StephieAnn Design – Stephanie Woolven
Stephanie Woolvens’ handmade luxury brand StephieAnn Design lingerie and nightwear is made for women to feel special about themselves.
Stephanie runs her lingerie business from her family home in West Sussex and her fabric is created using drawings and photographs of melting frozen flowers in ice sculptures.
“You’re the owner and it’s yours”
“My debut collection, Hammer Through Daisies, is inspired by the poem ‘And Death Shall Have No Dominion’ by Dylan Thomas.
Thomas describes his feelings of love, adversity and death. Exploring this concept, I collected flowers growing in my garden, which were wild and not grown to perfection, and placed them in tubs of water to freeze.
On removal an ethereal effect is created – A beautiful flower trapped amongst ice crystals and bubbles.
Whilst these mini ice sculptures melted, I drew and photographed the changes then eventually shattered the ice with a hammer.
This artwork is then digitally printed onto British silk and made into lingeries.
I use my dads’ camera to photograph and he, in turn, nurtures me in terms of the technical aspects. My mum taught me how to sew since I was 12 or 13 years old. She is my silent partner and she’s very supportive.
Coming from a family business, I’ve being brought up with the knowledge of running a business and the mentality that you’re the owner and it’s yours.
I’ve done freelancing work before and didn’t like the idea of being dictated to by other people, which is why I love doing arts because of the total great control that I have.
I really struggled with dyslexia when I was at school so I naturally went towards art subjects and everything else kind of got left behind.
I studied Art, Photography, Textiles and Dance at college level and went on to complete an Art Foundation course at The London College of Fashion. I then studied BA Textiles at Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Art was a way for me to express myself and I was such a shy child so it was something for me to pour my love into.
I taught myself how to do everything, which is amazing because I didn’t have any previous training in seamstress. I want to be a success and this keeps me going everyday that I wake up. I want to create something that I’m proud of, that’s mine and will eventually sustain me.
I would like to see StephieAnn bloom and flourish with future collections remaining true to my ethos and becoming stronger with experience.
The plan is for StephieAnn to be sold in independent boutiques and larger lingerie and nightwear departments.
Creativity will always be my focus, which is why I plan to build a small talented team to assist me in pattern cutting and sampling so I can concentrate on other aspects of the business.
My advice for anyone going down the business route – You need to keep going and don’t give up.
You need to do your research into the sector that you’re going into and make sure it’s what you really want to do.”