Lara Blackman from smalltownfrocks
Once upon a time there was a girl who spent more time at home sewing than attending high school… after graduation she moved to the city and studied the art and business of Fashion.
I have been sewing wedding gowns since I was 17. I originally apprenticed with a dressmaker specializing in formal gowns in a small northern BC town. I studied Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design in Vancouver,BC.
I originally worked in Vancouver BC in bridal as well as costuming. I opened my own design studio at the age of 19, and continued to work for myself as well as running several workrooms for other companies. In my early twenties I moved to London UK and continued to pursue costume design. After my return to Canada I continued to design wedding gowns for the next decade before moving to a remote mountain top in the interior of BC. There I had two daughters and learned to sew on an antique treadle machine. I learned lots of other stuff too… but that’s another story.
I had a very limited work area in the cabin (a table 2′ x 4′) and found that I really enjoyed the handwork involved in making natural toys for my daughters and so I began a small business making children’s toys. I spent 8 years living in the forest and making toys before I returned to ‘civilization’ in 2008.
I was sitting on the beach in 2010 thinking about what I was going to do with my new freedom… and then I remembered how much I love to make gowns… so I set myself a goal… one gown a month for a year made from local supplies.
Thanks for supporting my project,
Lara Jayne Blackman
small town dressmaker.
Styling and Hair
avrell isn’t really a hair stylist, but she is the daughter of two hair stylists, so she grew up in hair salons. she spent a large part of her childhood ‘in the chair’ getting everything that can be done to hair, done to her’s.
as an adult avrell apprenticed under a hair stylist for a year in a very posh salon on robson street, in vancouver before giving it up for the glamorous life of single parenthood.
after moving back to nelson, avrell cut hair in her kitchen to help support herself and her son. she then got married and had another son, and decided to pursue a career as an artist.
now avrell only paints or draws hair (she’s pretty good, check out her website), except for this project, where she gets to create fabulous hairstyles to go with fabulous frocks.