Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Profession

Evening dress from "Sublime" collection
Evening dress from "Sublime" collection
Evening dress from "Sublime" collection

My profession is one of the best things in my life and I feel so blessed having the opportunity to discover and start to love it at a relatively early age. My love and passion for it gives me strength, confidence and lucidity. Nobody can take it away, nothing can make me change my mind and no matter how difficult to manage making a living out of it, I would do the same if I can turn back the time.
The biggest luck I have is that my husband offers me full moral support; every small obstacle or success I feel free to share with him at every hour from the day or night.

When I first decided to take my passion on a professional level it was after I had the chance to study at Michelbeuern institute, the Landesinnung Wien der Mode und Bekleidungstechnik and follow an internship at a couture studio, Temsamani (video).

At Michelbeuern institute
Fashion show at school

The learning process has been long and difficult as I had no financial income and I wanted to be 100% ready until I could bring my collection on the market. In the moment I knew the time to start to sell has come, I rented a small studio in the most creative district of Vienna, Spittelberg. At that point, the government gave me chance to finance my start up, offering a small credit without any interest rate, payable on monthly amounts on a length of 4 years. As the credit wasn’t enough to invest in my atelier, I had to sell my lovely car so I could buy professional sewing machines.
In the first 2 years I’ve been sharing my atelier with a painter girlfriend and the whole creative space was giving me power and joy to continue. I was working from 8am till almost midnight.

My first atelier
Showcase window, my first atelier

The first sales arrived 3 months after I opened the atelier, until that time I didn’t feel less enthusiastic despite people continuously asking me how many pieces I sell every day… I didn’t expect to get lots of money, all I was happy with was the fact that I’ve made my dream come true. It was frustrating that those people blaming me that I chose the wrong profession as long as I don’t earn as much as a salary were not keen to support me in any way. I wasn’t expecting anyone’s support but I didn’t want to be put down. My first customers were passers-by such as Austrians and tourists (mostly German, American and Canadian). They were excited about my collection, the fact that each piece was one of a kind and produced exclusively by me. The atelier had a gallery where I could sew everything and on the lower floor I could exhibit the items. So, everything was transparent and people love this!

Despite my first sales, the taxes in Austria are very high regardless the income so the next years were not easy as everything I was getting in, had to go on monthly bills.
I love to have the best tools and great fabric quality because that’s the way I can work easy and enjoyable plus the result is complimented so most of my income goes to support that.

Today, after 5 years of fashion design I can say that I never regret one second choosing this way. It’s very soul rewarding and a great challenge! My friends are very proud and happy for me, especially Willi Pichler, a great friend that has been all along the way and appreciatively witnessed all my steps.
I sell my items in my atelier as well in other boutiques in Vienna, Innsbruck and soon Bucharest. I like to participate in good projects organized together with other creative artists so every year I had the chance to take part in those that I knew I'll enjoy:

Together with designer and friend, Johanna Larcher (peesan), 2007
Modelling for peesan, 2007
Christmas project, 2009
Designpfad fashion show at MQ, 2008
Fashion show, 2009
Sample sale at Kristina Feuchter's studio
Together with Dajana Dorfmayr
Modelling for designer and friend, Diana Movsesian (Movsession), 2009
Exhibition at Designer Werkstatt, 2010
I designed 2 flapper dresses for Elizabeth Deheza jewels presentation, 2009

Backstage before Elizabeth's jewels presentation

MQ Vienna Fashion Week, 2010
MQ Vienna Fashion Week, 2010
MQ Vienna Fashion Week, 2010
MQ Vienna Fashion Week, 2010
Fashion exhibition at Stadthalle, 2009
Presentation at Lebendige Lerchenfelderstasse, 2009
Christmas market, 2010
Fashion show, 2009. Model Andresitaa Ma
Modelling for Klunkerei at  MQ Arena 21, 2009
Fashion business event at WKO, 2010
Before the participation at a handmade art exhibition in Lower Austria, 2010
Participating at a fashion show at MQ, 2008. Dress designed by Linda Zlok

"Sublime" dresses photos: Ulrike Pichler

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