Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Only The Beginning

This is the story of how I became a fashion designer...

 Most girls dreams about fashion. Some of us dream of becoming a fashion designer. I never thought I would get to live out this dream. I, for one, never foresaw that all of my designs I drew over the years would ever turn into a reality.

From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. I'm not sure if my love of fashion stemmed from having a mother who shopped for a living or Grandmother that bought me a sewing machine at the age of 6 and taught me how to sew dolls outfits. 
Regardless, I have always been quite creative & obsessed with fashion.
Ever since I can remember I have loved to draw, paint & design. I would spend hours as a child sitting at the dinning room table or locked away in my bedroom sketching and drawing gowns, clothing & people. I even recall going through a phase at the end of primary school where a girlfriend and I would spend our entire school lunch breaks in the library doodling down designs and brainstorming how we were going to become world famous fashion designers.  Talk about an epic social life.
Little did I know that it would take me another 8 years before I would convert those ideas into actions.

On year 8 camp I remember the entire grade was asked to fill out one of those time capsule questionnaires of where you see yourself in the future, what career you would like to have etc. The teachers then buried the capsule with all our hopes and dreams to be dug up many years later (I'm still waiting!). This exercise was the first time I really thought about what I wanted to do with my life. As I was attending a purely academic school I begged my parents to let me change to a High School that had a fashion based program. After week of begging & maybe a few tears  I got my way and transferred schools, enrolled in Home Economics - Fashion and another subject called Design. Its safe to say those were two subjects I never wagged.  
In year 12 I started to question if fashion design was really the right path for me.  At that time of your life everyone is asking you about what you are going to do next. All of my friends were enrolling into uni, planning on studying law and business. A number of the adults that I looked up to told me fashion was unrealistic career and impossible industry to break into. After a good chat with my Dad I decided instead of going straight to fashion school I would complete a Business Degree at Bond University then determine my next step. While studying at University I thought I would I would find a new career passion or a direction, but as I got closer to graduation I still had absolutely NO idea of what I wanted to do with my life. 

After graduating university in early 2010 I decided it was time to finally study fashion and give this lifetime dream a real shot! I enrolled in a Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design & Technology at Gold Institute of Tafe. After completing the year long course I began to work full-time to save money to fund what is now my namesake label "Sinead James". 

I had absolutely no freak'n clue what I was doing all I knew was that I wanted to get the ball rolling with this venture.  I ordered a bunch of fabrics, drew up a collection, found a pattern maker and made some samples. I started posting pictures of my samples to Facebook for people to order and to my surprise people began buying.  At a steady pace I began to grow the business, had stock made and created a website. I started approaching stores and began wholesaling.

As you can imagine trying to balance a full-time job and growing business was no fun and physically draining  so after a year and a half of working full-time I quit my job to focus purely on the business. 

Over the past three years I have designed for & built the label into a well known Australian emerging label. To date Sinead James The Label has been featured in Cleo, Shop Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Herald Sun, The Bulletin, The Sunday mail just to name a few, with a coveted spot at Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival ’13 & 14. Sinead James The Label has been stocked in stores almost nation-wide and has received international interest from media, bloggers and buyers.  

Don't get me wrong in saying all of this there have been both ups and downs,  weeks where I haven't made any money, rejection after rejection, moments when stress has made me physically ill. On top of that there have been several days when I want to throw in the towel, give up all the stress, the long hours, the anxiety, the not knowing but when I  take a step back and look at how much I have grown as a person, how much I've learned and how hard I have actually worked I wouldn't change a thing!

I still have a long way to go but can't wait to see what the future has planned for me.  

xOx Sin 


Bubble Trouble Bodice Dress - Summer 11/12

Louder Than Words Dress - Tran-seasonal 12

Free Faller Swing Dress - Summer 13/14
Million Dollar Baby Dress - Summer 14/15 (Soon to be released)



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