The story of my first dress collection…

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In the past two seasons my dream of creating a dress line has gone from notebooks full of sketches to a full release. It was an incredible experience and so I am taking the time to write out my story for nostalgic purposes, mostly as a personal diary to read later in life. I hope you enjoy my little story. 2How It All Began// Nearly two years ago I was taking a road trip with Mr. Larson and I told him for the first time that I really wanted to design clothes. We had a long conversation about if I should put my career on hold to make time for a fashion program. I felt much too attached to what I was growing with Red Velvet to seriously consider taking that much time away. I decided to continue my path with Red Velvet (which, at the time, was primarily an art and accessories shop) and maybe work in some fashion pieces over time. I tried out a few collaborations, I got some sewing lessons and over the next year the conversation about doing a fashion line became more and more urgent. There were notebooks full of dress sketches all over my home and studio. I guess that designing dresses became my hobby. I was thinking about them day and night! 

3Vintage Dresses and A New Vision// Soon after that I decided to move my local store (my last location was teeny tiny) and I started collecting vintage dresses for a curated selection of mid-century vintage. It was fun and inspiring. I knew that in the long term I wanted to have my own small in-house collection to sell at my local shop. I knew it was a future goal, but the more time passed the more I noticed my other goals paling in comparison. I started to realize that creating a line was my 'big dream' and not just another fun project associated with owning a boutique. I did a lot of rebranding for Red Velvet and re-focused the look and feel around the type of boutique where I could see my fashion line expanding over the years. 

At this point my bedroom floors were lined with torn out sketches and I was starting to work on sourcing and trying to figure out how someone on my budget could actually produce a clothing line. It was a little bit scary, but only because I was already so attached to the concept. I knew I'd be heartbroken if the whole thing fell through. I didn't have a clear timeline in my head, it was always just A.S.A.P. 

4Mallory// Around the time of our second local store opening Mallory contacted us about interning to help me produce my dress line. She was a blog reader and had seen me mention my dream collection a few times. We've received many intern applications over the years, but for whatever reason the timing was perfect and I told Emma to tell her "Yes, Please!". We started making plans long distance (she goes to school in Cincinnati). I sent her tons of sketches and we chatted back and forth for a few months before she arrived in Springfield. 

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10 Weeks To Create A Collection// I naively thought that ordering fabric would be similar to ordering cute shoes… you buy it online and a few days later in arrives at your doorstep. We were able to buy some fabric locally, but for the most part we shopped online. It was an incredibly huge job. For the first few weeks of Mallory's internship we were constantly getting notices that our fabric orders had been cancelled or that the quantities listed online weren't correct. We ordered and re-ordered for the first month, filling holes and finding one particularly illusive pattered fabric wherever we could get it. Pretty soon the patterns were made and the plain cotton test dresses were done and Mallory was stitching up real samples for the models to wear in our video lookbook.

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These are the fabric tags that we had made for the Red Velvet collection. 

8Here's Sarah trying on a mock up version of what eventually became the Pen Pal Dress. 
9These are a few of the first dresses that were made for our models, Morgan and Sarah, to wear in the video and photo shoot.

 

10Lookbook Video// Our videographer, Brandon Goodwin, and I spent a ridiculously long time conceptualizing the lookbook video. We tossed around tons of ideas like a party theme, a bowling alley shoot and a shoot more centered around our local shop. We decided to go 1960s inspired with the look of a TV Commercial from that decade. I really wanted the split screens and he really wanted the colored back drops. Needless to say, it was a very good match and I can't wait to work with him again in the future! Here are some photos from the night of the shoot…. 

 

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11The night of the shoot was so much fun! We spent about four hours shooting footage for our one minute video. I had a table full of styling pieces, a huge line of platform shoes and a fresh rack of our brand new dresses to work with for styling. It was magical! Our proudest moment was when Sarah and I built Morgan a beautiful beehive using a bath loofah (hidden on the inside). It felt like we were all working really well together and even without seeing the finished product, I already knew we had captured the look we were going for. So much fun!

 

18Rachel & Emma supporting me and hanging out at the video shoot! 

 

Red Velvet Lookbook // Spring 2011 from elsie flannigan on Vimeo.

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In the meantime, Mallory was sewing up a storm! She really put in a lot of hours. Doren and I helped with small tasks, but she really deserves the credit for the production of absolutely the entire line… over 100 dresses. She had a new pattern for every single size, collars, buttons, zippers and so much more to think about. It was a crazy list, to say the least. Mallory had an incredible attitude. We are so proud of the hard work she did and have grown to consider her a part of our team. She's wonderful and took a lot of pride in her work for Red Velvet. 

