You are currently based in Seattle. Is that where you are originally from?
No, I was born and raised in Manhattan. I moved to Seattle in 1994.
Do you find it difficult to have a brand based in Seattle? What are the perks versus the challenges?
Coming from New York, fashion capitol of the US, there are definitely pros and cons to now being in Seattle. The cons of being in Seattle are that I can’t just run down the block if I need some fabric or buttons, and also that I am not in the thick of the fashion industry energy. The pros are that it’s very easy to get caught up in, and burned out by, the thick of the fashion industry! I much prefer being closer to nature for more balance in my life. Plus, I can get virtually anything shipped to me, so there’s really no need to be right in the city for materials. I also realized that when I was in NYC, much of my creative energy was driven by competitiveness. When I moved to Seattle, there was none of that here, so I had to restore from within that pure drive to create.
“Being surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and having the utmost respect for nature inspired me to create a product that wouldn’t add to its demise."
Did being in the Northwest inspire you to create an outerwear collection?
Most definitely! Since it rains on and off all day, I wanted something that didn’t scream “RAINCOAT” and that I could wear rain or shine. Being surrounded by the beauty of the PNW and having the utmost respect for nature inspired me to create a product that wouldn’t add to its demise.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue designing? What inspired you to do so?
I’ve loved design and art since the day I could pick up a pencil. I’m a very visual person and I like creating beautiful things that are also functional. I had no idea I would actually become a clothing designer until I fell in love with machine knitting and created my sweater collection in NYC.
What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned since creating your brand?
There are so many it’s hard to choose, but I would say trusting yourself and your vision and also being persistent even when there are failures and challenges along the way.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while creating FELLER and how did you overcome it?
For one season, my main waxed fabric supplier was extremely late with their delivery. I realized I needed a new supplier which was difficult since there aren’t that many around that can also supply my prints.
“Fashion is self-defined, not defined by trends or what other people are wearing."
How do you define fashion?
Fashion is anything you wear that makes you feel good about yourself when you put it on. It is self-defined, not defined by trends or what other people are wearing.
How would you describe your personal style? Do you design with your style in mind, or for what you think the customer wants?
I am actually a very “boring, classic-with-an-edge dresser! I like the basics - jeans, a great cashmere sweater, great boots and a scarf to add flair. Sometimes I design for myself and sometimes I take the same design and add a print that I, myself wouldn’t wear, but I love. It always has to be something I love.
What fun fact would you want to share with others that has nothing to do with fashion or design?
I’ve had my parrot for 41 years!
If you weren't a designer, what would you be?
Wow, I really don’t know! I’ve tried other things, but I always go back to designing.
How do you want your customer to feel when they wear your designs?
I want them to feel chic, comfortable and happy they are wearing something that will not hurt the planet.
What can consumers expect to see next for FELLER?
For Fall 2020, I am coming out with a line of 100% cashmere (sweaters, hats, scarves), cork bags, and rain boots made with sustainable neoprene.