Starting a lingerie brand or even a clothing business was never what my younger self envisioned. I had always been creative, and I had loved textiles and art but growing up you are not always aware of the careers that are available to you. Especially in the creative world.
So after school I went to college and studied forensic science. And after that I didn't go to university but instead went straight into work. These roles were never particularly exciting. Office based, project management and assistive type roles.
But being creative at home was my expressive outlet. I bought a cheap sewing machine and continued to work on little projects like the kitchen blinds, sofa cushions and patchwork quilts. I hadn’t ever really considered clothing before though.
I initially started making and designing lingerie back in 2014. I’d been on a shopping trip and seen some gorgeous lace bra’s but they were all in larger sizes. The smaller sizes did have a little lace on them but they were mainly made from foam cups. I’m not against foam cupped bra’s at all but my preference has always been just lace or tulle.
Now because I don’t like making things easy for myself I took a look at some cute bralettes online, roughly drew a pattern and tried to cobble together some kind of bra with materials and findings I had laying about.
The end product wasn’t a total disaster. But I also don’t think it would have survived a trip in the washing machine! I had the basics down and it was comfy enough but it really needed some work.
From here I thought it was best to leave the bra’s for the moment and I went back to basics and found online tutorials on how to make different types of knickers. Again the first few pairs were not pretty! But the more I practiced the better they got and the more I tried out various styles and materials.
I eventually purchased Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear by Ann Haggar and tried to teach myself how to produce lingerie patterns. Now pattern cutting was something I had absolutely no experience with and it consisted of spending a lot of my evenings creating blocks and patterns on large sheets of pattern paper that took up the whole of my living room floor. Eventually I ended up with some passable patterns that I used to produce more bras and knickers.
Throughout this process I had been documenting my journey on Instagram. This was also where I got my first sale from. I hadn’t planned on selling lingerie, I was doing it because I loved lingerie and I loved making things!
This was when Clementine Divine was born.
I eventually took a week long Lingerie Making course at the London College of Fashion which was a dream to do. Getting my hands on industrial machines and learning more about industry standards for lingerie and nightwear was great and I met some wonderful people who all had a similar passion.
This was one of my first successful bralettes that I began to sell.
From here my spare bedroom had slowly transformed from a junk room into my work studio. I bought some decent storage to keep all of my materials and fabrics in and put up a large pin board for inspiration.
Since then I have been designing, sewing and selling lingerie and I have to say I absolutely love it! It allows me to get creative whilst sewing which is something that I have always enjoyed doing. It is such a pleasure to see my ideas go from an initial idea or sketch to a product and then finally packaging it up to send off to a customer. Getting customer pictures and testimonials from people adore their lingerie is a wonderful feeling!
So here is to the next part of the journey!