I first met Irene Veldstra with Something New Creations while attending my one and only bridal show last Fall. I’m always inspired by those who can turn the ordinary into extraordinary, which is why I wanted to do a vendor spotlight on Something New Creations. I had my wedding dress created to save money and have something one-of-a-kind. In looking at Something New Creations, you can just see the love and articulated care that goes into every piece.
What is a typical day for you?
As a full time single mom of three, my day starts pretty early, and I make lunches for my kids who have several food allergies. I try to make them fun and a part of our artistic life, and have recently started blogging about those. I drop the kids off at school, then go to my space and there I meet with clients, pattern, drape and sew. I also take in alterations so I work on those as well. When the school day is over, I pick up my kids, we go home and I continue to work on marketing, trying to update my blog, answering emails, or more sewing; meanwhile, spending time with my kids and making dinner! After they are in bed I work some more on projects, try to catch up on photo updating, or I read articles and blogs. I am grateful to be self employed and can make my own schedule, participate in my kid’s lives, spend time with them while working and they can see me making a life for us using my gifts and creativity.
What project, event or moment are you most proud of?
I feel like I have many projects and events I have loved creating and felt really proud of. I will pick the most recent… which has been winning the 24 hour design challenge at the Modified Style Fundraising Fashion show. I wasn’t going to do the challenge at all, but had signed up for the regular show, which we have a month to design and finish our project. Saturday evening, at run through, I decided (on pure whim!) that I would go ahead and be a part of it. I knew I would have to model my own creation and that was the most nerve wracking for me. I also wanted to challenge myself to see if I could create something from a random bag of fabric in that kind of time frame, with three young ones that also needed my attention. I created the garment in 24 hours, with time to spare, and walked the runway. I was also very proud of my daughter who modeled in the professional segment for my other dress.
What makes your work and/or Something New Creations unique?
While I am a skilled seamstress by trade, I love using that skill and my imagination to also create one of a kind pieces of art to wear, so that women will feel beautiful and the unique people they are, showing their personalities in what they wear. I enjoy the entire process of the creation, from choosing the fabrics, buttons, trim, the color of the zipper, to patterning and sewing to completion. I love working one on one with women, building relationships, getting to know who they are, what makes them feel confident and creating a piece just for them. My designs are comfortable, soft, feminine, and affordable.
What makes Something New Creations sustainable?
I use as many recycled and discarded materials as I possibly can, whether it’s fabric, zippers, buttons, or other needed items. I love the challenge of finding creative uses for odd sized pieces of fabric or tossed away clothes. I also try to be as paper-free as possible, my clients sign e-contracts, I use electronic filing, statements, banking, and scheduling. I chose to shop local, I like to find used fixtures, hangers, equipment and other items that are needed as well, really trying to reduce amounts of waste, and reusing as much as possible.
Name one of your favorite vendor sources that you couldn’t do without.
Scrap PDX! They are a block away from my space too, so it’s easy and convenient! I love that place and love what they do for the community.
Where do you find inspiration?
It could come from many sources actually. Sometimes it’s just playing with a piece of fabric and my dress form, some times I have a distinct inspiration in mind, such as pink butterflies; it could be a picture I saw, or a lovely woman walking down the street. I adore vintage finds; I find watching my children inspiring, listening to their imagination, their ideas, colors they will put together that I wouldn’t have thought about before, and building on those ideas.
Describe your client.
My client is the Portland woman… someone who thinks outside the box, wanting something unique to set her apart. She appreciates and enjoys the creative process, and values quality, locally handmade, stylish dresses and gowns.
Thank you, Irene! What an insight, I’m glad to have learned more about you!