Updated: Nov 11
Hello ladies and gents, it’s been a very, very long time, so let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to here at VVA for the past year and a half. As you can see, I've moved my blog from LiveJournal to my website; not because there is anything wrong with LiveJournal, I'm very fond of it, but this keep life simple for you and me. Everything all in one place is the way to go, soon, I want to host my store here too! As some of you may already be aware, I had to put my Costuming for Stage and Screen diploma on hold for several reasons of personal and circumstantial nature; I do hope to return this fall and complete my diploma as I had an amazing semester at Capilano. Additionally, I’ve been developing myself on a personal level with some extracurricular activities, like music and learning Scottish Gaelic as well as taking some creative writing and English courses back at KPU. I really do have a love of all things creative and though my ultimate goal right now is to run a successful costuming and corsetry business, I thrive on my other creative outlets as well and try to find as much time as possible to focus on them too. Besides all that, I’ve been working my rear end off to save money to help push my business forward and buy the basic supplies that I need to.
In regards to VVA over the last year and a half, I’ve vended at some Conventions (Northwest Fanfest 2014 and the Vancouver Halloween Expo 2014/15) and learned some valuable lessons. The most notable being that my ready-to-wear line needed some serious revamping. So for the last few months, I’ve been working on just that. This includes re-evaluating my standard sizes and redesigning my patterns. I’m working on designing patterns that are comfortable and functional for my clients while also being something that I can produce at high quality quickly and efficiently.
In July of 2015, I spent a weekend in L.A. with some of the most amazing women and corsetieres I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the inaugural North American Corsetry and Lingerie Symposium. It was truly a mind blowing experience. With the plan to redesign my ready-to-wear line in mind for a while now, I am eternally grateful to Jessica Crutchfield of Ties That Bynde Designs for sharing her knowledge and experiences in ready-to-wear design. With the help of Jasmine Stevens of Jasmine Starfire and Lori Sunrise of Bound Angel Designs, I collected new information from ladies willing to fill out our sizing survey. All of this led to better sizes, a better range in those sizes and better techniques, helping me create a better ready-to-wear line today. I’ll have to do a post all about that trip soon, complete with pictures of the amazing ladies that taught me so much in such a short time!
That’s pretty much the gist of what’s been going on over the last little while; now onto the main event!
Here it is ladies and gents! It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally happening: today I relaunch my website!
Building an online presence is a very important part of starting a business in the 21st century, especially for someone like myself who is responsible for everything that goes on in my one-woman circus of fabric and patterns. It’s not the website of my dreams yet (as I lack the coding knowledge to do it myself and the funding the pay someone else at the moment), but it’s pretty and functional and that makes me ecstatic! I’ll be doing a full write-up on this soon too! In conjunction with the relaunch of my website, I am finally launching my Storenvy page for easy online sales when I’m not at a convention. Expect to see it up in the next few days (once I sort out my PayPal setup).
That being said, and I know I’ve said it before, I am going to try to increase my online presence! That means more pictures of what’s going on in the studio, more plans for photoshoots, more blogposts! More, more, more!
Speaking of more blogposts, this new year, VVA is going to try some new things and I am going to do my very best to maintain them! Down the road, I would like to add lingerie to my brand, especially in matching sets with my corsets (so cute!). So this year, I am going to try a bit of a modified bra-a-week challenge, as inspired by Erin of the blog The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin, who is just amazingly talented! With work, school and making corsets for conventions, I’m not sure I’ll have the time to do a full bra-a-week, so I’m going to try some other things amongst actual bra construction, like drafting patterns and designing lingerie. I really hope to document this journey on a weekly basis. I hope to build my skills in bra and underwear making so I can add these things to my offerings by 2017 (or sooner!) As well, I plan on doing a lot of experimenting with corset making this year, including using mesh and lace for sheer corsets, fabric painting for designs and whatever other craziness I can think of!
Happy New Year everyone, here’s hoping it’s as amazing as you hope it will be!
xoxo Amara Ann ;; VVA