People say sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. But why can’t it be both?

For those who have followed the journey that I have been on with Samantha from By Samantha Melbourne, you’ll know that we designed a Flora Collection that has been super successful and started a business relationship that has grown rapidly over the past year.

Once the high had worn off from the Flora Collection we had the stark realization that not only did this work, but we needed to keep going! Now by creating the first collection I had learnt a lot about Samantha’s brand, that darker based prints sold better, that certain colours were more popular than others, that different printing processes worked better than others for different outcomes. I had also been able to show Samantha more about my processes, how I worked, and some of the areas where I could help build her brand from a consumer perspective. She had in the past not had the opportunity to see how a pattern was made, how the different elements fit together and have control over the way it looked.

I will say here and now that I do not paint any of the florals used in this design.

I use resources. We live in such an incredible technology age that there are so many talented artists that sell their works and resources online for the sole purpose of them being made into something else. I generally use sites like Design Cuts and Creative Market, but often if I find they have their own website I will connect with them on their website and buy direct. The fact of the matter is they are incredible at what they do, I’m never going to be that good as that’s not where my energy is going to be focused. And if they are selling their work for the same purpose as what I need it for, then it’s a match made in heaven. This time we were lucky to work with Design Cuts and Twigs & Twine, and the process was wonderful.

Now when I made the patterns for the first collection, I think I may have fluked some of the process. The next collection I learnt more about how to and how not to make patterns. I learnt more about standard tiling processes, about colour shift and how important it is to ask questions when you need to grow and learn something you didn’t know before.

Our second collection took a lot of refinement and tweaking when it came to getting the process right, but it wasn’t until we were shooting the promotional shoot that we realised fully what the inspirations were. The colours that we had used, the tones and the shades were almost like they had been sampled from the rich palette of Italy. It was on a train between Rome and Venice that we named the collection; La Dolce Vita.

Now yes, you ready that right, we travelled all the way to Italy to shoot the photos for the collection.

You may ask “really? Did you really need to travel halfway across the world to shoot photos you could recreate at home?” BUT I ask you this, if you could work travel into your work life, to have adventures that take you out of the norm, would you not do it in a heartbeat? Yeah, that’s what I thought. And have you heard about the two little words “tax deductible”?

It sounds funny, but the feeling of all of the photos, they have a life of their own. You feel like you are there wandering the cobblestone alleyways and feeling the culture by just looking at the images. Shooting them was incredible. We were up so early every morning, we are not morning ladies! 5am and we were both raring to go with excitement. The way that the morning light danced with the monuments and the dresses made it a magical experience.

The dresses created are in 5 different colourways; Terracotta, Burnt Burgundy, Emerald Green, Deep Navy and Blush. Each colour has a name and a story behind it. The Terracotta is named Suzannah, after this adorable lady we met on our second day in Rome. She hand rolled all the pasta made in the front window of the shop front and she was the sweetest woman. Burnt Burgundy is Maria, the name of the wonderful woman Samantha stayed with on the Amalfi Coast. The Emerald Green is Sofia, a nod to the ever beautiful Sofia Loren. The Deep Navy is Chiara, a popular name in Italy and the name of our ever ready barista on our way to our shoots. And finally, the Blush is named Gabriella after our wonderful tour guide that showed us the ins and outs of the Colosseum.

Since releasing this collection, to say things have gone well is an understatement. Not only are sales consistent, with people often buying more than one at a time, but we have been given the incredible opportunity to be in Vogue Magazine. I have to admit, when I heard this, my jaw dropped. I guess it really shows that when you have a vision and make it come to life, the world sits up and notices!

Our next collection took us a little closer to home, but the patterns and designs are something only made in your Wildest Dreams. Read on here.

So, are you ready to hire your new design superwoman?

Finding the right designer to bring your vision to life is all about communication.

Book a time with me to discuss your next exciting project. Looking forward to chatting with you soon!