4

Jun

2013

Boho Loves: Katie Vale Designs – Bespoke Headwear Handmade For You

 

Katie Vale Designs

In this weeks Boho Loves we are talking hats! Everyone loves a hat at a wedding, so today I am bringing you lots of them, courtesy of one of my newest sponsors Katie Vale Designs. Whether it’s large hats, small hats, Fascinators or veils, Katie has something to suit every style and personality. Her designs are beautiful in detail and show incredible talent and craftsmanship, wearing one of her creations would certainly get you noticed at any wedding or grand event.

Katie Vale Designs

It all started in 2004, when the fashion was to have sleek, straight, neat, long hair. The exact opposite to what I have! On a daily basis I was getting fed up with the mass of uncontrollable curls before me and so I began making “things” to pretty my hair. I say “things”, because in the start I was just experimenting with anything and everything around me.
Having realised that I was not only loving making these items, but also I was starting to get stopped to be asked where I had got them from; and I decided to go back to school……well evening school! Something I didn’t think I would ever end up doing again.
I have carried out over 2 years’ worth of courses in wire work and have spent several years training with Rose Corey, Milliner by Royal Appointment to the late Queen Mother. Through this training I have learnt the traditional art of millinery.
I pride myself on all items being designed and handmade fully by myself. Not only do I believe that this ensures the consistent quality of the items, but also because I love doing it.
Now on a daily basis if I’ve not got pliers in my hand, it’s because I’m sat at my sewing machine. What started out as a retaliation against high street fashion has turned into my daily passion.

Katie Vale Designs

Katie Vale Designs

When did you start?
2004, I started making things…..opened my website in 2007

Where are you based?
Essex, I have a studio in Barleylands Craft Village in Billericay.
What sort of geographical area do you cover?
Everywhere! I have clients all over the place. The majority of people either sees a design from my website, or sends me images of their outfit. I will then sketch them several design options. We’ll work together to create the most suitable design for someone. Once they have confirmed what they want I will make it and send it to them! Wherever they are.

Katie Vale Designs

What were you doing before?
Hmmm….where to start. I was a performer for several years but due to ill health had to “retire”. I then became an operational manager for large entertainment company and worked at some of the UK’s best venues. But it wasn’t enough for me. People would do anything to have the job I used to have, but I wanted to be creating and making things every day. I feel so lucky that I now can.

Katie Vale Designs

Katie Vale Designs

How would you describe your style?
Feminine. I think hats & fascinators anyway are extremely feminine and I always feel very “womanly” when I wear one. Everything I design I would wear myself, so I don’t think I take influences from any current fashion styles in general, but if I would wear it then it works. I have a mixture of different looks myself, dependent on what mood I’m in and I suppose that is evident in my work too….I wear wiggle dresses through to rockabilly through to extremely bright colours or pretty floral prints! And I think that eclectic mix shows in my designs too.

What is your biggest achievement so far?
I’ve recently won some awards in the Wedding Industry Expert Awards. I won Best Accessories Designer in Essex, Best Accessories Designer in South East England & was ranked 21st in the world. That has been pretty awesome for me; and very unexpected! I was gobsmacked when I found out.
What makes you different to your competitors? Ohhhh….now that’s tough! I would say that the fact that I make and design absolutely everything myself, including some of my blocks. Nothing is mass produced and I do not use pre-made bases or components, and then decorate them.

Katie Vale Designs

Katie Vale Designs

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Everything. I genuinely love it and feel so happy to think I’m actually managing to call this a “job”. When I’d speak to career advisers at school not once did they prepare you for a job that would actually suit you or that you could do one that was so exciting, creative & enjoyable. If I said I wanted a creative job I was told to become an art teacher! Not the same!

What sort of couple do you think you attract?
I attract people who want something unique and individual; people who are looking for something you can’t buy on the highstreet.

Katie Vale Designs

Katie Vale Designs

What is your ideal way to spend a day off?
Day off!?!
I work 7 days a week! Actually I usually manage to get 1 day off every month or 2. They are usually spent with friends or family.

What can you never leave the house without?
My iphone! I left it at home once by mistake…..it would have been less traumatic if I’d left a kidney at home!

Who would be your 5 dream dinner guests dead or alive?
Michael Jackson….I love him! I know he was a strange man, but he’s pretty awesome to me. Pink…..I saw her in concert recently, best concert I’ve been to in years. She just comes across as very straight & honest with people. Prince Harry……my favourite Royal. He always looks like he’s having so much fun & making the most of his life. He’d definitely get the shots out! Elizabeth I….she was a pretty awesome woman. Brad Pitt….need I explain why? And I’d have The Nolan’s performing for our entertainment!

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Go on a round the world tour! I’d not go with any one person in particular, but I’d allow my friends and family to choose where they wanted to join me & then I’d fly them out and pay for it. That way everyone gets a trip too! Then I’d get back & settle back into work.

Katie Vale Designs

Katie Vale Designs

Katie Vale Designs

I have got my summer 2013 collection on show. I have gone for quite large pieces, as naturally people are becoming more confident in wearing headwear and so I have of course encouraged this too! There are some monochrome items in here, but I’m hopefully showing that black & white doesn’t have to be boring! The main collection was designed by me thinking…..”what is summer?” and thus there are bright colours and flowers. I like to create eye catching pieces, and there are certainly some here!

 

For more information on Katie’s work go to

www.katievaledesigns.com
www.katievaledesigns.com/blog
[email protected]
FACEBOOK
@KatieJayneVale
07939 216792

 

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