Upcycled clothing is definitely the “hot” couture right now and Lisa Perry, of autumn olive is a fantastic young designer that we are thrilled to have as part of the Festival Fete shows. You can see her work in person and try items on in her cleverly designed “dressing room” in her booth this Saturday at the Wakefield Art Festival from 10am to 5pm.
Lisa has been so busy this past year creating her one of a kind skirts, dresses, tops and tunics that she has hardly had any time for marketing or keeping items in her Etsy store. She is mostly selling her work in person at shows and uses Facebook to keep in touch with her customers. Thankfully she had some time to connect with me recently and send some photos from her new autumn line.
It turns out that Autumn Olive is actually a plant; an invasive weed, in fact. So I asked Lisa why she chose that as the name for her business and she said, “I chose the name ‘autumn olive’ (all lower case) sort of on a whim. I was introduced to them on a wild edible walk in Southern Massachusetts and they were quite delicious. As someone who loves wild foods and whose favorite season is fall, it felt like a good fit.” (Sounds perfect to me!)
I finally have one of my own autumn olive skirts and I think that Lisa’s clothing is not only fashionably cool because it is made from recycled material, but her craftsmanship and attention to detail is excellent. Keep in mind that autumn olive is one of a kind, designer clothing made by hand, which means you should not expect TJMaxx prices! Her designs are amazingly flattering to many different body shapes and sizes, and she will help you find a piece that is a good match for you. And if you’re like me, you’ll reach for that unique, pretty and comfortable work of art to wear every chance you get (prepare yourself for the compliments!).
Here is a little bit from Lisa about how she started her business:
I started sewing and working with fiber fairly young but never had any formal lessons as a child or teenager. I then spent several years in college working with fiber in other ways, constructing sculptural pieces through felting, knitting, and coiling. Around 2010 I started to explore sewing functional pieces of wearable art that were also sculptural in nature. I was very attracted to the recycling/upcycling concept I was seeing more and more of in both art and fashion, so I decided to commit to working in exclusively reclaimed material and see where it took me. I started autumn olive as a side project about this time, but it didn’t truly grow into a business until mid year 2011. Since then, this has become my full time focus.
Be sure to stop by Lisa’s booth this Saturday at the Wakefield Art Festival in the heart of downtown Wakefield, RI from 10am to 5pm.
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