I would like to say a huge welcome
from Klara O
I'm a London, well Richmond, based clothing & accessories designer/manufacturer, I specialise in knitwear but I love to sit at my sewing machine and bring my designs to life. For my launch I decided to showcase a few pieces of my knitwear but in coming months I'll be introducing sewn garments into my line.
When I first decided that I wanted to create a fashion/accessories line my original thought was to design bags, this line would have been targeted at teenagers, I would then design dresses under a different name "Klara O". I then decided that I didn't want to be 1- stuck with a line aimed at teenagers when I get to my forties and 2- churning out bland designs with a somewhat funny slogan on them. So I decided to do what I'm good at and I turned to knitwear which I would proudly put my name on.
My shop opened October 2012 (but I have been developing my ideas since 2006!) and I started because I needed an artistic outlet. I have always been a creative person, I was taught to knit when I was a very young child and sewing quickly followed-possibly within months- I was hooked straight away and by the time I was 7 I had knitted my cousin a vest, my first garment!
Oh no, I have to choose between my own designs? I guess one of my favourites would have to be a pair of top twist arm warmers, they don't photograph as well as I would like (my photography skills aren't the best but I'm still learning how to use my camera for object photography!) however they are really simple with a fun twist! Another favourite, if I can be naughty and include another one, is the grey trellis cushion, I think it's beautiful because as a child I dreamt of being able to make such detailed patterns like my grandmother used to, so now I feel pleased with myself for being able to knit like she does.
Design and creativity runs in my family. My mother loves interior design, through my childhood my dad was a carpenter, making everything from our dining table to my bunk bed, my grandmother used to live with us and every year my wardrobe would be updated with home made clothes and my other grandmother would send us the most beautifully crocheted blankets and doilies (she's Jamaican!) so I grew up with creativity all around me which rubbed off. What really made me start Klara O was that I knew working a 9-5 job would never suit me and there are only two things I really enjoy doing- making clothes, accessories, blankets, pretty much anything you can make with a set of knitting needles or a sewing machine and working with children - though teaching sounds like too much stress so I became a nanny (stress free....in my dreams!).
Everything inspires me, I visit my yarn supplier on a regular basis, if I find a colour that excites me, I bulk buy the yarn and I can almost see the garment/accessory coming to life in front of my eyes. Other days I'm not so lucky, I'll have to search for it. Old knitting patterns are a fantastic way to get inspired because you can get so creative coming up with ideas on how to make a garment 2013 rather than 1960! Sometimes I find real treasures in my grandmother's loft, months ago I found a pattern Twiggy had modelled back in the 60's then I took a walk down the high street now i have some fun designs I hope to bring out for Autumn Winter this year!
I spend my spare time at the gym, swimming, running, traveling here and there, cooking, I'm a part time nanny which takes up a lot of my time but I love it, I love visiting museums and galleries both for the inspiration and the culture, I like to take up part time study as well- recently I've completed a clothes making course which I really enjoyed and found very useful as I would like to progress further into clothes design- and I also have an allotment which requires a lot more care than I give it because I prefer to be knitting a new garment or item!
I think loving what you are starting is a must, have an idea that you have complete faith in and work really hard to make it the best it can be then get a website together. If you are good on social networking sites use them to your full advantage and come up with a marketing plan. Don't be afraid to ask others for advice or opinions- even if they give you criticism learn from it and try not to be offended. Most important of all is to enjoy what you are doing and not being driven by making money.
You can find me at:
Thank you ever so much Klara!
Aren't her designs fantastic!
I hope you'll join with me in thanking her and visit her sites.
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