I had the pleasure of interviewing the awe-inspiring, up-and-coming Lauren Mair founder and designer for Ellemairco. Ellemairco is a Toronto based brand composed of handmade, organic, up-cycled clothing items. Known for her handmade one of a kind kimonos, Lauren has developed the brand Gypsy’s Closet! Let’s see how Ellemairco came to be!
Emily: You studied art in high school and are now attending Sheridan College in the Art Fundamentals program; are you learning a lot that applies to your work with your company?
Lauren: Sheridan College is a wonderful, creative school with amazing, inspiring teachers. However having attended Mayfield (such an advanced art school) I didn’t learn as much as I had hoped, I made a bunch of really awesome connections with classmates and teachers but most of it was a refresher for my mind.
Emily: How has an art background both family and educational impacted your decision to start Ellemairco?
Lauren: Educationally I’ve learned so much from simple colour theory to balance and harmony. Being fortunate enough to study art I was really inspired to explore different ways of selling my artwork not only on a canvas but clothing. Having a family background in the arts has been the most amazing and encouraging scenario. I have constant support and constant fresh ideas coming from not only my family but close friends.
Emily: Where did the idea for the company come from?
Lauren: I travel quiet often and the summer I graduated high school I was out west and got so overwhelmed and inspired by the gorgeous bohemian clothing women were wearing. I slowly put my passion for art and my passion for funky clothing together making a lucrative career for myself in the arts.
Emily: How has your previous artwork influenced Ellemairco?
Lauren: All my artwork has been very free-spirited and meaningful. I look for rich colours, and funky patterns for all my pieces, representing a very free hippie cultured theme.
Emily: What would you say is the single most important thing to consider what creating new pieces?
Lauren: Put love into it! It is a one of a kind, original item. It has been preloved and someone else has made so many amazing memories in it. The idea of upcycling old to new is very special to me and I want to be able to share that with every single one of my customers.
Emily: How did the name for your clothing line “The Gypsy’s Closet” come about?
Lauren: I started Ellemairco as an alluring, mysterious phrase to represent my own name in a secret way. When I decided to start making clothing I wanted a very cute catchy name that would truly represent me and my style. I suppose, I am “the gypsy” hahaha.
Emily: Before creating your clothing brand you were selling upcycled items at a local market; what was the like?
Lauren: I loved refurbishing old furniture and décor, however its too much work for such an unsuccessful profit.
Emily: What is something you have had to overcome when beginning to develop Ellemairco?
Lauren: This past year has been really tough, i’ve had to juggle working full-time, part-time and being a student. What was really hard to overcome was quitting my jobs and hoping in with two feet. Being my own boss, and having to financially support myself.
Emily: Can you take us through the process of developing a Kimono?
Lauren: The process of making a kimono is really awesome. I get to gaze through all my amazing fabric and pair up 2 pieces of fabric that compliment each other as well as unify the shawl. I then cut my pattern pieces, serge up all the raw edges and start sewing it together. Once the kimono is finished I sew my brand tag on and try it on to ensure it looks good, I then fall in love with every piece I make and almost keep it for myself (haha). The kimono is finally finished steamed and hung up on the rack.
Emily: If there was one last bit of wisdom you would want to leave for others aspiring to do what you are doing, what would it be?
Lauren: DO what you LOVE!!!!!
If you’re good at something you’ll find a way to make it into a career that’s lucrative to your own lifestyle. Life is surely too short to be doing anything that doesn’t make you want to get out of bed in the morning (although we all struggle….) Be kind, Be unique, and Be you!
Interested in checking out Ellemairco and the line The Gypsy’s Closet?
** All photos from Ellemairco**