I designed one patterned fabric that became the Kite Day Dress. I've always wanted to design textiles, so it was a really exciting experiment. 

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Photoshoots// For the last few weeks before the launch I was focused on taking and editing hundreds of photographs. We did product shots and also three ways to wear it for all the dresses. Ideally, I would have loved to outsource the photography but since it was my first collection and we were on a budget we decided that a D.I.Y. approach was best. I absolutely love styling our models in shoots, here are few of my favorite photographs… 

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  I'm really proud of how the finished pieces turned out. Most of the pieces are very versatile so we styled three ways. Here is a quick archive of the blog posts I did leading up to the launch…

The Pen Pal DressThe Wedding Cake Dress & Three Ways to Wear It, The Firecracker Dress, The Piano Lesson Dress & Three Ways to Wear It, The Kite Day Dress & Three Ways to Wear It, The Vanilla Lace Dress & Three Ways to Wear It, The Lemon Pie Dress & Three Ways to Wear It, The Record Store Jumper & Three Ways to Wear It, The Golden Afternoon Dress & Three Ways to Wear It.

The Dress Line Launch// The night of the release was exciting. I was super nervous all day leading up to it!  I had high hopes based on the comments and e-mails that were coming in, but I really had no idea if the dresses would do well. 

I already had a back up plan in place. If the dress line was a flop we would refocus on one-off piece for the web shop and stock the store with more bulk from the line. Dresses sell very well at our local store because we have dressing rooms and a pretty large inventory to choose from. I knew that if the line wasn't successful that we could still make it work in the long term, but it might be a little discouraging. Some dreams take a long time to realize, so I was hoping for the best but mentally prepared for the worst. 

The night of the launch turned out the be one of the most encouraging and validating nights ever in my career! We stocked ALL the dresses in the online store (leaving literally less than 10 for the local shop, just in case sales were good). The first style sold out within five minutes. Within 30 minutes more than half our stock was gone and over the next two weeks every last dress in the online store sold out! 

29 Our faces during the first 30 minutes of the launch. We were glued to the computer watching dresses fly off the virtual 'shelves'.

There is no way really describe the feeling. It was surreal. It was the most immediately successful thing I've ever done in business and I took it as a thumbs up to start planning for an even larger fall collection! The success of the launch was an affirmation to me that we are moving in the right direction as a brand. I honestly feel that we are at a new beginning and that we have a long and challenging road ahead of us in fashion. I couldn't be more thankful or happy. And of course, we took the time to go out as a team and celebrate the amazing launch. Everyone worked so hard and since our entire team (including models) still totals less than ten people, we all rely on each other to make something like this happen. 

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you to every blog reader who commented or purchased a dress from our first collection. Your encouragement was deeply felt. I'm so touched by the response to our line and you are a source of inspiration for the next collection, which is already in the works. I'll never forget our humble beginnings. This past season has truly been one of the happiest times in my life. Thank you.    

We packed special goodies in every box and I'm pretty sure we didn't stop smiling all week! Since then, photos have been rolling in of cute girls all over the world wearing Red Velvet dresses via facebook and twitter. We love it!    

30Stacy Dupree wearing Red Velvet in a feature, photographed in her own home. cool! 

31Thanks so much for reading the story of my first dress collection! It was a thrilling experience and I truly hope that it inspires someone out there who has a dream in their heart.♥ Elsie 
  • I totally teared up at that PhotoBooth photo of you, Emma, and Mallory. Youe happiness and excitement really shows.

    This was so inspiring to read! You’re wonderful, Elsie. You deserve it all.

  • So cool to see this whole story from start to finish! Thanks for sharing 🙂 You work so hard for your dreams and it’s so inspiring to see where you’ve come from and how far you’re going to go!!

  • This was so inspiring to read, thank you for putting in a post from start to finish… I’m so glad it was a huge success!
    I can’t wait to receive my golden afternoon dress and I’m really looking forward to the next collection 🙂

    Aoife x

    http://aoife-blake.com

  • Thanks for sharing all the details about this whole dream coming true. I’m really happy for you and I’m glad that I get to read this, it inspires me to keep working on my brand…good things come to good people, and you are not only creative but really nice and kind so you totally deserve all the success. 🙂

  • I am so happy for all of you this. This is such an inspiring story and really proves that if you work hard and dream big, you can achieve anything! Great job Els, I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! :]

  • Congratulations Elsie!

    You’re a great inspiration yourself!

