Last month, I featured new fashion designer, Amy Snider, of Every Little Counts and her fabulous collection of stylish tees. I was so excited that Amy allowed me to interview her, and now I’m happy to share it with you! If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a fashion designer or wonder what it takes, read below to see how Amy achieved her success. See how she was inspired, how she started, and what makes her line so very, very fabulous!

How did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I’ve known for a pretty long time this is what I wanted to do. In elementary school I bought this book about sketching for fashion design. That book, combined with hours spent getting inspired while watching old movies with my mom really did it for me. I have sketchbooks going all the way back to maybe 3rd or 4th grade.

How long did it take for you before you opened up shop?
I had spent 6 years working in both NYC and LA as a designer. I had always wanted to start my own business, so when the company I was working for closed, I was actually ecstatic. There is nothing worse than working for someone else, creating a product you don’t believe in. I gained a lot of experience over the years, working for other small businesses, so I thought there is no better time to do this.

Who is your role model?
I would have to say Diane Von Furstenberg. At 61, she looks amazing! More than that…she is iconic. She understands women and she celebrates women. She makes clothes that appeal to women of all ages. She has an amazing business sense. She is in touch with the world and she loves nature and family.

How do you find inspiration for your designs?
Film- mostly from the 60′s and 70′s and mostly foreign, love, literature, coming of age, music, everything French! I have been collecting photos, quotes, and memories since I was in high school. We get a lot of ideas from the journals and sketchbooks I have kept over the years, which also contributes to the “coming- of- age” theme that lingers throughout each collection.

What is a typical work day for you like?
I spend more time than I would like on the computer! A lot of time is spent writing and responding to emails- to and from customers, buyers, editors, and bloggers. Promoting the label is a never ending process- updating our blog, Myspace, Facebook, etc. From there, the day is broken up into working on new designs, printing inventory, and shipping orders.

What is in store for Every Little Counts? Any future plans? Our main goal is to work on brand recognition for Every Little Counts…we have a lot more love to share! I would also love to work on more limited edition and one-of-a-kind pieces.

Who are your favorite fashion designers?
A.P.C. ,Mociun, Lorick, Lyell, Lover the label, Lanvin – but it can all be a little overwhelming. There are so many designers, so many fashion weeks. I don’t have the time that I used to to keep up with it all!

What do you think the hottest trends in fashion are right now?
I don’t really follow the trends. I’m an emotional dresser…I like to dress in a way that connects me to the past. Right now I am still obsessing over the 70′s and early 80′s: Ali MacGraw, Bo Derek, Lauren Hutton…and especially my mom!

What advice do you have for others looking to become a fashion designer? Any secrets?
Study! Go to school – learn and absorb everything. Be competitive. Stay focused. Develop your own point of view. Experience is essential. Get into the industry. Make contacts. Stay inspired. Don’t give up. Don’t settle into a job you despise.

When designing your line, what do you keep in mind? What’s important to you?
First, we reconnect with our influences by going through movies, books, magazines and looking at pictures. Phrases and ideas start to bounce back and forth, and notebooks fill up. We try to maintain a personal feel, and a very specific sense of humor and pop culture references. We try to keep everything a little unexpected, and we really pay attention to silhouette and quality.

Do you wear your own designs?

What are your goals as a fashion designer?
Eventually I would love to expand and develop a full collection. But one thing at a time!

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, Amy! Be sure to check out her blog to see even more of her design inspiration. As I said last month, these designer tees would make great gifts for anyone, especially bridal party members! If you love them as much as I do, head on over to Every Little Counts now and grab one (or two or three or four…) – they’re stylish, affordable and oh so fun!

Also, check back soon for Part Two of my interview with Amy, where we get to learn all about her gorgeous wedding details & see her fabulous wedding pictures. You guessed it, she designed her very own beautiful wedding dress. She’s one talented lady!

Update! – 11/5/08: Interested in showing your bridesmaids some love? I’ve got more exciting news for you – Amy is willing to give my readers an EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for ORDERS OF 6 OR MORE! All you need to do is send her an email at: amy{at}everylittlecounts{dot}net, and she’ll give you details on how to use your discount. Cheers!


Designer Interview Part Two: Amy’s Wedding PLUS An Exclusive Discount!

Yesterday, I featured the first part of my interview with Amy Snider, fashion designer behind Every Little Counts. Today, as promised, I’m featuring the second part of our interview, where she shares with us all of her amazing wedding details. Yes, this includes pictures of the wedding dress she designed for herself!

First, let me just say that tees from Every Little Counts would make fabulous bridal party gifts! Interested in showing your bridesmaids some love? I’ve got more exciting news for you – Amy is willing to give my readers an EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for ORDERS OF 6 OR MORE! All you need to do is send her an email at: amy{at}everylittlecounts{dot}net, and she’ll give you details on how to use your discount. Cheers!

Now, more about Amy, our interview and her special wedding day wearing the gown she designed. What a talented lady! Let’s all support her new adventure – her unique line and amazing talent. I wish I could create a line as cool as hers! However, I might have to learn to sew first. Ha!

