Hi there internet world!
In an attempt to better my photography skills and save some dough on stuff I can try and do myself, I am working on developing my fashion eye through photography. This is great news for The Giver & Co community because it means that you have the opportunity to watch our style and skills develop and change into whatever the heck it wants to.
So in the spirit of communal digital sharing, please follow us on Facebook (The Giver and Co and Instagram (sammie_thegiverandco) and enjoy our photographic advances on your retinas.
How exiting, we have just completed the first week of trade and have gotten a total of 5 orders ( believe me that is a great result because I'm the employee of the month in my little sewing sweatshop)!
I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone that has made a purchase, liked, shared and supported the vision of The Giver & Co, you are all bloody legends! Without you guys, the hopes and dreams that we have to make the world a better place wouldn't be possible. So thank you and big love from the bottom of our heart!
For my second blog post I wanted to inspire you all with the inspiration behind the design and styling of my wrap dresses.
A few months ago I finished my university degree and had a bit of down time to read and recoup after an exhausting three years of full-time study and almost full time work. After a few days of mindless Foxtel bingeing, I happened upon a reality show that stared the American designer Diane Von Furstenberg. I was captivated by her confidence, life story and sense of style. Her mantra in her designs and life was that, ‘she knew from a young age the woman she wanted to be’ so she created it. She wanted to be confident in her femininity, financially independent, carefree and mesmerising. I was inspired by this as I too have those same feelings of wanting to inspire beauty in others, express my femininity confidently and be financially independent and mentally strong. So like Diane, I set out to change the way I saw myself and my movements in life and I challenged myself to be confident in my ability.
(Diane circa 1971)
Diane Von Furstenberg and I have entirely different upbringings. She had married European royalty young and worked in the fashion industry for the entirety of her career. I on the other hand, grew up in my older brother’s hand-me-down basketball t-shirts and pants and worked in hospitality roles that were never glamorous. I highly doubt that any of Diane Von Furstenberg’s (DVF) first jobs ever involved cleaning up post-digested cheese burgers off of a McDonald’s playground as mine did. However, I felt drawn to the commonality and personal aspirations that we both share: confidence, financial independence and beauty. These are the things that really matter.
As I read the story of Diane’s life, I read of how she used her skills and connections to create the stretch-jersey wrap dress. In the 70’s these dresses were dynamite, they were simple, versatile, functional and low maintenance. These dresses were the saviour to the modern woman’s plight to be glamorous and beautiful effortlessly. As I did more research into how I could buy my own DVF wrap dress and as I searched I found that their price was more than I could reason (these dresses retail for $350>$500 AUD). This was enough rocket fuel-inspiration for me to consider the wild thought of being my own little sweatshop and recreate the wrap-dress into a more modern and playful dress that my generation can affordable enjoy. So I hit the fabric shops and library in effort to teach myself the principles of pattern making, grading and sewing to compliment my childhood knowledge of sewing and pattern making. When I was confident, I started to make myself some wrap dresses. I was so surprised and happy with the finished product and the response that they got from my friends.
This is where the science happens kids. I used my skills of sewing to make a product that I genuinely believe in, coupled it with my desire to be more than just a Sam-benefiting operation and created The Giver & Co.
Here are some fun facts:
- One dress takes two meters of material to make
- I make the entire product by hand
- It takes 4.5 hours of continuous work to make a dress
- My foreman is our family cat, and he has no opposable thumbs to help me sew
My heart and aim for The Giver & Co is to empower the buyer of my dresses to feel and know that they are truly beautiful, cherished and unique not just because they are wearing my product, but because they really are. I want the woman (or man who are trying to get brownie points, go son!) that purchase my product to know that their body shape and personality are uniquely rare and are worth maintaining and developing.
The focus of the social enterprise side of the business is to make the world a better place for someone. As a child I grew up with utopian notions of changing the world or saving it from the crazy that’s out there. I’ve realised that I can’t save the world, but maybe I can make it a bit better for someone else. I don’t think that this a noble goal, I feel that it’s my responsibility as I was given so much opportunity in life to be all that I wanted to be. So this is my way of giving back.
So I encourage you to partner with our vision and heart for sustainable change. I encourage you to buy one of my dresses for yourself, sister or mother so that they can be part of the change we are trying to achieve.
The Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 – 1948) said, ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world.’ Put very simply, we are trying to be a positive change and influence in a world that knows grief, war, loss and lovelessness. We are The Giver & Co and our aim is to see people’s lives full of love, confidence and empowerment.