Fashion Revolution Week - Meet Bonnie from Finding Alice!
Hi, I’m Bonnie and I made your clothes!
100 words and some incredibly random facts about me.
I am a mum to five, ranging in ages from 24 all the way down to 6. Rhiannon, Melodie, Michael, Kai and Elena are the centre of my universe. I am also an extremely proud Nonna to Olivia who is three. It sounds as crazy as it is, but I wouldn’t change a thing. By my side, cheering me on, pushing me forward and sometimes holding me up is Scott. Who goes along with my creative ideas even when he isn’t sure what I’m talking about or why I’m excited. I love music and my tastes run from classical to T Swizzle and Eminem. I played the violin in primary school. I love to cook and to plan to cook. Actually, I love to plan. Period. I am the worlds most prepared planner. If there is a Zombie Apocalypse, I’m your girl! I’m much more comfortable behind the scenes. It’s probably the one thing I struggle with the most owning a small business. I prefer to lurk. If there is a dark row in the back. I’m sitting in it. I am not the person talking on stage. Winter is coming! I am a massive Game of Thrones fan. The Pop-Up Shop opens the same day the final season airs. The struggle will be real! It is the only T.V I make time to watch. And yes, I read the books. I prefer books to movies in 99% of cases. The exception to that rule is The Notebook. The movie was better hands down.
If you were counting, that was 263 words. Sorry I talk a lot when I’m excited!
What is your business? When did you start your handmade journey and why?
I am chief handmaiden, CEO and everything in between of Finding Alice.
Finding Alice is a handmade girls’ clothing boutique with a focus on vintage style, fit and quality. My hope is that when wearing my pieces, little girls are able to run, jump, climb trees and dance. All while being dressed in a style that is their own. Sizing is just as important. Pieces that give them a good fit help make them feel confident. Wildflowers are all different sizes and shapes. So wherever possible items have room to grow or adjust.
I grew up with a very special aunt who was always making something. Everything she made, was made with thought and care. In my young eyes she created this life full of love, family and handmade. It made an impression that stuck. My love of creating was born.
As a young mum that flowed into making Rhiannon and Melodie little bits and pieces. Then my girls started to dance. I supplemented my income (and my dance fees) by making dance costumes, formal dresses, bridesmaids dresses, wedding dresses and everything in between. When Elena was born, I took a break from sewing and dabbled with cake making, event planning and all things Pinterest inspired. Along my bowerbird journey of creative discovery, I found Tadah Patterns. With beautiful techniques and finishes, classic styles and a wonderful community, I was inspired and fell in love with my craft all over again.
Handmade allows me to play with style and fit. Being a mum to three amazing girls I know what it is like trying to find the right piece for your daughter. Something of quality, that is also age appropriate. Children’s clothes should look nice and allow them to express their own style. They should also fit well and allow room for movement. Clothes should not hold her back from adventures.
What is the most recent handmade piece you've made and tell us a bit about it!
Behind every small business there is a team of people supporting and believing in our dream. Every piece I make is named after someone who has inspired me or had a big part in making Finding Alice become a reality.
The Rhiannon Dress has been sitting in the back of my mind for some time. When Susan & Anh started talking about the Fashion Revolution Pop Up Shop, I thought there wouldn’t be a more perfect place to launch this special dress.
Inspired by my daughter Rhiannon who amazes me with her strength and spirit every day. The Rhiannon Dress is a little bit Rhiannon, a little bit Bonnie and of course a little bit Alice.
What was your favourite piece to make and why?
That’s like asking “Which child is your favourite?”
The first piece made for Finding Alice was the Shyann Blouse. I guess that is my sentimental favourite. Shyann was my first attempt at deigning and making my own pattern (with some help from pattern making software) Once I was finally happy with the design, I made sure there was room to play and room to grow. Quite a lot of time was spent working out a way to make the finish on the inside as clean as possible. I had a lot of friends who brought their Wildflowers over to test for size and fit until I was finally happy with the end product. It is something I feel is uniquely Finding Alice.
Why are you so passionate about handmade? Why do you do, what you do?
Clothing can tell a story of who you are and where you’ve been. Sometimes those very special pieces are handed down to a sister or niece or even your own daughter. For me Handmade is about creating pieces that can be worn and loved, then passed on. It is not just your favourite piece, it can go on and become someone else’s. Handmade is crafted to be treasured and can become a family heirloom with its own history.
What's coming next?
Finding Alice is about to turn one! I am so excited to reach this milestone. I can’t wait to celebrate with the amazing people that help make my dream a reality. The friends I’ve made on this journey and the things I’ve learnt about myself have made for an incredible first year. In Spring, the Alice’s Tea Party Range will launch (ssssqqqueeeeaaaalllll!!!) This range will be a celebration of all things Wildflower and hopefully enable little girls to further express their own sense of style.
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