Designer of the Week - Daisy Chain Designs

Name: Melynda Ritcheson

Where do you live: Fayetteville, AR

How old are you? 37

Do you have any children, if so what ages? I have one daughter, Emily, age 9.

Current auctions: daisychaindesigns

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1. When did you get started sewing and creating? Who taught you?

I've been sewing since I was a child. After all, those Barbies must have clothes! But, I am self-taught for the most part, so I wasted a lot of fabric in my learning process. My mom didn't sew, but allowed me to use her machine when I wanted. It wasn't until I was in college and took a class called Clothing Construction that I was able to put together all my self-taught skills with classic construction techniques. I began sewing much more when my daughter, Emily, was born. I taught myself smocking, and that's when I began sewing for other people.

2. When did you start selling your designs on eBay? Do you sell anywhere else besides eBay, if so where? (example, web site, local boutique) What did you do before eBay?

I started selling on eBay in June 2003. I had made some tote bags for myself and my mother, and I decided to try a few on eBay. Right now, I only sell on eBay and on Blossom St. , although I would love to sell to some local boutiques and may try that in the near future.

2a. Do you remember the first outfit you sold on eBay. Do you have a picture? What was it and what did it sell for?

I don't have a picture, but it was a large tote comprised of Lilly Pulitzer-esque fabrics that I had left over from doing an outfit for my daughter. I added some beaded trim, and then desperately tried to get some decent pictures with my 35mm camera. I think it sold for $20, and I was thrilled! (I remember a few girly screams with a "Tiger Woods" fist pump or two when the first bid was placed.) When the buyer left positive feedback, I was even more excited! This was my very first experience with eBay.

3. How did you decide upon your name .

I actually changed my business name at the beginning of the year, when I changed my product focus from tote bags to clothing and accessories for the older girl. Since I was focusing on a size range of Girls 4-10, that age reminded me of sitting on the playground at school during recess with my friends and making daisy chains and clover chains to put in our hair or wear as jewelry. Daisy Chain Designs seemed to fit.

4. Do you belong to any boutique group and if so which one? How did you get started in that group? What do you like most about your particular group?

I belong to The Not So Plain Jaynes, and I'm very fortunate! I contacted them after seeing that one of my favorite designers had joined their ranks, and happily, they invited me to join. As a member of the Jaynes, I am witness to silliness, extremely wry wits, good-heartedness, and boundless creativity. I feel the Jaynes are a remarkably well- rounded group, and it's always a joy to see the newest listing.

5. What is your favorite thing to create? (example: vintage style dresses, totes, overalls, etc) Why?

I love to create things that are ultimately wearable. I use my daughter, who is 9, as my direction, since my focus is on older girl's sizes. I love bright, colorful fabrics and classic silhouettes, such as halter dresses and capri sets. I also love to add in accessories, my favorite being a matching handbag of some sort, and I've had a lot of fun creating those.

6. What are your favorite types of fabrics or fabric designers? Why?

For summer, I love great colors and large, bold prints, so right now I'm drawn to a lot of Michael Miller, Alexander Henry, and Jane Sassaman fabrics.

7. Where and when do you do most of your sewing? Are you neat about it or do you have fabric covering the floor!

I have a studio set up in our house where the dining room should be, and I have a wonderful picture window that looks into the woods, so it's a very comfortable space. I am not neat. I wish I were, but there is something about having all my stuff around me that gets those creative juices flowing. I can't tell you how many happy accidents have occurred from simply laying a piece of fabric to the side and it happens to land on the perfect coordinating piece or trim.

8. What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

I love baking (but not cooking), shopping for shoes, and movies.

9.Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank Journal Modiste for this wonderful opportunity! Thank you so much

Some past Daisy Chain Designs

To view past Designers of the Week Click Here

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