Summer Market Featured Artisan, Stephanie Victa of Victa Designs, is a Designer, An Entrepreneur and
What an inspiration! Stephanie of Victa Designs creates awesome clothing for "every woman" and pays it forward through her nonprofit, One Stitch at a Time, in Jacmel, Haiti.
FF: Why did you begin your handmade journey?
SVD: My background is art, sculpture specifically. After grad school I did a Fulbright Fellowship in the Philippines and discovered that I really wanted to give back to communities in some way, to give people opportunities. I was concurrently designing and sewing my own clothes. When I got back stateside, I decided to start a clothing company that would help the vision come alive. I now contribute ten percent of all sales to the sewing program I started in 2016, One Stitch at a Time, in Jacmel, Haiti. It's been a year-long course with the same group of students. They will graduate after the class in September.
FF: How did you begin?
SVD: I didn't want to remake the volunteer community so I reached out to someone I already knew doing a project in Haiti, Sue Frame. She started an arts center called Jakmel Eksprsyon six years ago. She hosts the OSAAT program within the school and has the student body.
FF: What lead you to your current line of goods?
SVD: I've always made clothes that were more neutrals and muted colors, but this season I decided to step out a little and add a splash of color and even pattern to make it a little more feminine.
FF: What materials do you work with & why?
SVD: I work with natural materials like cotton, linen and wool because they breathe and are comfortable.
FF: What inspires your work?
SVD: There are clothes for skinny people and clothes for plus sized people but nothing for the rest of who don't fit in either category. I design the clothing for ladies who are curvy and naturally shapely. The style of clothing is an amalgam of things from being influenced by travel, weather, comfort, Asian aesthetics, functional fashion, versatility, pieces that transcend fashion fads and attention to detail.
FF: What excites you for the future?
SVD: Expanding the business which in turn feeds the programming to teach skills that broaden lives in Jacmel, Haiti and start classes in another location.
FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
SVD: Hang in there! It takes time to build up clientele. Ask for advice if you don't know something. There are so many people willing to help, call me or the SBDC (Small Business Development Center)!
FF: If you have a strong partnership with a non-profit org, what is it and what inspired you to do this?
SVD: One Stitch at a Time - I founded it in 2016 to teach skills to broaden lives. The program teaches the basics of sewing machine maintenance, basic sewing skills, pattern making and product development. We also expand that knowledge into some production techniques and business skills.
FF: Let us know if/where you sell your work other than online and at markets.
SVD: My designs can be found at Fancy Tiger, I Heart Denver Store, Sewn, Vouna, Victa Designs Studio at 888 E 50th Ave Denver 80216, and Dallas Market Center - starting in August.
Visit and shop with Stephanie of Stephanie Victa Designs at Firefly Handmade Summer Market, July 15-16, 10am-4pm, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district, 29th Street (between Canyon & Walnut) Boulder, CO!