Interview: Dara Dot Designs – One of a Kind Show Spring 2011

You may recognize Dara Dot Designs when I first introduced you to her in this post from my other blog.
What I love about Dara Dot Designs are the fashionable AND practical accessories!  The colours and fabrics are stunning and I seriously want one of every piece.

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Me sporting my Dara Dot Designs Loop Scarf in Cerise

Another great testament to social networking and blogging is connected with people you may have otherwise not met in your daily life! 
Dara and I have become GREAT twitter friends these past few months and I had the privilege of interviewing her after the Spring One of a Kind Show here in Toronto.

What or who was it that motivated you to be a designer?
I’ve always been a crafty soul, building something from nothing since I was a kid; and apparently straining my neck to look at shop windows from my stroller! My grandmother taught me to sew, and bought me my first machine (bunny=slow, turtle=slower!). From then on, there was no looking back!

What was the inspiration for these season’s designs?
I’ve carried through many of the top selling, classic styles from seasons past, and punched them up with fresh, sweet, Spring/Summer colours. I love the idea of mixing the expected with the unexpected, so toughening up butter soft modal jersey with leather and metal links seemed like the perfect union.
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Gorgeous booth set up
If you weren’t designing what would you be doing?
I’m lucky enough to be have a designers soul paired with a business brain. I (not so) secretly relish in the administrative end of things. I might be an accountant or a financial advisor. Excel spreadsheets are a bit of an obsession of mine! That, or another type of design… Interiors or industrial design perhaps.
What do you think makes your pieces so unique?
I’m a big fan of versatility, and seasonless dressing; so when I’m designing a new product I like to think of all the ways each piece can be worn daily and through the seasons. The hand-made quality is also a unique feature in today’s “fast fashion” world.


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Loop scarf – new Spring/Summer 2011 colours

Can you take me briefly through your design/creative process?
Honestly, most of my ideas come from my subconscious. In the shower, during a dream, at the gym. Aside from that I have an overflowing collection of magazine clippings, online bookmarks, screenshots and saved looks on a variety of lookbook-esque sites. Whether or not I ever refer back to them is another story in itself, but the inspiration sticks in my subconscious.

Describe what a typical day is like for you.

My days are anything but typical. I could be in anything from a stretch of production, to administrative duties or marketing. Everyday incorporates some degree of social networking, and definitely interruptions from my days task list. I’ve learned to allot double the time for each task, because interruptions are inevitable.

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Ruffle Scarf – new Spring/Summer 2011 colours



What has been the most challenging part of your journey?
Definitely the psychological ups-and-downs. When you run your own business, curve-balls are constantly being thrown your way. It’s important to keep positive and keep inspiring people nearby, and those not so encouraging at a healthy distance. Sometimes it’s the negative people though who give you the biggest push of all- the push to prove them wrong 😉

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Do you have any advice for others out there looking to pursue their artistic dreams?
Have a clear plan of your initial path. This will change constantly, but always keep an updated version tucked in your thoughts- it will keep you grounded. Also, talk to people… There’s a wealth of information out there! Good luck!

Thank you so much Dara!  I really appreciate the time you’ve taken for me.  I hope it doesn’t take another show before we meet up again 🙂

Be sure to check out Dara on Facebook and on Twitter and of course on her website.

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