Thursday, 13 December 2012

Favourite Shops -CheriseDesign

I love reading about fellow handmade Etsy people. I'm always surprised to hear how much I have in common with them... Like this time with CheriseDesign I find common ground with shoe collecting though my huge clod hopper feet won't fit vintage shoes, I have to stick to modern shoes and old hats.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Leea and I live in Tampere, Finland with my boyfriend and 2 kitty-cats. I'm a bit of a vintage enthusiast and a shoe hoarder and I love to dance.

Describe your craft
I basically make and sell clothes. I I design and draft most of my patterns scratch, but I also use authentic vintage patterns that I alter to modern sizing.

3. How did you get started with your craft?
Well I've always been into clothing: dressing up as princesses and making little dresses for my Barbies. I guess I can thank my high school student councilor for introducing me to the idea of actually studying clothing design. I was planning to become a psychologist, but now I couldn't think of doing anything else. It was clear to me soon after I started my studies that I wanted to become an entrepreneur.

What is your earliest crafting memory?
I got one of those pink children's sewing machines when I was a kid, that I used to making clothes for my barbies. When I was old enough I got to use my mother's real sewing machine and iron.

What are your favorite materials to work with/favorite mediums?
I love the feel of silk satin, but it's a pain in the behind to work with. The most I like sewing with medium weight wools and cotton fabrics.

How did you come up with your store name?

My name was meant to be cerise (cherry in French), but I mis-spelled it and it stuck :D

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I take ballet lessons and learn to speak French. I also enjoy rummaging flea markets and sipping coffee with my friends. I also enjoy baking and trying new recipes.

I also work part time at a coffee/candy/gift shop at the local market hall. I only work there couple days a month, but I enjoy being there.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Mostly my inspiration comes from the fashions of 1930's to 1960's. My favorite decades are 40's and 50's and I love browsing magazines of the era, looking at pictures and reading blogs inspired by the era. I also enjoy reading books about vintage fashion. I also get inspired by modern people and designers, movies, music videos and fashion magazines.

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade doesn't mean every stitch would have to be stitched by hand, but merely that the item was made by its seller and not some faceless corporation in a factory producing thousands of copies every day. That the item is unique or produced in small series. When you buy handmade you know your item was attended to with the utmost care and that your money goes to the person who deserves it.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have a few pairs of vintage shoes and I love every each of them. They fit and feel so much better than any modern pair of shoes I own. I know someone put their heart in to making the shoes and that it's a proof of their craftsmanship and skill.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I feel the best you can do is simply take a break. Do something completely different. Many times when I have been in a rut for several days the idea finally comes to me in my sleep when I stop thinking about it. I work best after a couple of days of rest and not thinking about business, with fresh ideas and new enthusiasm.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would love to have a steady income from my business and I would like to have my clothing sold in at least 5 places abroad. I would also love to have a little boutique somewhere, where I could also sell other items such as shoes and purses to compliment my own collections. I hold it a possibility to move to France, where my boyfriend is from, someday and open a shop somewhere near Paris.

Where can you be found on-line? (besides on Etsy)
I have my own web shop at You can also find my items in England at and in Sweden at

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Humm, that's a tough one. I appear shy to new people, but I enjoy performing enormously. I love to act and dance on the stage, but holding a speech in front of a crowd would be a nightmare.

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