“…she opened the box, and was so overwhelmed with excitement that she started crying!”. This is one reaction a blushing (and teary) bride had to her one-of-a-kind Jamie Slye Designs head piece. The reason for this reaction? Jamie incorporated pieces from the Mother of the Bride’s wedding gown, making the creation more personal and the brides wedding day more special. The perfect topper for a happily ever after.
These creations aren’t just for the matrimonial-minded. Jamie’s everyday pieces have been making headway around Austin, TX her current city of residence of eight months. Her designs have even made appearances at Austin Fashion Week. Now she’s ready to expand beyond the boarders of the Lone Star State. “In 5 years I plan on expanding my brand presence in my home state of Virginia. In 10 years I want my business to start making a widespread influence out to many other states.” She continues, “As for me personally…well…I change my mind quite frequently on what shoes to wear on a daily basis, so who knows! I guess the future being unknown is rather exciting for me”. Read on to discover more about Jamie and her head-envy designs.
Q: How long have you been designing your pieces?
A: I started my business out of Richmond, Virginia in March of 2010. Hard to believe it has been 3 years!
Q: What is your dream for your brand? How has your brand changed since you first started out?
A: My overall vision and dream for Jamie Slye Designs is to be the ultimate “go-to” designer for unique custom headpieces for every special occasion – locally, nationally, and globally.
Since starting out, I have had an overwhelming increase in custom orders from not only local people, but people in other states, and even other countries! The web has really allowed me to reach people of all places.
Q: Anyone you admire in the fashion industry?
A: I have always admired Vivienne Westwood as a designer. Ever since I discovered her work while studying fashion abroad, I love how she, even from the beginning, has brought new ideas and new wave fashions into the mainstream.
I hope to bring the same approach to the fashion industry. I want my designs to inspire women everywhere to feel confident and comfortable while wearing head wear – especially since headpieces are not currently a mainstream fashion piece. I want women to wear hats like they use to, so I am working on bringing it all back!
Q: What is your most memorable order/design and why?
A: My most inspirational piece that I have designed thus far was for a bride that wanted to incorporate lace from her mothers wedding gown. Because she only had a small piece of lace, she was concerned that I would not be able to use it at all. What made this lace really special is that she told me that her mom was the most special person in her life, and that it meant a great deal to her to be able to incorporate something of her mother’s into her headpiece. When I personally delivered her design to her, she opened the box, and was so overwhelmed with excitement that she started crying! She absolutely loved the piece, and I was able to incorporate all of the lace!
Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you since starting out?
A: One of the stronger elements to my headpieces actually happens to be the most challenging as well. Because all of my designs are handmade, it makes it hard to sell to the masses. Although I know selling to larger retailers could potentially take my business to a whole new level, I really don’t want the “handmade” aspect of my pieces to be taken away. I am working on finding solutions to this challenge for the future, but for now, every single design will be handmade, and sewn to perfection!
Q: What makes your head pieces different from others?
A: Not only is each one of my designs handmade, but each piece incorporates something vintage. Whether I use vintage brooches, buttons, antique shoe clips, old belt buckles, vintage lace or unique crochet appliqués from vintage clothing – each piece tells a story.
My bridal headpieces are most enjoyable to design because a lot of my customers want to incorporate an heirloom into their piece. I have had brides that want to use lace from their mother’s wedding gown, a brooch from their grandmother, or even their “something blue”! Some brides really want to add some color, so I have added their (chosen) wedding colors into the piece as well.
Q: What’s the best way for you to sell your product/reach your market?
A: The best way to sell my products currently is by word of mouth and referrals, and online. Social media and the web have helped my business tremendously by exposing my brand and design abilities to a wide range of people.
Have a piece in mind that you’d rather be wearing upon your head? Make your vision come to life with a custom piece or treat yourself with one (or several) beautifully and uniquely made designs at Jamie Slye Designs.