I went to White Chapel to interview Bettina MclLwraith. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work familiarise yourself with it! www.blackdotworldarchive.com
Bettina’s archive is a true treasure chest. Think of a collection lovingly and passionately put together over a 20 year career, mix that with vintage clothing, plus vintage pieces redesigned by Bettina into new items, chuck in some AMAZING household pieces such as, her hand made cushions and you have the Black dot world archive. It has an endless array of unique and inspiring clothing that truly sends you green with envy.
Bettina herself, is a relaxed free spirited creative all the way from Australia and her free spirited attitude and nature, filters through into how she dresses, what she stands for and how kind and approachable she is.
Bettina believes that people need to be more educated about fashion and where it comes from. Her new ‘Feed the mind’ range is there to inspire people to understand more about where things come from. Like her work, Bettina is inspirational and her passion and style oozes out of every piece she has in her archive.
“Don’t let money stop you, nothing is everything”
BlackDot world archive.
What made you want to start your own business?
I had been in the industry for 20 years, and I thought, it’s now or never. Over my years as a Buyer I collected lots of Garments, textiles etc. I also feel that having my own business allows me to have the lifestyle that I want. For example if I want to go to Yoga or get a coffee with a friend I can. Likewise, if I feel I want to work into the early hours of the morning I can also do that.
What is the hardest part about running your own company?
Keeping it in order because everything is constant. I do the buying, designing, press etc. It is like a juggling act, it just doesn’t stop. You need to be good at juggling.
What is different about your brand?
Well, It’s a different taste and style. I would say my taste is strict, bold and optimistic. I am definitely inspired by other cultures and the way that their dress is often meaningful and celebratory. I have been very inspired by my travels.
What advice can you offer anybody who is hoping to start out in fashion?
You have to get experience. Knuckle down and work hard. Have inspiration and people you admire. Mine was Anita Roddick (the lady who owned the Body Shop) it was the fact that her beliefs were ethical and she was supporting natural things. Look at people who really do stuff differently like Vivienne Westwood, have a role model.
How do you promote your business?
I have a website, I blog, word of mouth, I have a Facebook page, I work with bloggers and stylists use my stuff as well.
How do you keep up to date with trends and how does this effect your collection?
A lot of my designs and collections are my own taste, however, sometimes I have to stop and try and get things that clients will want. I always keep designers who buy from me in mind, I look at catwalks, but I always go back to my own taste and style. That’s what makes my stuff different. I often look to be inspired by fabrics, prints, the meaning of colour as I believe sometimes you need certain colours, you kind of seek them out.
Want to see more? perhaps you need to treat yourself? Well click on this link and you will find amazingly tempting pieces
Some images to show you Bettina's world