Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Get The Scoop- New Fashion Designer!

Today I want to introduce an amazingly talented up-and-coming designer I am lucky to know well. Her name is Ana, designer and owner of Amanda Wolf Designs. Ana and I met for the first time a few years ago in an Intermediate sewing class at Saddleback where we became fast friends. Today Ana is reaching incredible heights in her career and squashing goal after goal.

Earlier this year Ana finished a successful fashion show at Santa Ana College, stealing not just the show (with her amazing designs) but the first prize! 

Since then, this young inspiring designer has never looked back. Ana took a break from her already busy lifestyle to share some amazing photos and tips for new designers in an exclusive interview with me below. .

So its 5 pm on a friday night and Ana and I decide to meet at Barnes & Nobles. As I come up the stairs I see Ana in an adorable outfit that just screams her name. She’s wearing the cutest dark  leggings with leather accents you’ve ever seen-  from her recent debut collection Boho Punk- Cut just perfectly to fit her frame. She tops the leggings off with a high-low shirt that is see-through in the back in an expertly selected misty white color. She looks cool, calm and collected, because well...she’s awesome like that.

We grab some coffee and make our way to a quaint little corner to start our interview.  

OBD (OffBeat Designs):
Describe your typical day as a designer.

A (Ana Guerrero) :
The days are never really the same, thats what I love, there’s always something different going on. It’s never a dull day. What I typically like to do is my emails in the morning, because if I do them in the middle of the day i’ll get distracted. I try to set myself some goals. Its hard, I do pretty much everything: The flats, the patternmaking, the cutting, the designs. Usually i do my patterns first and then go from there.

What does your workplace look like?

Well, Right now it’s my room. I really try to keep myself organized. I use different bins for different looks. For my [Boho Punk] collection I had each look and the corresponding fabrics in different bins organized by design.

I know you like to design the patterns yourself, Do you use any kind of program ?

I’m kind of working on using Tukatech, I recently won a year’s subscription of Tukatech. I know Gerber but i'm learning Tukatech right now. It saves so much time!

Do you print the pattern from there ?

The program does format a file for you to send it to the printers, which makes it really easy!

When you start creating your line, what would you say is the very first thing you start with (a side form an idea) ?

Sometimes I start with a mood board and color story .But what you also have to keep in mind is your target customer. It’s important to keep your target customer in line when thinking of an idea and a design.You gotta know who you’re trying to sell it to, you gotta know who your muse is. You gotta make sure that it all goes together, you cannot just think of an idea and add it into a design if it isn't cohesive.

How did you find the inspiration for the Boho Punk Collection ?

Well my designs started as part of a class, and our teacher KyIa had us pull a bunch of different pictures that inspired us. I created all these different kind of boards and at first I was confused, I had some themes that were Alice in Wonderland and then some classic, 1950’s inspired types, so at one point I was just really confused! In the end, I took those themes and converted them into an idea. I go to a lot of concerts, and I’m inspired by the clothes there. I knew I wanted to create classics you could wear to a concert. I wanted them to be different and unique but still wearable.

Where do you interact most often with your design community?

I have social media, definately. I have pinterest, which I use to get really inspired.

Do you follow any blogs?

I do follow one actually. The writer is a design student from Santa Ana College, her name is Kimberly and she has a blog called According to Kimberly ( That’s the only blog I follow, but I also do follow other people on Instagram , mostly for pictures and inspirations. A picture tells the whole story, and that’s why I like Instagram, because for me, i’m such a visual person that I get the most inspired with pictures.

What do you do to meet a tight deadline?

I give myself time deadlines. Its not always easy-not going to lie-but I do keep a production calendar. Because I’m so visual, it’s easier for me to see a production calendar on a graph and know I have certain amount of time to finish something visually.A traditional planner just doesn't work for me, I can find myself staying up all night trying to meet a deadline that way!

We share a hearty laugh, both knowing all too well how a determined designer will stay up all night to add the finishing touches to a line.

Do you ever just think of production in terms of dollars and cents?

Yes. The pricing really stresses me out, actually. This is the reason that I still haven't put up my online store. It’s difficult when you’re pricing everything and still trying to make a profit on your designs. It’s hard to determine because I put so much work into these garments.

Yes , I recall when we took classes together, you’ve never been the type of designer to cut any corners, and you design until it’s perfect.

Exacly. The main issue is how to price that.

You’ve had an amazing year. If a fan came up to you on the street to ask you for advice, and you only had a few minutes, what would you say to them ?

For someone that wants to go into the fashion field my best advice to them, is Don't Stop. At the beginning you have to stay realistic. You know you’re not going to make money at the beginning, the first few years and you have to really realize that. If you let something like that stop you, you’re not going to get very far. If you really love it, if you cannot see yourself doing anything else, then you have to keep going. Stay focused, Stay consistent and never stop designing. Even if its not for a class, or for a client. It’s important to stay as consistent as you can.

What would your dream studio have ?

Bigger space, For sure. Right now, like I said it’s my room , so it can get really cramped. Right now all my fabric is under my table and i’m trying to organize that. I’m trying to keep the chiffons together, the knits, etc.

I think as designers we all experience moments when something just won't go right. How do you deal with something like that ?

Sometimes I think I just stop and go to sleep, rest or walk away. I think if you keep going at moments like that you will be nothing but frustrated, specially if you’re already sleepy or tired. If it’s not going your way, the best thing to do is stop and tackle it after a break or possibly the next day.

What’s your favorite fabric/ textile?

