It is true what they say… having a child changes your life. Just ask Erin Keys, the designer and owner of Sister Fresh.
Today I am beyond excited to bring you a behind the scenes look and story of the adorable girl’s clothing line. I met Erin while at a Portland Fashion Week meet and greet. She was with her gorgeous daughter who was walking amongst all the models and designers in a beautiful leopard print dress. The pair were so sweet and easy to talk to that I just had to ask to interview her for the blog. She was gracious enough to ask me into her home and give me a tour of her home studio.
The beautiful young lady, that I met at the meet and greet, was the reason the whole venture began. After the birth of her daughter Erin decided to not go back to work as a buyer for a successful department store. After making her daughter clothes, things developed and she began designing and making little girl clothing to sell at home parties. Her home parties were successful and eventually, local boutiques were requesting her items. Currently Erin sells Sister Fresh at local boutiques and through her online shop.
Erin graciously let me tour her home studio space, giving me a glimpse at how a clothing designer works. Walking into her gorgeous home you could immediately see that the busy season and Portland Fashion Week was causing her to expand outside of her studio. She had a make shift desk with her laptop, phone, camera, and paperwork on her kitchen island. A rack of pretty dresses stood in front of a huge window and her mannequin was showing off a yellow pom dress.
Upstairs a small room was neatly organized to fit an entire sewing business! The room could only fit a desk, small ironing board, a washer and dryer. A serger and sewing machine were housed on the desk. Small bows littered the desk, ready to accent dresses.
Tiny dresses were hanging on all surfaces of the room–filling it with bright colors. Several bolts of the colorful fabric used to make the dresses were neatly stacked beneath a small counter. A framed sign with the Sister Fresh logo decorated the wall. On another wall hung two cross stitched works.
“My grandma made these,” Erin explained. “She is the one who taught me to sew.”
I’m touched by this. My grandmother also taught me to sew.
I’m amazed at the small space. Not only does Erin manage to fit an entire (successful) design business in the home studio, but she has also managed to make it a delightful and inspiring office space. It makes me think differently of my sewing space at home and certainly inspires me to do more with the areas I have.
Can a designer of this adorable girl’s clothing line really have started out just like me? Seems sort of unreal and full of possibility. I hope that if someone out there is thinking of becoming a clothing designer, and sees this post, they can be inspired by this awesome lady. She learned to sew from her grandmother, had a career in a whole different field, did not go to school for this trade, and is now doing something she completely loves in the space she has available. (Though, I do encourage schooling very highly!)
The Sister Fresh clothing line is a line of clothes for girls to be girls. It isn’t about dressing little girls up to be women, but rather a clothing line that celebrates the age of girl for as long as possible.
If you’d like to keep updated with the goings on at Sister Fresh then following along with Erin on her social media accounts. She JUST got Instagram and Twitter so those would be great for you to connect with her as she learns the ropes and shares lots of good photos and tweets!
A BIG thank you to Erin Keys for letting me peek into your beautiful home and studio space. Good luck on the runway today!
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this interview and studio tour. I am a part of the Portland Fashion Week’s Style Collective and will be receiving free VIP tickets to visit the shows. However, no post requirements were asked of us and this post was all my own idea and Erin’s awesome story. All opinions are my own. Tickets to Portland Fashion Week are still available! Purchase tickets now to get in for just $20 or pay $30 at the door. There are 6 shows in total, 35 pop-up boutique shops, and 3 after parties. I hope to see you there!