Your Little Princess Costume DesignJune 14, 2012
Today I would like to introduce you to two wonderful young women who I have the honor of knowing... Elizabeth and Amanda!
They recently began a business designing and sewing high-quality, custom costumes for children. They've put a lot of time and love into "Your Little Princess Costume Design" and I wanted to share it with you!
I got to hear about YLP before it was officially announced, when asked to turn Elizabeth's drawing into a logo. Sometimes it's awesome having computer art skills. You get to hear about cool things early. ;)
I decided to interview Elizabeth and Amanda-- read on! My part of the conversation is in bold.
Let's begin with the basics: What is "Your Little Princess" and where did you get the idea to start it?
Elizabeth: "Your Little Princess Costume Design" (hereafter to be referred to as YLP) is a business specializing in making custom keepsake costumes for little girls. I'd wanted to start a costume business for many years, but adult costumes get very pricey, making it harder to find customers. Thanks to my younger cousins and the kids I've nannied, I've gotten some chances in recent years to make costumes for kids and have found that I really like it! One day my dad and I were talking, and everything just sort of came together.
What kinds of costumes do you make?
Amanda: Currently we are offering costumes ranging in style from ancient Greece, to fantasy inspired, to Regency to Victorian. My personal favorite is the "Rose" costume - a beautiful southern belle style. We aren't designing any boy's costumes, though that is an idea we have tucked away for the future!
(puruse their full design gallery here)
When did you first fall in love with fashion/costuming?
Elizabeth: When I was a year old my dad made me into a Chiquita banana for halloween. Everything since then is just allowing me to have pretty dresses and never have to be a banana again.
That's hilarious, Elizabeth! I'm sure you were a cute little banana, though. What about you, Amanda?
Amanda: Well, I must confess that I've done very little sewing myself, at least, very little compared to Elizabeth! So costuming is something I tend to regard with that wide-eyed and awed sense of "Gosh, this is amazing!"
What are some of your biggest costume inspirations?
Elizabeth: Tudor England has always been a huge costume inspiration for me. English fashion in general is a love of mine, and I also find ideas in fantasy, ballet, theater - you name it! Pre-Raphaelite paintings are also great, I keep four big posters up in my room for inspiration in all art forms.
(two of Elizabeth's many costumes that she shares on her blog)
How did you meet each other?
Amanda: Well, we first got to know each other online through the Fairy Tale Novels Forum, which was started by Elizabeth for fans of Regina Doman's books. We became adopted sisters and very close friends. We officially met in person almost two years ago at ReginaCon, a fan gathering for members of the FTN forum.
Elizabeth: Somehow we have one of those rare friendships where we can talk equally well online or in person, and it's been marvelous. And even though there are a couple of years in between us, we just get along so well! One of my favorite memories was last year when Amanda and I got up at 4:00am to watch the Royal Wedding and chatted with each other the whole time, commenting on every last detail of every dress, hat, and uniform.
Share a bit about yourself... what makes you tick? What do you do outside of Your Little Princess?
Amanda: Outside of YLP I enjoy reading - lots and lots of reading! I enjoy books of all shapes and sizes, but I have a fondness for historical novels, love stories and fantasy. I play the piano with some current favorite pieces being from my Grand Irish Songbook and the songs from "Wicked". I love photography and taking pictures - especially dressing up with my sisters for photoshoots! I also have a thing for marketing, so I've been helping out my dad with some of his marketing business projects. The outdoors is a wonderful place, and it's fun to go exploring on a walk or a bike ride or a long hike with my family or my boyfriend when he visits.
Elizabeth: I'm also a reader (my books are taking over the house!), an artist and a professional writer. In my free time (what's that again?) I love hanging with friends and being creative with my roleplay group.
What do each of you do for YLP?
Amanda: I take care of the marketing and finance end of things. So far I've been working on building our website - which hopefully should be ready to launch soon! - a facebook page, tumblr blog, and a twitter and pinterest when I get around to it. It'll be my job to promote the business and generate customers, as well as then keep track of the money that said customers give us ;-)
I certainly know how much work goes into the marketing end! You've done a great job so far. I take it that Elizabeth does the actual sewing. How much do you two collaborate in the design process?
Amanda: Yes, Elizabeth does the actual sewing, as well as the designing of the costumes and working with the customer to give them the design and elements that they want. We really didn't collaborate in the design process, other than her showing me the sketches when she finished with them so I could come up with the costume names.
What is your dream costume to design/sew/wear?
Elizabeth: C'mon Shaylynn, I can't pick just one!
Amanda: hehe... does a wedding dress count? If not... oh gosh... there is a lot to choose from.
Heehee, it's so hard to pick favorites, but I'm going to be difficult and make you choose one, off the top of your head. If there were no time or money budgets to contend with, what would your first project be?
Amanda: Okay, I'd say wedding dress, but since I'm not getting married any time soon and I already told Elizabeth that I want her to design my dress when I do get married - I'm going to go with Eowyn's shieldmaiden dress. I just love that. And then probably something from Downton Abbey.
Elizabeth: This might surprise you, but right now I really want to make the current costume of the X-Men member, Rogue. It's kind of detailed and I'd love to do proper fabrics and stuff. Except, wait, I just got the fabric for $7 so that doesn't work... um... I also want to make an old-fashioned corset (or maybe two because the Victorian silhouette is different than the Elizabethan one).
And now that you are completely hooked, here are some links (their website is in progress):
Elizabeth's costuming blog, with YLP behind-the-scenes