I got to have an interview with the very talented local headwear designer of Happily ever Headwear. Not only does Mallory Bishop Brown create one of a kind pieces for brides she also offers consultations to brides to help them make an heirloom that they can cherish for years to come.
Have you always been a creative person?
I like to think I’m lucky enough to be blessed with an eye for the visual. After a childhood that was steeped in creativity I did an undergrad degree in Visual Arts. There I focused primarily on more traditional mediums; painting, drawing, and sculpture. I have always kept myself busy with small side projects, whether it’s refinishing furniture, sewing Halloween costumes, or painting exterior signage for the pub I used to work at.
How did Happily Ever Headwear start?
In the fall of 2014 I was struggling to find something that matched my vision that was also affordable for my own wedding. So it was off to Michaels and Fabricland where after I sat down in my soon-to-be-husband’s man cave (read: soon-to-be studio) popped on the Princess Bride and got to work on what would eventually become Eleanor, HEH’s first piece. After the wedding, I started to hear from friends and some strangers even, who were wishing that there was something like Eleanor available and I thought to myself “Hmmmm, we might be onto something here.” And it rapidly snowballed from there. The wire pieces were inspired in creating a piece for one of my best friends who was married last summer. She really loved my fabric work but wanted something more understated and in wire. I ended up creating three different pieces for my finicky friend before we got it right. It wound up being a blessing because the extra pieces became the basis for the Bee’s Knees line. We launched to the public in June of 2015, and have received incredible support and admiration from brides to industry professionals alike.
What is the creative process like when you are working on a custom design for a bride?
My custom pieces can be as diverse as the women who wear them. Custom consultations usually take place later in the wedding planning process so that by the time I sit down with a bride, the dress, venue, and general feel for the day are already in place. From there we can work together to create something that is going to be unique for her. A large part of my vision for Happily Ever Headwear has been that I never want it to be static or set in stone. All of my pieces are made to order which has allowed for the process of customization to be built right in. There’s a lot of versatility in the pieces; they’re lightweight and flexible, are easy to wear, and can be molded to suit your style on the big day.
What are some things brides should take into consideration when picking out head wear for their big day?
The “Mom Factor” is huge. Does Mom have her heart set on a veil or a hitherto-unknown cherished family heirloom? We can build pieces that will play nicely with just about anything but we need to know that at the outset. Some pieces can be paired with a veil and others can stand alone or be slipped on after the ceremony. Mom has been thinking about your wedding day long before you have, so it’s nice when we can align her vision with yours.
What is your favorite part about designing your beautiful pieces?
Working with so many different brides is my favourite part. It is so amazing to be able to introduce women to their creative side (if they haven’t met it already!) and help them make their vision a reality. I have also enjoyed making corresponding pieces for the bridal parties and the moms. It’s like making a bride her own unique line that can be loved and shared; and I think the gift of a custom piece is really appreciated.
To see more of Mallory’s creations go to Happily Ever Headwears Website here
To like Happily Ever Headwear on Facebook click here
To follow Happily Ever Headwear on Instagram go here
Shop Happily Ever Headwear on Etsy here
Hair and makeup for these pictures were provided for by and shot on location at The Village Spa & Hair Boutique Hair Stylist: Heidi Harris and Makeup Artist: Deb Hamilton
I am a huge fashion enthusiast and an accessory junkie. I love meeting with local talent. Designer and owner of Wicked Stitch, Jess Boland creates scarves for all seasons, and her designs are one of a kind.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you decide to start Wicked Stitch?
I am 29 years old, and I was born and raised here in Kingston. When I was 22, I moved to St. John’s Newfoundland for three years, which is where I acquired much of my appreciation for fashion, art and music. There is such an amazingly rich arts culture there, it is hard to spend a significant amount of time in the midst of it all and not come away changed in some way. Wicked Stitch is in its third year and it still sometimes feels like it sort of started itself. I acquired a super sweet sewing machine from a coworker for a great deal (cheap would be an understatement), and spent much of December 2013 sewing at my kitchen table and selling simple fabric infinity scarves to friends and family for next to nothing. It wasn’t until I started putting faux fur and repurposed leather pieces in the scarves and sourcing unique fabric that the demand increased to the point where I had to start putting customers on a waiting list – that was when I realized I had a legitimate business opportunity on my hands. It is a weird feeling when you reach the point where your immediate family members aren’t your only customers! I guess that is the goal, right?
What inspires you creatively when designing a scarf?
I am inspired by a lot of different things when designing scarves. Sometimes it will be something like an interesting thrift store leather coat that speaks to me. Sometimes it’s a friend’s shirt, or an outfit of my own that is lacking something specific. I am never one to jump wholeheartedly on the bandwagon with whatever is super trendy… I tend of go for classic, comfy and cozy style, and timeless colours, patterns and materials. This is true in my own wardrobe and I think my scarves reflect that to a certain degree. You just can’t go wrong pairing leather and flannel – it’s like they were made to be together.
Do you have any advice for others wanting to start a local business?
Network, network, network! Your greatest resource is the community of local business owners around you. The more people you can connect with and learn from, the better. I have found that people are often very receptive if you take the time to reach out. In addition to that, if you try to think in terms of how you can help other business owners and what you might have to offer them, rather than what they can offer you, it is a super effective way of building long-lasting connections and mutually beneficial relationships. It feels great!
What is your favorite part of making the scarves?
I really love everything about making my scarves – from design, to sewing, to connecting with customers. I am really obsessed with fabric – I may or may not have an entire room in my house dedicated to fabric storage – so I love scrutinizing over fabric colours, patterns and textures. BUT, if I have to choose a favourite thing about Wicked Stitch, I know hands down that it is connecting with my customers. When people get excited about my stuff, or feel like they’re purchasing the perfect gift for someone special in their life, it feels incredible. It is especially cool when I get to do commissioned pieces and I am able to make someone’s vision come to life for them. For example, before Christmas I was asked to create a set of flannel memory scarves for a lady using her late father’s old flannel shirts. It was an honour to be trusted with repurposing such treasured garments. I am told that they went over very well with her mum and sisters!
Can you give us some info on what is coming up for Wicked Stitch?
It’s going to be a big year! I am looking forward to getting my online store up and running in time for my spring/summer line. Without giving away too much, I will just say that you can expect more classic Wicked Stitch, but in breathable, light-weight materials and designs that will be perfect for summer evenings spent on the water, by the campfire or on a patio downtown… my favourite places. I am also hoping to acquire some studio space outside my home this year, so stayed tuned for a place that you can come visit me in person! No doubt, my husband will be ecstatic to reclaim some table space at home ☺
I am really looking forward to seeing this lady’s spring and summer line of scarves! To follow Wicked Stitch online, like these pages:
Wicked Stitch Facebook Page click here
Wicked Stitch Instagram Page
And you can shop Wicked Stitch Here!!!