    Keep shining! you know you have lots of supporters everywhere!!

    love from singapore! 🙂

  • This is a great example of how important a solid support group is to realize such a daunting task like the one you had Elsie. Congratulations to you and your team! Here’s to many more successful dress seasons!

  • That’s an amazing and truly inspiring story Elsie! I love seeing peoples dreams turn into a reality…especially those who have worked so hard at them! Your dress line is gorgeous and i can’t wait to see what Red Velvet has in store for the future! Enjoy this ride and take it to the limits…i, and i am sure all of your readers are so proud of your accomplishments, you are a true inspiration…thank you for that! Have a lovely Saturday!!
    xoxo~meg

  • I Amal HAPPY for you that you fulfilled your dream, may you go on and prosper.
    It was a wonderful idea to blog it but you know what you should now put your blog2print….that is the name of a site that just does that, I have used it (no affiliation) and think it would be wonderful for you to have your story in a book….and it’s not expensive….will keep an eye out for your next collection
    ALL THE BEST XXXX

  • What was that light blue piece with the white lace overlay. I have a feeling i’mma need it.

  • Congratulations Elsie! That is soo neat to read! 🙂 I never doubted your success, you have such a talent for turning your dreams into reality! 🙂

  • Wow, this is extremely inspiring. It really makes me want to design and hand make a dress or two even though I’ve never sewn a dress in my life! You are definitely a woman who goes after her dreams… who wants something and makes it happen, I truly admire that.

    Keep it up, you’re a great role model 🙂

    xox

  • We may one day hear a star reply “I’m wearing Elsie Flannigan/Red Velvet” as she walks down the red carpet for the Oscars!

  • I would love to see a tutorial on how you made the cute stickers! Congrats on all of Red Velvet’s success!

  • I love you! You are such an inspiration and I just want to say thank you:) I wanted one of your dresses so badly, but unfortunately was in class when they were posted. By the time I got to my room they were all gone and though I was sad for not having gotten one myself, I was terribly happy for you and the team for achieving your dream. I cannot wait to see what you have planned for the fall collection and I will most definitely be at my computer when they get posted^_^

  • This makes me so happy! Well done (:
    I’m a beginer and at college and currently making a very complicated dress (you should see the pattern!) for a runway, i’m very excited! It’s hard work but I hope I get this simmilar feeling from a dress design on paper to phsical material (:
    Your experience is very inspiring and motivates me even more x

  • I want to cry with inspiration right now! I hope to achieve the same dreams one day, Elsie. You are such an inspiring person and you are so beautiful, talented, and genuinely kind. Thank you so much for sending me that wonderful letter and package. It was so amazing to host a Red Velvet giveaway. I really am tearing up right now reading your journey because I know that it’s something I have my dreams set on, too! It’s SO much work but you always know being busy is a good thing. No matter HOW much work you put into it, you know that will make the outcome ten times better in the end when you keep your head up and keep working hard. I know you’ll keep it up. I hope you have this blog until the day you die and continue to design clothes and whatever else you desire. You’ve touched the stars. And this is only the beginning.

    love your friend, polly 😀

  • Josh and I are just so excited and happy for what you guys are doing and that everything is happening for you. It’s reading your dreams come true that encourages the rest of us to go out there, be creative and follow our own dreams. You deserve it Elsie! Congratulations.

  • amazing story. i have watched from the very beginning of this process and dream, and it is so wonderful to see it all come true and be such a success. very inspiring! all of you who worked so hard on this project deserve every bit of it. big big love and blessings to you!

  • Elsie! What a moving & wonderful story! I also got misty eyed when you described your trepidation before the web launch, and then everyone’s excitement watching the dresses get snatched up! It is so deserved, your success & happiness. Your posts have been so fun to follow, I’m excited to see where you go next!

  • This is such an amazing and inspiring story. I love the dresses you designed. I wish I had found your store before they sold out!

  • What a great story Elsie! You are such an inspiration, I would love 1/2 of your motivation!! Your dresses are amazing! I was online trying to buy one the minute they were on sale and they sold out, hopefully I’ll be able to snag one this fall! 🙂

  • Your story is Fantastic! inspiring and I can only hope for more stories such as these for you as well. I mean… it’s such a magical thing seeing a dream, a tiny little thought that makes your heart smile come true.

    Congrats!

  • This was one of my favourite posts ever. I’m so happy you’ve got to live out one of your dreams – what an amazing feeling!

