While most of you probably have something of an idea about our house line Amelia and the namesake shop owner, we decided to go ahead and interview our own in-house designer Amelia Blakeman.
How did you come to be a designer/maker?
I've always made things, even as a kid I was making tiny creatures out of oven bake clay, trying to weave together pine needles to make the best roof for my miniature lean-to, and sewing rudimentary people shaped stuffed animals with my Grandma.
My first consistent foray into apparel started when I was 17. I learned to screen print at a workshop during this feminist festival in Denver, where I grew up, and then I wanted to print on everything. The number of shirts and bags and dresses I put anatomical hearts and obscure sea life on is kind of mind boggling. I kept on with the printing for a handful of years and eventually started selling my work at craft shows like the original Crafty Wonderland back at the Doug Fir.
As you do, I got older and my style changed and suddenly I didn't really wear t-shirts anymore and I wanted to make clothing I would actually wear. Thus began the era of dress making.
Where do you find inspiration? Do you have a method or process of finding inspiration?
I find inspiration in all kinds of random places: movie wardrobes, an intriguing part of some thrifted clothing, or even just a need I see in my own wardrobe. Often times I'll end up just sketching a thousand different ideas and seeing how they evolve.
Sometimes I like to design without the shop in mind. Its wonderful to refresh my creativity by creating something based on non-clothing subjects like a good mineral specimen, a perfume I'm really attracted to, or an interesting animal.
What's your favorite thing you've created so far?
This is a hard question! I'm currently really into the dramatic caftans I've been making and am just finishing up a new type of wrap dress that I think is going to be awesome. The Starlet dress was one of my first dresses and it's remained a classic that I turn to again and again.
Do you have any plans for where your line is going in the future? Any special projects in the works?
In the future I hope my line continues to grow and develop organically the way it has been. I'd love to get my work out into other stores in the world again, but for now I'm more than content with my own little corner of the empire over here on Alberta.
What are your other passions or projects in life?
I'm really into my pets (as anybody who has Instagram or has met me will know). I get so much joy from hanging out with them. I enjoy reading a lot, doing creative projects with friends (oh, you're turning your house into a swamp for Halloween? I'll make some paper mache monsters,) and trying out new projects. My most recent experiments have been small clay sculptures, biscuit quilting, and aquarium gardening.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
I am so grateful that I'm able to be doing this. It's thanks to all of our wonderful customers, supportive friends, family, and my great team! I hope to be able to keep making dresses and getting them onto people's bodies for years and years to come.