In this blog post we ask the designer behind Mon Ami by Collette a few interesting questions in a casual and relaxed interview style. Let’s see what she has to say as we get to know Mon Ami by Collette a little bit better.
Q. What is your name?
A. Collette Louise Clark
Q. Did you study after school?
A. I studied Textile Design in Cape Town.
Q. When did you first start sewing?
A. I started at about 14/15. I used to make my friends and I those little stretchy short tube skirts out of ribbing. It was a lot cheaper to create my own clothing, plus I got to pick the fabric!
Q. When did you start Mon Ami by Collette?
A. I started in 2011, when my daughter got her drivers license and I suddenly had a bit more time to make clothing for my friends.
Q. What was the first market you attended?
A. Our first market for Mon Ami was I Heart Market at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. I remember arriving with my daughter (she applied for that market), setting up one rail of my clothing and just hoping somebody would buy at least one dress. I think I sold 18 that day, from there I knew I just had to keep on going.
Q. What market have you attended the longest?
A. Shongweni Farmer’s Market, we were there before the move to the current venue, I think it was 2013 or somewhere close to that time. We still have a stall there now, even though I moved to Cape Town last year.
Q. How do you keep all your markets stocked?
A. I sew. I sew everything, occasionally I get some help for the busy season. I need to get a CMT (cut, make and tailor) for this season I think.
Q. What is your inspiration behind the clothing ranges?
A. I think there are 2 parts to this answer. Firstly my daughter, we love brain storming together and then she usually gets the first sample of whatever we’ve created. Secondly, the fabric. I love buying new fabric. I just can’t wait to get it to my studio, wash it and get sewing! When my daughter comes with me we have even more fun, I think it’s her favourite part too.
Q. Where do you buy your fabric?
A. Shhh that’s a secret. Let’s just say I find the most interesting local places in and around Cape Town. Usually my daughter climbs over rolls of fabrics gathering what looks great and I do the deals. Then we decide together what would be perfect for the Mon Ami by Collette range.
Q. Where do you see Mon Ami going in the next few years?
A. I see my website taking off. I see a possible men’s range. I see a little boutique, with coffee, cake and maybe some glasses of champagne.
Mon Ami by Collette