Can you introduce yourself to us, please?
Hi everyone~ I’m Oli and I own a very independent shop called Lemontree11.
I’m currently a student majoring in Fashion Design graduating in the spring (yay!). I really love to make clothes, dress up, get crafty and draw. I also have a Lolita web comic called, “The Totally Non Fiction Life of a Lolita.” Its a cute comic that portrays the good and bad in lolita
How did you get into Lolita and where did it lead you?
I think it was from when I bought my first artbook called Chocola 2000 which was form Digi Charat (I was in middle school). At the time, I just thought they were gorgeous outfits with so much detail. I really didn’t think much after that because I wasn’t really into fashion till I turned 16 and got in general “Harajuku fashions.” However, when I got into VK music, I would browse a lot of the VK style clothing online (and even the ita clothing that were hand in hand in these shops), but not buy them. Black was just not my color at the time. So I was a bit sadden how all these cute clothes had details and colors that do not suit my personality. Then I discovered BJD (ball jointed dolls), they wore such adorable clothing, it made me wish I was a doll. When I got into PGSM (Live Action Sailor Moon) I began to follow more pop culture events in Japan(looking up japanese magazines like kera, seventeen etc), and at the time Nana Kitade was becoming rather popular and even saw an ad for Kamikaze girls, there I soon discovered the fashion term Lolita. Finally a style that was edgy, but suited my tastes and personality!
What inspires your drive for the fashion?
People, their muses, and art. I think I look at people for references the most. Some say that creativity is gone, i think it’s just been either evolved or modified to suit todays tastes. Just like how 90s fashion is in, we modify it so that it would look good in 2010. I try to do the same thing where I work with something basic and make it my own. I will NEVER say that I came up with the design 100 percent, because I always have a reference or inspiration.
What is your favorite brand and why?
LoL it constantly changes.
When I started lolita fashion Mary Magdalene was the Holy Grail of brands to me. It was just so classy and beautiful. The more I began to get very involved with Lolita and volunteering for events, I began to wear more sweet items, and Angelic Pretty became my favorite brand.
Today, I think Emily Temple Cute is one of my favorite brands. They take simple concepts and co-ord it very nicely. Their ads always win me over, more than any other brand.
Where does your unique style come from? What really makes it you?
To be Honest, I think I’m still discovering my style. Many of my friends say I have a style, but I don’t see it. I wear what I want, or what i’m in the mood of wearing. When my taste changes, or as I grow older, I think my style will change to suit my maturity. Although at the moment, I’m really loving Magenta Greens, and other bolder colors.
What’s the name of your business and where can I find it?
Lemontree11 is the name of my shop. At the Moment its on Hiatus, I am working on recreating my vision and creating a more steady line. Though do follow my blog because I know the minute my shop reopens, I will announce it on my blog!
What inspires your designs?
Hmmm, anything really. Mostly anything cute. When I work on my Fuzzy bows for example, I think of a theme. What should be the highlight of my bows, stars, bunnies, bears, those are usually my themes. I also imagine, what sort of person would wear these items. Though I am always surprised how much better my customers wear my merchandise. They are so stylish!
Can you tell us what lead you to design?
The more I sew the more confident I became in believing I can make anything without spending too much. I really like bows, and wanted to make some unique bows that were inspired by chocomint. I didn’t want to make a replica, so I began to develop my bows, to have a special touch, in other words, a bit of myself in each piece.
My bunka bear and bunnies, were inspired by bunka dolls. I’ve always wanted to make a bunka doll, but I figured making accessories of them would be more convenient, then I added, what if I made them into bunnies and bears, wouldn’t that be even cuter! And that’s how it came to be.
Any advice for loli-newbies or first time loli-oriented business owners?
Loli-newbies: You have it so easy now, many of the “rules” are much more laid back from when I first started, which is great. Also lolita garments are so much more accessible, so its much easier to obtain with the right resources, so always do your research. Also browse all kinds of magazines not just the Lolita bible. That way you will be inspired by not only things in lolita fashion but many things outside the fashion that you may want incorporate into lolita. Lastly, be confident, wear lolita because you want to not because its popular or to become popular. In the end, dressing up should be fun, not a chore!
Loli-Oriented Business Owners- As much as I want to say create items because you want to, don’t forget the business aspect. The majority of shop owners who own physical shops close down due to poor managing. In other words they did not figure out how to promote, organize, and profit from their business. When making your creations, write down how much you spend on supplies, and labor, and figure out your prices from that. Don’t sell something at a low price to just sell, there is no point in selling something you are not profiting form. You might as well keep it for yourself. That being said, you don’t want to create something and sell it and be of poor quality. remember you are basically selling your reputation on each piece. You want to be reputable, so make sure your items do not break down easily. If they do, figure out new ways to keep them in tact. Lastly, listen to your customers, they know what they want, and will help you tell you what works and what doesn’t sell.
(Sorry this was so late! ;57 I’ve been doing nothing but running around for Christmas with family and working. I haven’t had time to just sit at the computer and blog these past two weeks. Hopefully it slows down a bit. ;04 )