    P.S. A big round of applause for Mallory as well, that is one hard worker! ♥

  • Congratulations! Your success is so very inspiring. I hope I’ll get to do something creative that makes me just as happy someday. 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing the whole story with us– SO exciting!! I was smiling the whole time while reading 🙂

    <3

  • Hi Elsie,
    I just wanted to let you know that I am completely inspired by you and your hard work. As a new boutique owner, I know how difficult it can be to pour yourself into your dreams, and to really put yourself on the line. I love the challenges you have taken to make your dreams come true, and it is truly amazing seeing your success. I don’t even know you…but I am proud of you!

  • Elsie.. the biggest congratulations on your successful launch! Your dreams don’t come true just because you’re lucky. I can tell you work really really hard to make it happen.

  • I would have loved one of the kite dresses 🙁

    I’ve been following your blog for ages but it was still nice to see this condensed into one big entry; it’s really inspiring to see somebody following their dream – and doing so well with it! Congratulations!

  • I have goosebumps reading this Elsie. Congratulations! I love reading your blog.. you are such an inspiration!!Thank you for sharing your story! xoxo!

  • This is beautiful! Congratulations! You’re such an inspiration 🙂

    PS – There is nothing more painful than ordering Fabric Online.

    <3 <3

  • thanks for being this wonderful person you are. i really love reading your blog, because i have a dream. and your words are always giving me a good feeling, to do what i really want to do. thank you so much! and congratulations to your wonderful dressline. (i really love your kite dress <3 )
    greetings from germany (so sorry for mistakes in my comment 😛 )
    xo julia

  • Congratulations on your HUGE success Elsie! I honestly knew that they would be sold out within a really short amount of time (I was also bummed because I knew I wouldn’t have the $ to buy one at the time you put them up.) Your blog and store/brand have changed and grown so very much in the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been reading and watching. Its awesome to see where you are headed, and to hear you are thankful. That’s great. 🙂

    I have dreams in my heart but sometimes I feel like they won’t happen, or I’m way behind. Especially when I compare my life and situations to others..

    But to read that you were worried and reluctant makes me feel better. I honestly thought you knew how successful it would all be.

    Thanks for this post. It gives me hope. 🙂

  • You are such an inspiration to have made your dreams a reality. Congratulations on your beautiful dressline.

  • Indeed it does inspire Elsie. Thankyou so much for sharing. It’s been truly fascinating to watch and I wish you the team at Red Velvet every success in the seasons that follow. Look forward to seeing your next collection.
    Px

  • Elsie, I’ve been following your blog for many years and it’s been such a tremendous inspiration reading and watching as your dreams unfold! Reading this story only encourages me to do what looks impossible… You are a great role model! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Elsie!
    Congratulations!!! This is so inspiring! 🙂 I can’t wait to see more from you and your team! Hopefully, it won’t all sell out and I can actually get a cute dress this time around!!

  • Such a beautiful post!!
    I was so excited the launch night! So you much have been jumping around!
    Thank you for sharing your lovely and inspiring story!
    Your dresses are beautiful and you deserve the success 100%

    xxxx

  • This is such an inspiration! You totally chased your dreams and made them reality. I love hearing things like this. 🙂

  • Like everyone else has been saying in the comments, this was a very inspiring post. I’ve always wanted to produce my own clothing line and after reading today’s entry, I’ve decided that I’m going to give it a try. Keep designing and thanks for reaching out to your readers!

  • I am really happy for you and I absolutely adore your line. I love the colours, patterns, shapes and style that went into everyone of them. They are so beautiful.

    I can’t wait to see what comes next for you because I know it will be even bigger and better.

    I look forward to the day you have plus sized clothing because I will definitely buy a dress or 10!

  • Very inspiring post!! I look forward to seeing your autumn collection 🙂

  • Wow, I am impressed. I can’t believe how many things you balance, how many plates must be spinning for you – the Red Velvet store, the dress line, the blog, being engaged… you are one inspiring woman.

    I LOVED the lookbook video! The 60’s feel is adorable, and your vision meshed well with the videographer’s. A huge round of applause!

  • Awe, it was really nice to read the whole story; I couldn’t stop reading until the very end :).

    As I’ve said it before, there’s a reason why everything you do is a success and that’s because you put your heart and soul on what you do, and you obviously know what you’re doing and the industry.

    Too bad I can’t afford any little luxury right now, but maybe I can indulge myself with a dress from the fall collection ;).

    Hugs to you and your amazing team!

    Miki.

  • hey elsie and co, will you be making more of the first line of dresses? i wish i could’ve got the kite dress….xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • This is such a wonderfully inspiring story! It is great to see someone with a dream go after it and succeed! Congrats and good luck in the future with it!

