy Portland. You can find me at my sewing machine most hours of the day, sometimes wearing sequin dresses and red lip stick. (Hey when you work from home you get to do whatever you want!)
How did you start your shop, Vanilla and Lace?
It started from a burning passion to finally make my dream a reality. Some of these dresses have been in my sketchbook for some time and one day I just decided to go for it.

How did you choose the name of your shop?
It's also the name of my blog which I named a couple years ago after two of my favorite things to craft with.. vanilla...and... lace! 
Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I don't. My mom was an avid sewer growing up so I learned a bit from her... and everything else is self taught from years of trial and error.

Do your creations support you economically? If not, do you have another job?
It does! And for that I am eternally grateful. We live very simply so we're both able to do what we love and love what we do.

What are your main sources of inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from fashion in the 1950's and 60s, but I also draw inspiration from films, art and other designers.
What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
I LOVE (!!) seeing pictures of gals in the dress they bought.. it is so rewarding to see something go from a pile of fabric to a new favorite dress halfway across the world. It's also pretty incredible to be able to call what i would normally be doing as a hobby anyway, work.

How and where do you advertise your business?
I haven't advertised much of anywhere yet, except for on my own blog and twitter

Do you have any advice for who wants to sell or already sells handmade?
Force yourself to take days off even when orders are piling up! It's important for your sanity.


  1. Thanks for these inspirational interviews Anna. They really give me hope that maybe someday I can build up my courage and do the same ;) And Abi is such an inspiration herself too!

  2. Thanks for the interview ! I love hearing about people experience on creating their businesses...

  3. @Ololi

    Thank you both!
    That's exactly the reason why I have these interviews, I find every story so inspiring!