Local fashion designer Chloe Dougan, 23, recently graduated from the Ulster University with a BA Hons. Textile Art, Design and Fashion. She is the resident for Fashion and Textiles atUlster University Belfast, York street.
After graduating she launched ‘CDD’ in September with the help of LEO (Lisburn Enterprise organisation).
Each day of my week is different. I wake up early, check my emails to stay updated and attempt to be in my studio for 9.30am.
Working for yourself means I have to organised- I have to market myself, organise PR, network, update social media, and of course make the actual garments for shows, shoots and clients.
I work part time as a consultant for Creed fragrances in House of Fraser and do a one-day a week placement with local designer Una Rodden, so my time is precious, any time I spend in the workshop in Uni has to be productive.
Last week for example I was busy preparing for the Belfast Fashion Week SS15 Launch. This involves making the garments and hours of hand sewing, (as a lot of my new collection is beading and embellishment). The Launch shows a sneak peak of that is in store for Fashion week in March, the Local Designer night taking place on the 20th.
I have several meetings each week. One day I could be meeting with my Invest NI advisor to discuss updates and possible ventures for CDD, the next I could be meeting with local business owners about stocking my garments in store. I’ve recently arranged to have my range in a local store called “Studio Souk”, stockists of cool and quirky artists and makers items. I make sure I’m always busy and have something to work on. I get emails about making bridesmaids dresses, dresses for formal events, even an entrepreneur from Tennessee mailed me to design clothes for his company, so you never know what possibilities your waking up to.
This being said I love networking and working with different photographers, styling shoots and meeting new creative people to collaborate with. I intend to do some working placements with designers and stylists from Dublin and have recently started looking into internships and jobs in London, although I haven’t decided whether I want to move this year or not.
I’m so pleased how well things are going for me, hard work pays off and its so worth the small sacrifices you have to make along the way.
I have only been in business for 5 months and have done so much, so just watch this space!