  • What an amazing post, congrats on all the success! I especially liked your descriptions of your first inklings to design a collection, with your sketches all over your bedroom floor. You really allowed the reality of the whole process to come through in a way that was a pleasure to read…you have us all rooting for you along the way!

  • So I never comment here, but I just wanted to say that I’m really glad you posted this story. Truly inspiring, and I’m so happy for all involved!

  • It has been amazing to watch your journey.

    I started reading this blog just when you moved into the new location, and I can’t believe you’ve come this far! I love watching your dreams come true, and seeing all the fascinating things you make! Keep chasing your dreams!

  • Hi there! Thank you so much for all the kind comments!

    Unfortunately we cannot reproduce any more dresses from the 1st collection at this time. Mallory has already gone back to school and we have to start preparations for the next release. We want to make it as large as possible because the fall & holiday seasons are always very busy in retail.
    We have archived our prints and patterns and hope that someday they can be reproduced in some form when the time is right. 🙂 XO, elsie

  • I’ll second (and third and so on) that your story is so inspiring and success so well deserved. I really enjoyed visiting your shop in person this weekend. and that salted caramel cupcake is suuuuper delicious!

  • You are a true inspiration to everyone woman and girl out there that wants to create anything. I feel so live from reading this. Dreams really do come true if you work hard. Thank you for sharing I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  • I am so excited for you!! It’s been wonderful to watch you build your line, and I look forward to following along in your continued fashion adventures!

  • i’m constantly inspired by the way you make your dreams come true. you have your head firmly on the ground and your heart filled with magic. congratulations!

  • LOVE this story, lady! I love how many people are behind you and are so proud of you! It’s pretty incredible all that you guys have done to pull off a whole dress line in such a short amount of time. It’s an inspiration to not let dreams end on paper but to really pursue them wholeheartedly. Woah! So excited that this has worked out so beautifully for you and I can’t wait to see the next dress line. 😉

  • this is the most encouraging, uplifting, go-get-em dream come true scenario. I LOVE my two dresses and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the fall line.

  • I really think I just want to be you when I “grow up”. seriously. you inspire me SO MUCH. thank you for sharing your life through you’re blog, it really inspires me that if I keep working hard my dreams can be reality too…

    that sounds totally cheesy but its so true!

  • I think this is my most favourite post yet! You and your little team did an amazing job. You are an extremely inspiring lady.

  • Congratulations on your success and enjoy these moments with your ‘team’ because they are truly special. You already know I think you are an inspiration. Thanks for continuing to share your story and giving hope to many, many young women out there (as well as a few of us older ones too!). You have worked very hard, now kick back relax and enjoy. Wishing you all the happiness in the world.

    Being a wedding blogger I am dying with anticipation to see your wedding piccies as I just know you are gonna rock it out, I hope you have an amazingly wonderful fantastic day!

    Much love Michelle x

  • congratulations on realizing and succeeding in your dream. what a wonderful story, thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Elsie! You’ve done such an amazing job.. Congratulations! All your hard work has paid off & I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for the fall season! You’ve inspired me so much to work hard on my paper crafting & to finally focus on my dream of creating a business of my own handmade cards. I hope to be as happy & determined as you. Again congrats & hope you have many more successful collections to come =D

  • validating nights ever in my career! We stocked ALL the dresses in the online store (leaving literally less than 10 for the local shop, just in case sales were good). The first style sold out within five minutes. Within 30 minutes more than half our stock was gone and over the next two weeks every last dress in the online http://www.mbtfootwearusa.com/

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I’m a silent follower, but I just wanted to say that my husband and I love reading your blog and perusing your photos; we find your taste impeccable, fun, and utterly inspiring.

    I would have loved to buy one of your dresses; alas, I’m a little too big. Maybe another time. In any case, CONGRATULATIONS on your success. It’s thrilling to see people making their dreams come true!

  • What a wonderful story, and how encouraging to hear that you can truly chase after and accomplish your dreams, no matter how big they may seem at first! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

  • Congratulations Elsie!

    It’s amazing to see how you’ve grown as a business owner and designer these past few years. Here’s to many more fabulous projects to come!

    I think what made your dress line so successful was your marketing strategy: the way you posted hints that helped provide a nice consistent build-up towards the launch as well as how you always connected with your readers and fans. Awesome job Elsie!

    Can’t wait to see more from you in the near future!

    Sheera

  • This was soo inspiring! It makes me really want to do something like that one day. 🙂 Can’t wait to see your fall collection!

  • Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post!
    It’s so great to see someone chasing their dreams and succeeding! 🙂 So happy for you (and the dresses are so gorgeous! So sad I missed out on one!) Will definitely be at the ready to buy one from the next range
    x

  • such a wonderful and inspiring story!! I am so happy for you and all of your team. Thanks for sharing:)

  • Hey Elsie!

    Thanks for such a long nice post! It was a delight to read, and CONGRATULATIONS for making your dream come true! You are such a hard-working girl and that always pays off.

    Keep the good work girl!

  • how exciting is that! can’t wait to see what lies ahead for you and red velvet! 🙂

    you’re such an inspiration, elsie! thank you for giving us a peek into your world! 🙂

  • congratulations!! so well deserved, it looks like you are having the absolute time of your life!!

    january, x

    jessicajanuary.com

  • this was such a beautiful story. so inspiring. i am trying to make a few changes to my business at the moment and it is kind of intimidating. i think i’ll come back and reread this when i need more courage, haha.
    i absolutely can’t wait to receive my dress! (i wish canada wasn’t so far away!)
    thanks elsie 🙂
    ♥elycia

  • I’ve read your blog for years and you continue to be an inspiration. Someday i hope to nail down my real dreams and make them come try. Good luck on your continued success. I can’t wait to read what happens next…

  • Elsie-

    This is amazing! I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and was instantly smitten. When I noticed your name was Elsie (also my baby niece’s name) I knew I had a favorite new blog!

    I have been toying with the idea of a limited clothing line for the past 6 months but always think “one day…you’re not there yet.”

    I might not be “there” yet, but your story has completely inspired me. I love the fact that you didn’t let your lack of sewing skills or the fact that you didn’t have a tradition design education hold you back.

    You used your natural style and instincts and took some sewing lessons…your perseverance is inspiring. I can’t wait to see what else you do in the future!

  • Wow, this is SUCH an inspiring read. Over the last few days I’ve realised I want to set up my own business. It won’t be easy, and I have lots to learn, but it’s something to aim for over the next few years. Your talent and enthusiasm are so inspiring. I’ve bookmarked this page to keep me motivated for the (inevitable) times I feel like giving up on the idea. Thank you!

  • This story really gave me chills! I got a little teary eyed when you got to the part about launch night and watching the dresses fly off the ‘shelves’. It is seriously so amazing to watch you grow and achieve amazing goals. I went to school for fashion design right after high school and got a job in the industry that totally destroyed my passion/hopes/dreams for being a ‘fashion designer’ – a harsh dose of reality. It’s because I wasn’t doing it my way, I was doing it the expected way of going right to school and getting a high paying corporate job that didn’t necessarily fit ME but was a “good opportunity”. You’re doing it the right way, Elsie!! You’re going your own path and you’ll never ever regret that! I am so stinking happy for you. 🙂 lots of love xoxoxo megan

  • I’m so happy for you Elsie! Been following you since scrapbook product days. 🙂

  • you’re a special person, i hope you know that!!! so happy for you & your continued dream catching 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing the back story of how you got this dream to fly and take shape in the world. A great inspiration for all of us.

  • Congratulations – what a great success story! I have been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I love how everything is working out for you. You truly are an inspiration, and I wish you all the luck for the future.

    – Lois xx

  • you are truly an inspiration. I’ve been toying about opening my own business and to read this postings has given me the courage to really start researching and giving more thought to this dream.

    thank you. your dresses are divine.

  • You are the most inspiring person ever! Thanks for this post, you really make me want to continue on with my dreams!

  • i have always wanted my own boutique and your story is so incredibly inspiring and amazing! i was unable to buy a dresss but cannnot wait til the fall collection and will certainly be buying an rv dress! thanks for being such a huge inspiration!

  • Other people have said it, but I will say it too. This was so inspiring and encouraging to read! It makes me think all my little dreams aren’t so silly after all. I think a lot of times people think something is too hard or too expensive and won’t try it, and miss out on so much!

    Thanks for being a positive encouragement to everyone who’s ever dared to dream!

  • Well, I am most certainly inspired. So thank you so much for sharing your story with me.

    I am in the process of setting up my first business – an online vintage shop – and I am super nervous about. I had never considered starting out on my own before I began blogging, but amazing people like yourself have encouraged me to have the confidence to try and do something I am passionate about.

    Congratulations on the success of your first line, I hope I am lucky enough to own one of your dresses in the future.

    Thank you all the way from the UK
    Elizabeth
    x

  • Thank you for posting this, Elsie! It’s so incredibly inspiring. I think I’m going to bookmark it to come back to at times when I’m feeling down on pursuing my own goals.

