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A La Maude Design
I’ve always had a thing for visual art like web design, photography, painting and sculpting but the world of creating something out of fabric and wearing it is the ultimate for me. Two years ago I decided to turn my passion into a business – A La Maude Design. But it really began when I was 14 years old attending high school in a small French town in Northern Québec. I wasn't popular, far from it actually and used to express myself through clothing, making new clothes out of old clothes using only needle and thread. I was even given a prize for “original style” at my grad ceremony.
With the desire to keep creating after high school I saw Fine Arts as my only option. After graduating from college I couldn't imagine painting or teaching so I bought a little sewing machine and started sewing as a hobby. The next year I jumped into a pattern making school in Montréal and in 2003, I obtained a professional diploma in pattern design and loved it! After working in a small business and learning a lot about the clothing industry in Canada, I realized that I wasn't ready to settle down and decided to travel.
When I came upon Fernie I fell in love. I met great people and worked with amazing artists like Evan Biddell at the time of the NU PLACE. In 2008, I met my husband to be and it's through him that I got the courage and the opportunity to start my own business. I began dedicating myself to clothing design and investing all I could afford in fabric. I've been collecting images, pictures, drawings and all sorts of inspirations for years and like to go through my book when I feel the need, but most of the time my head is filled with projects and ideas.
With a project in mind, I start out by making a prototype out of a rough pattern followed by a fitting. I then collect feedback from friends, family and the community. If it's a hit, I make sure my final pattern is perfect, that I have the necessary material and time, and start taking orders. I don't know how many late nights I’ve spent sewing and sewing, excited to see the final product. It's like a drug! I also love recycling material when possible as it provides extra excitement, but sometimes a lot of extra work. I have an obsession with headwear, neckwear and buttons. Hats, toques and scarves just give me that warm, safe feeling that I love. And why buttons? Because you find them everywhere, old, new, small, big, two holes, four holes or no holes and in every possible color you can imagine.
Creating in a small community like Fernie has been very good for me. People are not shy, and feel comfortable calling or coming by to get a better feel for your work. Word of mouth travels quickly, and I find myself more and more busy - it's great. Through my website, facebook, the markets and stores, A La Maude Design is slowly becoming successful and bringing me closer to realizing my dream. I have my own studio at home, a great creative zone where I always wish to spend more time. It's almost unfair to be this excited to go to work.
As an artist, I know that inspiration and success come and go and I have to be patient. My family will always come first and as a mother of a young child, sometimes I have to put my business aside. I have an amazing husband and son whom understand the sacrifices of being self-employed and working from home.
I look forward to continuing to make my own clothing and designs. I've been approached with the idea of “expending'' and taking my work to the ''next level'' but none of this appeals me. I've seen artists move from the pleasure of creating to paper work and lots of pressure. I'm not looking for that. Sure I could use a bigger studio with more/different sewing machines, but I'm happy with how far I’ve come and proud to say that I have made every piece and will keep doing so while I still have this passion. Thank you Fernie for you enthusiasm and support!
A La Maude Design hats are available at Freyja and Grow as well as in Cranbrook at The Bumble Tree. All other clothing items are in exclusivity at Mixed Elements Art + Design Studio in the Mug Shot building, in Fernie. Visit Alamaudedesign.com and facebook.com/alamaudedesign to view products and learn more.