Heidala’s is a sustainable clothing and accessory design company that offers a range of women’s clothing with classic shapes and unique lines, to keep you looking good while keeping your environmental conscience clear! We got the chance to interview owner and designer Heidi Brown, who believes that while fashion can be bought, style is something one must possess.
Finding one’s style is not about buying the newest trends or hottest designers; nor is it about snatching up the most expensive product. Instead it is about finding a way to feel great about the way you look and where your clothes come from. ~Heidi
Read on to find out more about Heidi’s unique take on fashion and what led her down such an inspiring career path!
Treasure Hunt: Growing up, what sparked your interest in fashion?
Heidi Brown: Ok, here’s the truth. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to put on whatever I want to express myself, even as a kid. On my first day of kindergarten my mom let me dress in a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, jean skirt, socks and sandals. But what really introduced me the idea of making fashion was this: I really wanted a pair of JNCO jeans and my Mom wouldn’t buy them. So I cut up the outside seam of a pair of my jeans and added giant triangles of color. There, it’s out.
TH: How did your interest in DIY fashion evolve into Heidala’s?
HB: In high-school I bought clothing at rummage sales and thrift stores to restyle. It was cheaper and more fun than shopping at the mall. While in college at Parson’s for Social and Historical Inquiry, I learned second hand from my roommate who was a fashion major. I started really dismantling clothing and remaking it into something new. After college I moved to Ithaca and began producing my own limited lines and selling them in local businesses. All of a sudden, here I am.
TH: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in starting your own business?
HB: Sometimes you just have to do things you aren’t comfortable with. My big thing was the internet. I’m just not that into it, and I really fought selling online. But it is SO important for business and once I learned that, I grew to love it.
TH: What’s your creative process like?
HB: Always different. I usually make a mood board for each season with colors, patterns, and the general aesthetic I’m looking for. Sometimes I start a design by sketching. Sometimes I just play with the fabric on the mannequin. Most of the time I have a picture in my head of what I’m trying to make and I just go for it. I make my own patterns for everything but the upcycled clothing. I start with my own pattern blocks or a vintage pattern and make additions or subtractions until it works. Then the sample, the fitting (usually on myself or a mannequin) and back to the drafting table with my notes. Repeat until I feel like it’s safe to make in more than one size.
Favorite word: Fantasmigorical.
Least favorite word: Shrub.
Spring/ Summer trend you love: Neon shoes and anything mint.
Worst fashion faux pas: Definitely JNCO jeans.
What’s on your summer playlist: Anything by Sam Cooke, Talib Kweli or Eminem.
Style icons: Betsy Johnson for her guts, Grace Kelly for her class.
Advice for aspiring fashionista/ entrepreneurs: Find your own style, don’t try to be like anyone else. And stick with it, because the best things take time and are hard as hell.
To find out more about Heidala’s please visit heidalas.com.