    Congratulations!!

  • i just wanted to let you know how much i enjoyed your story! thank you so much for sharing it and inspiring other people to go their own way. i’m so glad you made it. (:

  • Those dresses did fly off the virtual racks! I was pretty sad that I missed out on the kite day dress…any plans to remake some of these styles and prints? Any way for me to get a hold of a kite day dress!? 🙂

  • such a completely amazing and inspirational journey. you have such a gift to materialize your goals. your hard work and motivation is kinda astounding. xo

  • You are so inspiring! What an awesome story. I’m so happy for you that it was such a huge hit! Cannot wait to see what you do next!

  • This is such an inspiring story! I am so happy for you that your dreams are coming true. It reminds me to keep working hard and pushing through. Thanks so much for telling us 🙂

  • WOW! What a post! So very happy for you all!
    I admire anyone that is doing what they love, and being successful at it!
    Your stuff is so fun! I always enjoy your photographs of both the clothing and the shop.
    Those studio photos are too cool! They really look like something out of a vintage magazine!

    Keep up the great work ladies!

  • This post couldn’t have caught me at a better time..especially your very last comment. This is truly inspiring to me. I have been in love with the things you create since I followed your scrapbooking line. For the past couple of years I have considered the idea of opening my own local scrapbooking store, but wouldn’t allow myself to take the next step until just recently. Every week my heart beats a little faster at the thought that this is what it wants and what it thinks I should do. I live in Dallas and have found little more than big box stores…I feel like my area could use more and I truly feel a desire to fill that void.

    On another note, I want to say that I am not only inspired by the way you have followed your heart and made such a success of your desire, but I love every dress in your collection! I had a very vivid dream a few weeks ago that I had visited your boutique and was left in awe.. I hope to someday be able to visit your shop IRL.

  • Elsie, you are so inspiring (do you ever get sick of your beloved fans telling you that!?) I hope that one day I can affect others the way that you do!

    Also, devastated that I’m in a totally different time zone and missed out on getting my hands on one of your gorgeous dresses! Will have to try again with the autumn line 😉 Keep it up!

  • I read it, all of it. Wow. I really admire you and Mr. Larson 😛 for believing in your dreams and working hard to make them happen. You are truly an inspiration, and I know God will keep blessing your efforts. Congrats!!!

  • This was way too inspiring to read. Wow. This is one of my dreams too – and seeing you make your dreams come true is truly something!!! Good job girl, keep it up! I hope to visit your store sometime soon. Roadtrip!! 🙂

  • Thank you SO much for sharing your story! Elsie, you are such an inspiration to me! Congratulations on your success! I am hoping that I’ll be able to meet you one of these days!

  • I’m so glad all your hard work paid off, you are fabulously talented ladies and deserve all the success 🙂 This story is a true inspiration to a frustrated creative person like me! Can’t wait to see the next collection. x

  • Elise this story was so inspiring to read. Showing a girl like me my dream really can happen. I totally cried reading this you keep up your amazing work.

    xoxo
    Tabatha

  • You have such an amazing and inspiring story! I love your blog, creations, styling, everything! I’m always looking forward to reading your posts. I do wish to own one of your pieces one day, and wish you even more success in the future so you can create more for us to buy! <3

  • This is such a great post! I’m just getting started in selling my art, and this was super inspiring…thanks! 🙂

  • So inlove with your work, does sarah have any blogs, I adore her hair and such!

  • YAY ELSIE! what an amazing story of dreaming a passion into reality!I have always been swoony over your style,energy, photos and clothing- and for you to share all of that with the world is inspiring, exciting & totally high-fiveable! You are so creative and your dresses are beyond adorable! Can’t wait to see what else you will come up with! You & your team ROCK! Big happy hugs to you all!

  • WOW, you are such an inspiration. I know a lot of hard work goes into what you do and it definitely shows.

  • I want to eventually do this. I think in every comment I’ve put I’ve said that you are inspiring. Once again I say the same thing. You’re awesome!!! 😀 hope I could build a collection one day.

  • Hey Elsie,

    I started reading your blog recently and I’m extremely inspired! You girls are so creative and fuel me with the ‘go get-em’ fuel I need for my business, Song Fashions. I’ve been thinking, dreaming and talking about it for six years now. Two years ago I’ve started taking action. I’ve learned a lot from research on the web and from those that inspire me such as Red Velvet, but it’s still a long process.