Do you mind telling us a little bit about your wedding and how you met your husband?
Adam and I met at bar in New York City, where we were both living at the time. We started talking and ended up walking around the city on that cold night, hand in hand, discovering how much we had in common. Five years later we got married.

(Shown Above: Amy and Adam on their wedding day!)

As for our wedding…it was amazing. I remember wishing it would never end. It was just perfect. While we were dating, one of our favorite places to go was the Empire Fulton Ferry State Park in Dumbo. We always said we would want to get married there. Although we were living in L.A., there was never any question about getting married in Brooklyn. Luckily everything worked out! The ceremony was held in the park and the reception was held at a nearby art gallery, Smack Mellon.

(Shown Above: A picture of Amy & her brother at her wedding. “Because my father had passed away right before I turned 21, Todd walked me down the aisle. It was definitely very emotional. This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.” - Amy Snider)

(Shown Above: The whole ceremony, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and Amy and Adam walking away as a married couple.)

What was your dress like, who designed it? Tell us about your shoes!
My dress was very Grecian inspired, which is appropriate because we went to Greece for our honeymoon. It was long and flowy with a braided halter, deep back, and small flowing train. I designed the dress and my friend Carolina made it for me. It was pretty stressful, but in the end I felt amazing in it. For shoes, I wore these beautiful sandals from Nine West, which had a braided detail that perfectly matched my dress. I still wear them all the time!

(Shown Above: “Me and Sharon, my maid of honor (and only bridal party member… I wanted it small!). Her dress was Moschino Cheap and Chic, bought at Loehmann’s.”)

(Shown Above: The back of Amy’s beautiful wedding dress!)

What type of flowers did you carry?
I have no idea, but they were beautiful! Very earthy and natural- ivory with shades of green and dusty pink.

(Shown Above: Pictures of Amy’s gorgeous wedding bouquet! She had a vintage handkerchief embroidered with her and Adam’s wedding date.)

Did you enjoy being a bride and planning your wedding?
I did…it was fun. I definitely wasn’t wedding crazy though- not a “bridezilla” by any means! We were very pragmatic about the whole thing.

(Shown Above: Inside the gallery, Smack Mellon – where Amy and Adam had their wedding reception.)

Did you hire a wedding planner?
No..we did everything ourselves!

(Shown Above: The centerpiece with bubbles and disposable cameras for each guest)

(Shown Above: The wedding favors!)

Who were your favorite wedding vendors and why?
We used amazing vendors!

(Shown Above: Amy’s wedding cake by Almondine Bakery - “People are still talking about the cake, it was so good! And…I got to work with Herve personally to come up with the flavors. It was heaven!”)

Scott Whittle Photography - He was our biggest expense, but well worth it!

Real Food Catering - So many options and reasonably priced.

Seaport Flowers - We didn’t go overboard on flowers, but Amy did a wonderful job.

Do you have any advice for brides who are planning their weddings?
Don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money and don’t over think things! Think of it like a big party. Try to make it your own – it should be a reflection of the two of you. For us, we knew we wanted a small intimate wedding, surrounded by the family and friends we love the most.

(Shown Above: “This is one of my favorite photos of my mom- she’s looking at me in my dress, all ready to go!” )

We did as much as we could ourselves. Adam made both the save the date postcards and the invitations, which he screen-printed by hand. For wedding favors, we packaged jelly beans and Hershey kisses with a custom designed note from the both of us. Music was another area where we saved a lot of money. Since music was very important to us, we created our own play list on our ipod, the perfect combination of 60′s soul and 80′s new wave.

(Shown Above: The lovely couple, Amy and Adam!)

Advice for marriage?
Communicate. Have fun. Respect one another. Dedicate time to one another.

Name your top five favorite blogs to read, no matter the subject.
The Sartorialist
Oh Joy

Thanks Amy! Looks like you and Adam had an amazing wedding day, congratulations!

Don’t forget to head on over to Every Little Counts to check out her awesome new line, and be sure to email her about the super sweet discount she’s offering for orders of 6 or more – such a fun gift for bridesmaids!


An interview with Kimberly Meserve Calakoutis, owner of KC Photography in MA!

