Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Candice Veil - A Candid Experience

When I first opened my shop on Etsy, I did not quite imagine I would be doing bespoke services. All along I thought it would be much easier if a bride found something she liked and made a purchase, than to contact me and do something "her". Around 95% of the clients who purchased lived abroad. It made it immensely difficult to tailor make or custom make when there are oceans apart...let alone doing something that must fit like a glove.

The biggest challenge, however, was accepted because the bride was a local customer. There was no reasons to say "no" when I could commute so easily across the harbour! I spent quite a number of afternoons discussing with her and modelling on her to make sure her veil did fit like a glove and was exactly what she asked for! 

The bride had an eye on a 20's inspired hair accessory and asked if I could turn around and made a wedding veil out of it. One thing I never lie is that I am from a background without formal fashion or tailoring training! I never sew with a machine, everything I do is drawn on a mental paper by my mind, coloured by my eyes, and stitched and sewn by my hands.

To create something for a bride without letting her see a "draft" or a mock up, my customer was such a brave woman!

This total trust on me touched me to the bottom of my heart. Has anyone ever placed blind and binding trust and confidence on you, readily on the first time they meet you?

Candice, the beautiful bride, which now the wedding veil is named after from, had a very nice afternoon chat with me at a nice pub. When we looked at our watches, we were surprised that three hours had just gone by like that! We were like old friends catching up. As a self-proclaimed "rebellious teen", she passed me some tips on how to raise my pre-teen and teen and as a successful business owner herself, she gave me many words of comfort and wisdom on how and what I could do with my business. 

Perhaps we have met, but in a previous life. Or else I could not understand where our proximity stemmed from. 

The actual sewing did not start until a month later, when everything was crystal clear and Candice had bought her own lace and veil fabrics. 

Really, never in my life had I made a cloche before....I didn't know how to do it! But I didn't know why I knew how to do it! I just did. My younger daughter, who loaned me her head (and I paid her modelling fee!) as a real-life mannequin, sitting through hours of my stitching because Candice and she shared the same head size and shape, and who has also a thing about these online games, once told me that she just "read my past" and told me, "Mama, you were a man....a tailor, in the Renaissance period."

Such a crisp, terse and distinct conclusion of one of my past lives. 

Hm....I thought. No wonder. I could never explain why there was this endless love for laces, embroideries, beadings and pearls.  

I used to embellish t-shirts with rhinestones and pearls. When my husband saw it, he asked me where I took lessons. I never did. Not in this life-time. I just picked up the needles and materials and worked. 

The Candice Veil took more than 50 hours to complete...It was a hard time parting with it. But when I delivered to Candice and saw how her eyes glowed, all the finger-pricking, thigh-piercing (no kidding), they just totally worthed it. 

And to see the smile on the bride trying her wedding veil, definitely priceless. 

The making of the Candice Veil