    I hope someday the collaboration if Song Fashions with my sister will be just as successful. Thank you so much for sharing your process and GREAT JOB!!! I’m so happy for your success! :o)

    I’m going to purchase your e-course in hopes it will take my business to the next step.

    Kudos,

    Jen

    http://www.SongFashions.com

  • Thanks so much for sharing your inspirational story! I’ve followed your site for some time and took a small break from all things creative to try to refocus myself and gain some perspective for how I want to proceed moving forward. I stumbled back to THIS very page and there are no words to explain how your story has inspired and encouraged me to keep following my dreams. Thanks again!

  • Wow – is all I can say!
    Your line is adorable,
    and that Video was so
    Joyful
    and Sweet
    and Happy
    and Feminine
    and Innocently sexy!

    So happy I stumbled upon your blog
    tonight!
    So inpired and challenged by reading
    your blog!
    Thank you for chronicling it!
    xoxo!

  • WOW! I’m so happy for you!! I have been enjoying your blog and this…wow I’m really happy for you! You have also really encouraged me to go ahead with MY dream!
    Keep up the good work, you and the team!
    God bless!

  • Congratulations on achieving your dream 🙂 This post is absolutely precious and I really get the excitement and determination you had and still do for this project! I’m very inspired x

  • Your story was very inspiring. I am a fashion designer just starting my web business and I sometimes feel discouraged. I stumbled upon your blog and I just loved it, I can´t stop reading, even though I have work to do, thank you so much for sharing your story, it makes me feel like I´m not alone when trying to pursue my dreams. I loved your dress line.

  • What a awesome story. Just discovered your site and am passing it along everywhere. Although I am curious to know when *correction, IF, you ever sleep.

  • You are such an inspiration! I love all your projects and things you post 🙂 I love your shop and all your amazing ideas! I have a small home busyness and hope it grows into something bigger like yours 🙂 Would you mind sharing what site you bought your fabric at? It’s so hard to find good fabric and patterns. If you would rather not share I’m okay with that 🙂 Congrats with your store!

  • I’m a huge fan of your work, and I don’t know why I haven’t read this before..but your story is really inspiring to me 😀
    I’m in the beginning of my own creative business and I can relate with your experiences.
    Thank you so much for the daily doses of inspiration you give me.

  • You amaze, I wish I could talk to you, you should email me. Your like my new idol.(:

  • Elsie is there any chance you will be offering the longer black and white stripe dress and the longer all-white dress again? Oh I would love to purchase them! Please let me know if you will. Thank you sooo much~ 🙂

  • truly inspiring!! i have a quick question though – how’d you make those tags? they really look nice!

    great blog btw! 🙂

  • What an inspiring story! I’m have a dream to start my own business soon and it’s great to see other young women doing it and hearing their stories. Love all the photos too!

    XO

  • http://www.guccibagsjapan.com/ 苫小牧海上保安署によると、釣り客4人はいずれも登別市桜木町に住む釣り仲間で、死亡したのは自営業の中原和彦さん(64)と会社員の門田富夫さん(64)。行方不明は無職の菊池久男さん(65)。船長の沢田さんと、アルバイトの渡辺博文さん(67)は低体温症の症状があるが、命に別条はないという。

  • Hola! Espero que puedas traducir esto, amo tu página, tus trabajos, te admiro muchísimo, soy estudiante de Diseño Gráfico, y la verdad me ha costado mucho encontrar algo en lo que me gustaría enfocarme, podrías darme algún consejo de cómo llegaste ha encontrar lo buena que eres realizando estos diseños? Gracias.

  • I can see a lot of great ideas in this article. Your article is so remarkable that I’ve read it two times, and I’ll advice my friends to read it too

  • That was really a great experience you have shared. Hope to read more from the author.

  • Its really great to read a success story by someone who has started everything from scratch, it gives me hope that one day, after much perseverance, I can build up my own business in the same way.

    You’re blog is a haven of happiness and pretty things, its a great place to hang out over a cup of tea! I love the graphic design and the way everything just works in such unison together.

    Great job and good luck for everything else you put your mind and crafty fingers to!

    Samantha
    wandering-threads.com

  • i am inspired, i was just browsing arround via stumble upon, and “stumbled” here, normally i was interested in DIY and i enjoyed that customized board tutorial, i’m really happy i clicked on your profile and found myself here. thankyou

  • All your hard work really paid off, these dresses are amazing. Shows you how much potential one has when they spend so much time on a project!

  • I am a dress lover too, when i saw the collection of your dress wearing with fashion i am really amazed how you look like in your dress. You are so pretty and elegant. Thanks for sharing it.