We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Rebecca Bolland a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, so happy you were able to devote some time to sharing your thoughts and wisdom with our community. So, we’ve always admired how you have seemingly never let nay-sayers or haters keep you down. Can you talk to us about how to persist despite the negative energy that so often is thrown at folks trying to do something special with their lives? I’ve had plenty of people either tell me that I could be doing “better things” with my life, or just not care about what I’m doing creatively. It can be incredibly disheartening, and it can lead to thoughts of self-doubt and anxiety.
I am incredibly lucky that I do have friends and family that believe in me and support me; I don’t know where I would be without their encouragement. What really helps me ignore the nay-sayers is by bouncing ideas off of the people closest to me, and listening to their input, especially if I feel stuck on a project or an idea. Being able to get a new point of view can often trigger an influx of inspiration for me, and again, I’m incredibly thankful for those that take an interest in my art.
Thanks, so before we move on maybe you can share a bit more about yourself? At the moment, I am focusing on individual clients that want something completely unique that will fit their lives and lifestyle. A client will contact me with an idea of what their dream garment is, and I collaborate with them to bring it to life. I make sure that the garment will fit the client like a glove, and that it’s in a timeless style that my clients will love for years to come.
One of my most fun (and challenging!) projects was making a dress for my friend Jessica’s 30th birthday party. She wanted a glamorous take on “the birthday suit”, so we collaborated on a dress design and went fabric shopping together. We ended up picking up some silk faille and a blush sequin fabric. It was so much fun working on it and seeing everything come together.
I am currently open for commissions, so if anyone reading this is interested, please feel free to e-mail me and we can make your dream garment come true!
Looking back, what do you think were the three qualities, skills, or areas of knowledge that were most impactful in your journey? What advice do you have for folks who are early in their journey in terms of how they can best develop or improve on these? My advice for other designers include the following:
Don’t be afraid to learn as much as you can about garment construction! What’s been inspiring me lately are the behind the scenes videos that luxury brands like Chanel and Dior post on their social media pages, where you can watch the sewers construct the most intricate details on couture garments. It’s awe-inspiring to watch these skilled artisans work, and I would do anything to learn directly from them
It’s never too late to start. I started college a few years after most of my peers, and I often felt as if I was behind. I can tell you from experience, it doesn’t matter; there’s no deadline or time frame that tells you you NEED to have done something by a certain age or a certain chapter in your life.
Treat others with kindness and respect. The fashion industry is interconnected, and word can travel fast if you act like a jerk.
Okay, so before we go we always love to ask if you are looking for folks to partner or collaborate with? I have a few dream collaborations I would love to be a part of! I have ideas for menswear, lingerie, beauty, and even childrenswear. I think it’s a great way to expose new audiences to REDxRB, and if anyone’s reading this and is interested, feel free to e-mail me!