Faux leather and lace. Lately I’ve also been liking this fabric called Crepe De Chine or CDC for short. I love it because its a lightweight fabric but its a little heavier than chiffon, so it’s easier to sew with. Lately I really love making clothes with CDC because it's so summery and lightweight.I did a lot of pieces in my design collection with that fabric, and its a woven too.  

Who is one of your favorite visual artists and why?

Alexander McQueen is my favorite designer. Not just because his aesthetic , but because of his process and the way he designs. He’s actually really shy and that is really inspiring, because sometimes I’m actually really shy as well.

What is your favorite song, album, or artist? Do you listen to music when you design?

I listen to music ALL THE TIME. I find music really relaxing, specially when I’m stuck on a project. I listen to a lot of different Indie Bands. There’s this artist I listen to that actually inspired me to design the Boho Punk collection.

What is there in store for Amanda Wolf Designs in the coming year?

I’m looking forward to doing small productions and have my online store set up by then. Taking each design and making a few of each.I know a really great mom and pop business that would be able to manufacture a small production. I specially want to make the leggings my focus.

With that we end the interview, but not before asking Ana some awesome

Check out some of her favorite things below:

There you have it folks. Ana Guerrero: Founder and Designer behind Amanda Wolf Designs. She is easily an awesome down-to-earth designer with a unique sense of style that is sure to wow the design community in the upcoming years.

Keep up with Ana Below:

I hope Ana has inspired all you young designers out there as much as she inspired me when we first met. Just know that it doesn't matter where you start, but where your passion drives you to end up.

>>Happy Designing!<<


Monday, September 15, 2014

Retail Reveal - Oct. 18th Westminster Mall

On Saturday, October 18th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. there is an event for Fashion students!  The event designed for high school and older students to learn about opportunities for working in the retail sector.  It has taken extensive planning and should be fantastic.  Students can get help with their wardrobe planning, make-up, interviewing, etc.  Saddleback College's JD Nowland is involved with this - go check it out!  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saddleback Fashion Club!

Interested in fashion? Join Fashion Club! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

b.mooki’e trunk show at Jill Courtemanche Millinery

Written by
Emily and Julie  Sparkuhl

            My sister and I yesterday visited one of favorite shops in Solana Beach, Jill Courtemache Millinery. Our good friend and one of our instructors for millinery was holding a trunk show with the jewelry designer Molly Beard of b.mooki’e. Molly’s jewelry was paired with many of Jill’s hats for fall fashions. Molly is a very talented jewelry designer and makes a variety pieces that include necklaces, earrings, cufflinks, and rings. My sister and I learned from Molly that she often uses the streets of San Diego to press designs into her flat pieces as in her earrings, and cufflinks. These street impressions really give her designs a unique look; I fell in love with and bought a pair of earrings with these unique designs. I highly recommend adding Molly’s pieces to your own collection they are sure to make your fall wardrobe the envy of your friends. Be sure to view all of Molly’s collection at her site
Molly and I, the designer of the jewelry showed cased at the shop. 

These are the earrings I bought.

Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY Idea- Washi Tape!

So at the end of an awesome semester with professor Lisa Elston (check out her textile blog here) , she surprised the entire class with washi tape! We did not expect that, nor did we really know what to do with the washi tape. 

A little internet research and lots hours later, I found that I had at least 50 new projects to add to my pinterest to-dos. 

If you are wondering what washi tape is, or why it is so popular, then you are in luck! I've created a Pinterest board with all kind of ideas and projects for washi tape. Take a look here , but tread cautiously...these things are dangerously addictive! 

Happy Designing! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Giving Keys

Written by Julie Sparkuhl
 Photos by Emily Sparkuhl

This past Saturday, my sister and I got to view the Trunk Show at Nordstrom ‘The Giving Keys’ which was selling several bracelets, bangles, and necklaces.  Emily bought herself a bracelet, with the word ‘Create’.  We also met Caitlin Crosby herself, and she was great to talk to.  She met with all the shoppers who were more than happy to buy a key and wear the accessory with they’re unique styles.
‘The Giving Keys’ was first created by Caitlin Crosby, an actress, singer/songwriter who happened to start wearing her hotel key around her neck because she liked the design; from there the business blossomed and ‘The Giving Keys’ was born.
            From her website under the tab- ‘About Us’ Crosby soon met Rob and Cera in Hollywood Blvd. The pair were sitting under an umbrella with a sign that said ‘Ugly, Broke, & Hungry’ from there a friendship was born and Crosby quickly discovered that Cera creates jewelry and the three started making ‘The Giving Keys’.
            ‘The Giving Keys’ quickly joined up with United Way and PATH a transitional home in LA.  These two charities help ‘The Giving Keys’ construct keys and provide opportunities for jobs and permanent housing.
For more information about ‘The Giving Key’ visit the website

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fashion Monday: Seattle Style!

Happy Monday! 

It's such a beautiful day here in Southern California! Although it seems odd, on days as pretty as these, I usually think of my dream place- Seattle , WA, which, we can agree, is almost opposite of So Cal.

I only think of Seattle because lately it's my obsession. I've been wanting to move to Seattle for over a year now, and have even set a goal to move ! Its a super exciting-butterfly -inducing- feeling, and I just cannot wait! By this time next year my goal is to have moved to Seattle. 

So what does a designer in training do to prepare for a move like this ? Well....Pinterest of course. I've been pining like crazy things that I'd wear in Seattle, and I thought i'd share some of that with you today! 

Take a look at some of these cute , Seattle- worthy looks from my pin board below: 

3- Contrast Color Floral Print Sleeveless A-Lined Dress

What do you guys think? Seattle worthy ?

Happy Designing!