Edinburgh born and now living in Manchester, Claires' heart is still in the city and she takes great enjoyment out of her continued success on the Edinburgh streets!
We loved receiving our monthly package from Mollie Brown as we never know what delights are going to be inside. Mollie Brown is without a doubt one of our best selling designers in store and here is what she had to say about her life as a designer.
Hello, I am …
Claire Hart of Mollie Brown
I design ………Women’s clothing and accessories
When I am creating my typical day involves ……… to kick start my creativity I go to my favourite fabric shop in Liverpool that sells an amazing selection of remnant fabrics. Fabric shopping is probably one of my favourite things! Choosing to buy end of line rolls and roll ends enables me to pick up some really beautiful fabrics at an affordable price, therefore allowing me to sell my designs at reasonable prices. I love the excitement of not knowing what you’re going to find, with new fabrics coming in daily! So I go fabric shopping rummage through mounds of fabrics scour through hundreds of rolls, choose my favourites then head back to my studio. Here I get all the fabrics out have a good look through them and match fabrics and colours together, either mixing things up by clashing prints and fabric types or finding complimentary colour and fabric combinations. I’ll then spend the rest of the day and following few days cutting out and sewing up my designs.
When it comes to the actual design and shape of my creations this is an ongoing process. With new shapes evolving from the old.
I’m constantly thinking of new ideas; these will come to me randomly throughout the day. When I do get an idea I sketch it down, I dip in and out of this idea bank taking snippets here and there, tweaking current designs with new ideas to make something new.
I also love re-working vintage items; I find this to be a really creative process for me. I love taking something old and turning it into something new, and the things I come up with often inspire my designs.
When I am not designing and creating I am………….I like to get out as much as I can, I work long hours in a studio space with no windows , so when I get time off I need to get out and get as much fresh air as possible, as well as spending time catching up with friends and family.
I get inspiration from …………… I love vintage fabric prints and styles; I love the colours and shapes, as well as the essence of nostalgia that they provoke. I also love art, my studio space is part of an artist studio group so I am surrounded by artists, being amongst such a creative mix of people is really inspiring and we go to lots of interesting art exhibitions. I am inspired by day to day life from the things I read to the people I meet and see. Going to new places, visiting different countries and cities and meeting new people is really inspiring for me too.
Being an independent designer is important to me because…… As an independent designer you are creating unique one-off items. A lot of thought and hard work goes into the designing and making of these pieces. I think this needs to be encouraged and appreciated more. It scares me the number of people who shop in Primark, buying cheap clothing on mass and not valuing individual items, discarding things after they’ve only been worn once. I want to create items people love, value and treasure, Appreciated for their quirks and individuality, not something to be thrown away after one wear. I wish people would just think a little before they buy and where they buy from. It is hard work competing against the mass produced items offered on the high street. I hope I will inspire other people to do the same thing as me and work for themselves, and help increase people’s awareness and appreciation for handmade items.
I knew I wanted to be a designer when I was…………… I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer from as long as I can remember. I always loved drawing and painting and my favourite subject at school was art. Being good at art at school enabled me to study fashion design at University.
My greatest achievement so far is …Surviving the recession, It’s been a tough few years and a constant challenge, but I think with things being so tough it has really pushed me harder to succeed, as well as value just how lucky I am to be making a living from selling my own creations.
I cannot live without……The support of my boyfriend, friends and family, their confidence in me helps me to keep going, it can be quite difficult sometimes when you’re working on your own , you can sometimes get little moments of self doubt.
My favourite thing I have ever bought or found is ……My 1930’s dressing table, (Queen Anne style, with cabriolet legs) It’s beautiful. It was a brilliant find at only £30, it’s a bit battered but I like it that way. I use it for display at stalls, and events – it’s even been to Glastonbury with me when I had a stall there.
We have a great range of Mollie Brown's collection online and in store visit us today.
Thanks Claire for taking the time to answer our profile questions.
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