Sassafras: Tina, how did you break into the fashion scene in Seattle? Did you study apparel design here in the Pacific Northwest? Tina: I didn't study apparel design anywhere...I'm self taught and have been learning through trail and error for the last 6 years.
Sassafras: Some of us are familiar with your previous line, called glam.spoon. Can you tell us about that line - the shapes and fabrics that you focused on?
Tina: glam.spoon was more craft than fashion. I think I've always focused on the same silhouette with A-line skirts and empire wwaistlines, but for glam.spoon I used recycled materials exclusively, added lots of embellishments, ruffles, and everything was one-of-a-kind. Then, when I started to learn patternmaking, it became possible for me to take the leap from craft to fashion. If I can offer my designs in a size run, rather than one-of-a-kind, the brand can be viable.
Sassafras: Boho Republic is your new line, which features sassy, elegant dresses and tops. Please tell us about the differences between glam.spoon and this new line.
Tina: My first collection is based on the Saturday Market Dress and I've designed four variations so far. Each dress has the same silhouette with different necklines and hem details. I like to mix vibrant prints that don't necessarily look like they go together, but I also love the sophistication of a textured solid. The simplicity of the design allows for a whole new look depending on the fabric. I also pay more attention to the finishing details and have incorporated jewelry findings as closures.
Sassafras: Can you imagine where your dresses are worn?
Tina: I think the Boho Republic customer is an independent woman who doesn't mind standing out from a crowd. She believes in being comfortable in her clothing but not sacrificing style. My dresses can be worn for any occasion - work, play, parties, running errands. I've even dressed a couple of rock stars!
Sassafras: We love that you're putting pockets in a lot of your dresses! What are some other features of the new styles that women will really love?
Tina: Women and their pockets! It's the number on request for custom work. A girl can always use another pocket. I'm playing with the idea of putting bucket pockets on the outside of some of the designs, rather than the traditional side-slit pocket. I think they can be really cute and more functional.
Sassafras: You've just made a huge change by introducing your new line. What kinds of changes are in the works for the future?
Tina: For 2014, I'd like to create two full capsule collections. In addition to dresses and tops, I'm designing a jacket, skirt and pants, as well as a jumpsuit in the same silhouette. I'm hoping the designs will translate into Spring and then into Fall with different fabrics. I'm also designing my own fabric to bring everything together into a cohesive aesthetic.
Sassafras: Thanks, Tina! We're so excited to have your Saturday Market Dress and Top in the shop!