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Daily Inspiration: Meet Rachel Carlson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Carlson.

Hi Rachel, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am an artist and my medium is fabric with the human body as my canvas. I first learned how to sew when I was seven years old and I took to designing all of my clothes only a few years later. Growing up in a small town in Minnesota with very little money, it became the easiest way for me to express my budding creative voice. I studied clothing design at the University of Minnesota and while I was there, I discovered a deep love for haute couture fashion design and hand-sewn and tailored clothing. While I was in college, I was lucky enough to win an international design award and was given the opportunity to study haute couture in Paris for a summer. I moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and throughout the years here, I have worked in many fashion and costume design houses making clothing ranging from custom-tailored suits to red carpet gowns to ballroom dance costumes to Disney on Ice costumes to performance costumes for famous pop stars. All of the jobs I had helped me hone my technical sewing skills as I worked to one day start my own clothing design business. In 2016, I was flown to the Philippines to compete on a fashion design reality show called Design Genius. I won the competition and it helped give me the confidence to finally work for myself and put my energy into my own collection. Rachelle Appelle is my collection of one of a kind performance costumes for circus artists and dancers and wedding designs for non-traditional folks.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest obstacle for me has been my belief in myself and my ability to make a living selling my art. Every time I was on the verge of putting all my energy into my business full time, I would get scared that the money wouldn’t come and I would give up and take on a full-time job. If I had just believed in myself and my talent many years ago, I know I would have been successful. It’s been wonderful working for myself and selling my designs for the last three years. That has always been my dream.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My design label is Rachelle Appelle. It is based on my love of French haute couture and beautifully sewn and tailored garments. I am most known for my costume hoods which I sell on my Etsy store. I have sold many hundreds of them. What I enjoy making most are my one of a kind hand-sewn lace leotards and my lace wedding dresses. I enjoy cutting apart fancy laces and beaded fabrics to apply to my garments in new ways to make each design slightly different. No two are alike. I enjoy working with my clients to design a custom garment especially for them to fit their size, style, and needs. I design everything from tailored suits to wedding gowns to dance costumes and I put love into each design I make.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I listen to many political podcasts during my many hours of sewing, my favorite ones being Reveal, Politically Re-Active, Behind the Bastards, and Pod Save the People.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

1. Anna Ciccone Photography 2. Trista Maja Photography 3. Gillian Menzie Photography 4. Anna Ciccone Photography 5. Desiree Keoshian Photography 6. Stephanie Ceglia Photography 7. Tre Parker Photography 8. Abigail Shea Photography

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