How did you become interested in photography?
I pretty much have always been a really creative, artistic person. It is the only think I can imagine myself doing. It wasn’t until I was a little older that I focused specifically on photography. I remember being in college, at the beach with some friends, and having my roommates disposable camera, and I was taking pictures of rocks and water, and sand, and my roommate looking at me like I was nuts, wasting film! So I guess it was pretty much always there!
What made you decide to become a professional wedding photographer and how long have you been in the industry?
I think it found me! When I was college I was in the fine art program, and I loved photography. I was really passionate about it, people started asking me if I could help out a friend of theirs, who were getting married but didn’t have a lot of money. After college, I spent several years working with established photographers, gaining experience and building a portfolio. Last year was my first year in business, and this year I just opened a new studio.
Do you have any advice for those who want to someday become a professional wedding photographer?
First you have to love it. Second just never give up! Third, treat people the way you would want to be treated.
Describe yourself in three words.
My husband is sitting right here so I asked him. He said: sweet, pretty and loving (And then he added – stinky!). The three words I would use are: happy, fun, and maybe even a little wacky!
What kind of wedding photography do you offer?
The three words I like to use are: Timeless, Sophisticated and Elegant. I like traditional images done in a not so traditional way. I also really like simple. Simple can be so beautiful.
When shooting a wedding, what provides your inspiration for that unique event?
Everything! The location, the couple’s personalities, the colors, the tone of the event, even the weather! I find it inspiring to shoot in a place I have never been before, but I also love the challenge of finding new ways to shoot in a location that I photograph in often.
What is too much in a wedding picture, and how do you draw the line?
Well this is going to be different for everyone, but I like to approach it this way. How is the couple going to feel about this in 30 years?Something else to think about is, what will your children say about these pictures? I want the answer to be, “Mom you looked so beautiful and happy!”, not,”you guys were so goofy!”.
When editing pictures, what do you choose to edit out?
I approach editing the pictures from the point of view of telling a story. So I edit out things that are redundant, or don’t add interest to the story.
What do you do when your vision of the pictures for the wedding conflicts with the bride or groom’s vision?
Well it depends how far off the visions are. But most likely if we are really on a different page, they don’t end up clients! I would rather refer them to someone that is going to make them happy. Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be, and you can’t be everything to everyone.
I think of it like this, if you wanted jazz music and hired a heavy metal band, you probably are not going to be too happy with the results. Even if the metal band tried playing jazz, you are still going to get better results if you hire a jazz band.
Can you give an example of when you said, “Wow” and were really happy with the end result of your work?
This actually happened really recently. I had redone my website around Christmas, and then started the magazine right after my wedding in January. Once I started working on the magazine I had not been to my website in a long time. One day when I went through the website the way someone would for the first time, I got to the magazine and clicked on it… seeing it that way really caught me off guard and I felt, “Wow!”
What was your most challenging wedding to shoot?
I think photographing weddings in New England, one of the most challenging things can be some really intense weather. I have photographed weddings in hurricanes, snowstorms, and even without electricity!
Is there an inspiration for you, past or present, when taking your pictures?
I find inspiration everywhere. There are a lot of other wedding photographers’ whose work that I really admire and find inspiring. Sometimes I find inspiration from movies, I actually find a real lot of inspiration from my parents and grandparents wedding albums, I LOVE old pictures! The couples personalities and interest can also be inspiring. For example, this summer one of the couples are amazing dancers, I find their talent really inspiring. The couple’s vision of their wedding can also be really inspiring.
What would be your dream wedding to shoot, and why?
Any beautiful wedding! They are all so different. I don’t know if I could pick just one! Destination weddings can be fun, casual weddings are great too. That is a really tough question!
Would you ever turn down a job, and if so, for what reasons?
I am sure I would turn a job done, but it hasn’t happened yet! I am pretty upfront about who I am, and what I offer. I have really good relationships with my clients.
What questions do you think are important for a bride and groom to ask when booking a wedding photographer?
I don’t know if it is the questions you ask them, I think the questions that might be more important are the questions they ask you!
Sometimes couples have a list of questions that they got somewhere, and I think those are a good idea. Most people have never been married before, so how are they supposed to know what to ask! The most important thing is that you trust your photographer. So any question you have that will install that trust is a good question. A good one that might not be on one of those lists would be,
“Where will you be when I am putting my dress on?”, or, “who will be in the room with me when I am getting dressed?”. Let them know if you want them there or if you would prefer privacy.
What is your biggest selling point, and why?
Most likely that I really relate to brides, and I am really friendly and outgoing.
If you were to get married today, what would you look for in a wedding photographer and why?
I wish I could get married every year so I could pick a different photographer with a different style every year! Style and personality would be the two things that would be important to me.
Any advice for couples who are searching for a wedding photographer?
Ask your friends and family what they thought of their photographers. What did they like, what they didn’t like.
Can you tell us a little bit about the last wedding you shot?
I would rather tell you about the last wedding I was at, MINE! Not too many crazy people here in New England getting married in the middle of the winter! But the last one I shot had the yummiest desserts ever. Tables and tables of desserts!
You recently created your website, “A Visual Guide For The Online Bride”. What made you decide to do this? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I started this shortly after my own wedding. For the photography business I was doing things like going to bridal fairs, and meeting other vendors. Brides at the bridal fairs were telling me that they would go to photographer’s websites looking for ideas. Having just been married I was really in tune with what it is like to plan a wedding right now. I did so much of my planning over the internet. There was one day I spent my whole day driving from the north of Boston to the south of Boston (This is not physically far, but it took me hours with traffic). Basically it was a waste of a whole day. I just realized I was in a position where I could really help brides. I am already being exposed to so many great wedding ideas. And I know how tough and time consuming planning a wedding can be. The idea was actually just really obvious to me. I just had to kick it up a notch!

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