Thursday, January 3, 2013

Box Eleven

A few years ago, I met a very creative, amazing, and special woman.  Our love for fashion, design, and sewing is what brought us together.  I'd love to introduce you all to my good friend, Katie Browne.  She is the brainchild behind the fun and quirky brand, BoxEleven.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Katie, and I design and sew clothes and other goodies under the label BoxEleven.  I really really really love to make things!!  Also, I am obsessed with fabrics, which is why I'm thrilled to have an excuse to shop for them on a regular basis.  I grew up in a small mountain town in Colorado, studied fine art in college, and after traveling around Mexico and Central and South America for a few years, I came to Maui by way of Mexico in 2005.  Eventually, I met the man who is now my husband, and I knew it was time to put down roots, which to me meant the freedom to collect art and sewing supplies without having to worry if they would fit in my travel backpack or a flat rate shipping box.  I also began to take pattern making classes, which I had wanted to do for many many years. The Fashion Technology program at UHMC, run by the super talented Cheryl Maeda, was an incredible resource for me, and once I started classes in January of 2010, I realized I had finally found the perfect way to express myself artistically.

A few fun facts about me: I love science fiction; my favorite candy is Smarties; and whenever I get a new fashion mag in the mail, I have to tear out and throw away all the perfume ads before I'll read it. 

How did you come up with the name "BoxEleven"?
Actually, my mom came up with the name to use for her catering and cake business, but I managed to persuade her to let me have it.  Our mailing address was POBox 11, and eleven is my favorite number, so it just resonated with me.  It makes me think of getting fun mail, like packages and magazines, or a letter from my bestie, and I LOVE getting maill!!  

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by so many things that it's hard to keep track of it all, or to even remember where I saw something when I want to refer to it again.  I have tons of tear sheets from my favorite magazines that I refer back to again and again, and lately there are a few personal style blogs as well as design blogs that I follow for daily inspiration, as well as motivation to get off of facebook and go work in my studio!  Also, when I shop for fabrics, which I usually prefer to do in person rather than online, I find that the textures and patterns, or the way a fabric hangs, will make me want to grab my sketch book to jot down ideas.  Additionally, I find a lot of inspiration by window shopping; although I would love to regularly check out shops in San Francisco or LA, our local mall has stores such as Forever 21 and Pac-Sun which always display their most recent and of-the-moment designs, and it's a great way to see what's trending and keep up to date on the fashion world, even while living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.    

Describe your personal style.  What's your style mantra?
This is actually very hard for me to describe, because my personal style seems to change regularly depending on who I'm with, where we are, and what my mood is, haha!  I love patterns, I hardly ever wear black, and my all time favorite outfit is jeans and a t-shirt with no make-up....but, I break my own rules all the time.  One thing that I consistently like to do is to wear something handmade every day, and in addition to having a closet full of hand sewn clothes, I have bags and jewelry, and even shoes, which I've made or received directly from the maker.  Also, I love to add vintage and thrifted garments to my outfit.  

So, I guess my style mantra is to wear a casual mish-mash of handmade, vintage, and new, and to be as COMFY as possible without sacrificing cuteness (I really really like to be comfortable, so you will never find me in stiletto heels, because I can't even stand in them, much less walk in them).  Also, I need to have pockets-- I am lost without pockets! 

If you could style/dress any celeb, who would it be?
Hey Mila Kunis, if you need some cute dresses to wear to music festivals next summer, give me a call!  I would love to see Mila in BoxEleven.  Also: Zooey Deschanel!!

Any advice to upcoming designers?
My advice to upcoming designers is to be true to yourself, and design things that you love, not what you think someone wants to buy from you.  Sometimes, I have to remind myself of this...

What is your favorite piece in your wardrobe?
That's easy: my long-sleeve denim button-up (it actually has snaps...), made by Gap, which I found at Buffalo Exchange on Haight St in San Francisco during my honeymoon last year; not only does it go with just about EVERYTHING in my closet, I love the memory of thrift-store shopping with my hubby in my favorite city. 

I love Katie's artistic and whimsical approach to fashion.  You can see in her designs that while each piece is very wearable, her eye for prints and print mixing, makes a simple day dress something special and extraordinary.  Her use of vintage fabrics/prints is another thing I adore.  It ensures that you won't have a 'bitch, stole my look" moment.  haha!  So, don't forget to click on over to Katie's shop and see all the fun pieces she's created.  And remember, you get to save 15% off your order.  Simply enter the coupon code: elisharon at check out.  

Love, S


Anonymous said...

Oh Wow! Thank you for sharing this. I really love your friends designs. Her dresses are super cute. I need one. :)


Sophie said...

I love the dresses and card designs. So pretty and unique.

xo Sophie

Ling said...

I love the cards... especially the panda one. !!

Xo Ling

Taylyn said...

Great interview! She has such wonderful items!

xoxo, Taylyn
Always wear your invisible crown.

Anonymous said...

Oh such a sweet interview. Katie sounds like an incredibly amazing and talented woman. Her work truly show that.

Heading over to her site to check out all the other goodies.


Lisa said...

The dresses are so cute!

Love, Lisa

Amanda said...

cute designs =)

Andreea said...

Love your blog! You have such an unique sense of style:)


Mónica C. Welton said...

I hope you have a wonderful year!
Chicks in Feathers
Chicks in Feathers FB Like it?

Jilly said...

super lovely ! i love the shorts

xo Jilly

Shannon said...

Sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Laura said...

What a great interview. Loved reading it. And I love the dresses she makes. So cute!

- Laura

Kacie said...

I really like the shorts she makes. They are so adorable. Fun to lounge around in... or at the beach, too!

xo Kacie

Anonymous said...

Such cute designs. I love her prints. Does she draw them herself?

Anonymous said...

Such cute designs. I love her prints. Does she draw them herself?

Amanda said...

What a super cute line. I love love love the dresses. SO CUTE!

xo Amanda

Maria said...

I love the dresses Katie created. They are so fun and great use of prints.

xo Maria

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