So of course, with clothes ever on the brain this time of year, it's only fitting that today I would bring to you a small, local business, specializing in unique clothing, with a flare of vintage, that is sure to bring pleasure to the clothes-aholic side of us all. Let me introduce to you, Teaka Marie.
I first met Teaka Ritz, creator, owner, designer, sewer and mastermind of Teaka Marie, at the same wedding (obviously) that I met her husband, Jonathan (whose photography I featured last month). Thanks to many mutual friends, I would occasionally see Teaka at social gatherings now and then, and every time, I was delighted at the chance of getting to know this fabulous woman more.
Teaka is so friendly, easy to talk to and besides being super crafty and creative, always comes wearing a big, beautiful smile. Her craftiness and creativity are probably some of the reasons, I'm sure, that she dove into the world of being a seamstress, and it couldn't have been more of a right fit. Teaka's designs are unique, delicate and original and something you are proud to wear and feel "one of a kind" when you do. In today's market, where everyone is buying from the same chain stores, you're apt to run into one or more people wearing the same thing as you. Not my idea of being original.
Teaka was born and raised a Saskatchewan farm girl, however, she swapped farm life for city life and currently resides in Medicine Hat, Ab, with her husband, Jonathan. Teaka currently works a full time retail job to help keep the bills paid, however her passion is for sewing clothing, which in turn she then sells on her Etsy shop, Teaka Marie.
Teaka went to school for Fashion Design and Marketing and recalls, "It wasn't until my last year that I challenged myself to believe I really could take on the design and sewing side of fashion and possibly attempt my own business in it. I knew what type of clothing I liked and was drawn to, and I was beginning to see that maybe others might like these styles too."
"I made a few goals at the beginning of this year, and after graduation I went straight to creating new items that I loved and wanted to share with others through Etsy. Honestly, there wasn't a catalyst or any major [event] in my life that caused me to start creating and selling. I just knew that for my personality type and skills, I thrive more with hands on, sewing and making, as opposed to sitting in an office for a living."
"I'm by no means a professional tailor, as I've made some major mistakes this year and things I'm not proud of. But that's all part of growing and trying to work through skills and business."
We all have to start somewhere and I'm so glad that Teaka has stepped out with her passion. It's truly inspiring for the rest of us who have a dream, but are nervous to take the risk involved. Thank goodness for Etsy, because it allows the "small guy" to make and sell without the need of a storefront and can help us get started on the right foot, as it has for Teaka. :)
Teaka continues, "I love my Etsy shop, because it's a way for me to show off what I'm working on, and if people are interested, they can purchase the garment and I can custom make the item in their size. It keeps me motivated to continue to design, pattern draft, and sew samples, and then sew the real item. It is quite a process and sometimes a bit daunting, but once I get into the momentum and step by step process, I really enjoy everything."
Teaka has only had her Etsy shop for a few months now, so is still in the infancy of her up-and-coming business. I have no doubts that it's going to take off and become something beyond Teaka's wildest dreams. It takes you and I to help see Teaka Marie become a success, and really, it shouldn't be that difficult, because we're getting some awesome clothes on our end of the deal!
"I'm just in the learning process, trying out things and seeing what does and does not work. It's definitely a passion of mine and I hope to one day grow my skills and business to a point where I can manage it as a full time job. That really is my dream."
One day, I believe Teaka Marie will be up there with Vera Wang and rivalling the likes of Dolce and Gabbana. When asked at the Oscars what they are wearing, the stars will respond with a satisfied "Teaka Marie", to the awe of the world. What a nice thought that is. :D
You can shop for your Teaka Marie clothing at Teaka's Etsy shop: here
It's also the perfect place to get some Christmas gifts for your loved ones :)
Also check out Teaka's blog site, which is always fun to read, at: www.lifelikehoney.ca
If you have any questions or inquires for Teaka, please email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
And of course, what would a Growing Green Monday Feature be without a special incentive just for you?
Teaka Marie is offering Growing Green readers 20% off any item on her Etsy shop. HOWEVER, you must contact Teaka first so she can make a custom page with the reduced price for you. If you do not contact her first, you will not be eligible for the discount. Simply mention "Growing Green" in the message box and what item you're wishing to purchase. If you have more questions concerning this incentive, please email Teaka.
This special incentive expires November 30th, 2012.
(Do you like Growing Green's feature incentives? Let me hear from you and tell my why and which ones you've used, so I can be sure to continue getting special incentives just for you!)
Next weeks feature hint: Brewed goodness