Friday, November 11, 2011

Interview with Sigi

Coral Sweetheart Dress

Sigrid Meleane, the talented designer and creator of the beautiful clothes to be found in her shop Sigi, has let me interview her. 
It's been a pleasure getting to know her talented self, so please take the time to read about this creative entrepreneur, her business tips and her creative process.

1. Name: Sigrid Meleane
Where are you from? 
I am from sunny Australia

2. Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop/ business.
The design process through to production and everything in between is made by my two hands. I am a fashion designer who wanted to do something more personal and something that was my own. With handmade, you put a little piece of yourself into everything you make. 

I have always loved the notion of handmade compared to mass production. I like knowing something I own (and made) has been carefully tended to by someone’s own two hands. I think people appreciate the work, intention and story behind something handmade. This is also why I like to make small runs and one-off items.

I choose to focus mainly on dresses as to me; they are the epitome of femininity. I think every woman looks beautiful in a great dress. I like to add features/details that are a little quirky and whimsical, such as big, bulbous buttons. I also love frills, ruffles and embellishments - things that, to me, are utterly feminine and gorgeous.

3. When did you open your shop?
I opened my shop in June of this year.

4. Why did you decide to start your shop?
After much procrastination, I finally decided to open a shop. I think the fear of failure is what held me off for so long but, I have started my little journey now and I don’t intend to turn back! 

5. How do you promote/ market your business? What works best?
I am not someone who is very tech savvy so, the benefit and exposure of online social networking sites is really becoming evident to me now. At the moment I’m promoting by word of mouth and just getting involved in my Etsy teams but, there is a Facebook page and blog coming soon! I am also hoping to get into selling at markets next year.

Cream Floral Maxi Dress

6. What’s your favourite item from your shop and why?
Probably my Cream Floral Maxi Dress. It’s a dreamy and gorgeous summer dress. It’s feminine and the sort of dress I could wear everyday. 

7. Do you also do business offline? If yes, what do you prefer and what works best?
Sometimes I will get a private client but, I’m hoping with increased exposure I will be able to get a few in-store stockists.

Working with a private client is great but, when you are used to working by yourself, finding a balance between two ideas can take some time till I am happy with it.

8. Where do you get inspiration?
Colour, texture and fabric are what I mostly work from and I build up my designs around these. I can pull these from a flower, a photograph, a beautiful landscape, art or anything that holds beauty for me. Colour contrast; texture contrast; fitted with flowing are great elements I like to play with also. 

My usual style is more detailed and tactile, often using fabric itself as an embellishment, which are elements I would love to bring more of back to my designs.

9. Who is your target audience? Who would typically buy an item from you?
Without being too broad, I would like to think my designs appeal to young women and women alike. For example; my niece is a teen, I am 10 years older and my sister and I are 10 years apart. We are of different ages and we have all worn my designs.

I try to make my designs flattering and not so trend-driven so that they are appealing to a broader range of ages. I like buying something and knowing I can wear it in 5 years’ time without any less impact. This is also why I love vintage, it’s timeless.

Navy Sunny Girl Dress

10. Do you ship internationally?
I sure do!

11. What has been the most challenging part of starting and running your own business?
Trying to turn into an actual business! Time wise, I am a mother and I work part-time so scheduling in designs and production is precious.

12. What has been the best part of starting and running your own business?
Knowing this is something I started on my own and off my own back. My passion and the excitement of what might be is what keeps me wanting to move forward with it.

13. Do you have any business tips you’d like to share with us?
I am only new to this but, I would have to say - be open to new ideas and keep learning.

14. If there were anything you could change about your business, right now, what would it be?
More time and more money! It is a huge learning curve so I am happy, for now, to slowly keep learning and improving. I believe making mistakes is not always a bad thing.

15. What are your goals and dreams for your business for the future?
I hope to make something of my little label and turn it into a little business. Financially, I would love it to be a viable business that makes profit so I can continue doing what I love. When people ask me what I do for work I have always wanted to say, “I run my own business….”

I hope I don’t let my fear of failure stop me from putting myself out there, even though I know it won’t be to everyone’s liking. Even more so, I hope to design and make beautiful pieces that women will love to wear and cherish.

Lime Doily Print Skirt

16. Where do you hope your shop will take you?
I have always wanted to run my own business. I hope my shop goes some way to making that happen and I hope to one day soon be a Featured Seller on Etsy! 

17. What’s next now? Could we get a sneak peak of what you’ll be doing and sharing next?
I plan on setting up a Facebook page and blog. I like the idea of keeping a journal so, starting a blog is the perfect way I can do this and share it with everyone.

I am working on new designs that are using more of the techniques and embellishments I typically love to use. I will also be selling my ruffle tops which I have not made in a while but, are a personal favourite. (The photo below is a sneak peak of one of my ruffle tops).

18. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Come back and visit my shop for new items coming soon!

New Ruffle Top!

We can't wait to see your new designs and blog! It's been a pleasure getting to know you and I hope that you never give up, as your work is amazing!

Please Sigrid some love by visiting her shop and please heart it and add her to your circle!!

Also, please comment below letting Sigrid know what you think of her work and if you'd like to ask her any questions!

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