Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Dickins.
Thanks for sharing your story with us. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It sounds like a cliché but for me it all started when I was five years old with the Vogue magazine my mother had left on the table. I saw a floor length emerald green adorned in glitter ivy dress that changed my life forever. It literally changed the way I feel about life. I know that seems silly to think about something having such an effect on you as just a cocktail dress I fantasized about wearing it; how to make it and where I was going while I was wearing this dress. I loved it so much I tore it out of the magazine I put it in a manila envelope and carried it around with me for three years.
One night my parents told me it was going to be with a babysitter all weekend so I asked him to take me to the art store. I bought a photo album, illustration paper and two boxes of colored pens and pencils. I proceeded to draw an entire fashion line this evening cut it out and put it into a photo album making my very first fashion portfolio at the age of six. This I also carried around with me everywhere. 🙂
Two years later I saw something on television I couldn’t live without. It was a sewing kit on making your own stuffed animal. This was my first intro to sewing. It became the most relaxing and therapeutic hobby and I was in love again.
My senior year of high school I took a home economics class and had to make a dress for a runway show in front of our city Council and model the dress ourselves. I was so inspired by the project that I tried to re-create the Versace ivy dress I have been caring around since I was three years old. I couldn’t understand how to use a pattern so I just cut fabric and sewed and glued it together however, possible which is a technique I still used to this day.
As you can guess the dress was not any sign of perfection and since I didn’t know how to put in a zipper it was very loosely draped over my body were there was an entire open the flap in the back had a bent over tripped or walked in correctly on the runway I would’ve been completely exposed in front of all of city Council. I did not win the contest, mainly because I do not think anyone understood my vision, but again I knew I was hooked for a lifetime of fashion.
I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and my life has been dedicated to it ever since.
I then went on to get my associated degree in Fashion Merchandizing and my Bachelors of arts in fashion Design and went on to pursue the dream. It turns out as much of a dream as it was it was also a nightmare. It is a vicious industry filled with people who are the opposite of environmentally friendly. Slowly but surely my life’s passion became a burden to our planet. Most of the places I worked didn’t even recycle so I would fill my little compact sports car to the brim with all the trash from work every day and drive it myself to the recycling center.
I was so discouraged by this that I actually quit fashion twice. Once was to travel the world for seven months. And in my travels, all I did was fall in love with the local cultures art and fashion. I brought home every piece of fashion or art I could carry or ship since all I had was a backpack and a sleeping bag.
The second time was to take a sales job working with a performing art school, which I loved, but there was always something missing in my life, my passion.
I returned back into fashion where I am at a start-up denim and Sportswear Company McGuire denim. Here I fell in love with fashion all over again. The company is very open to my ideas of making everything green, which I love.
I got a phone call from a friend I went to school with in France that she was throwing a fashion event in Orange Country and wanted to do one outfit for the show. I ended up doing 25 in three months with twelve models, and Fashion Yell began.
Fashion Yell is a zero-waste company completely made of recycled materials. Because of this I never design anything ahead of time. I let what I find determine the garment it will be. It is fashion with a purpose; to keep fabrics out of the trash and landfills. All scraps that are left over are currently donated to Habitat for Humanity and other similar organizations. One day my dream is to make furniture out of them.
I only sell off Instagram right now and small events here and there around the city. I am currently working on an Etsy page so stay tuned and hopefully soon my own website.
Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing worth wile is a smooth road. My biggest obstacle is time. I work around the clock with other companies to pay for Fashion Yell and spend what little free time I have left making it. It is blood sweat and tears daily but it feels so amazing to create something all my own. I have waited all my life for this, it just took me a while to get to a place where I was ready and felt grounded enough to pursue it.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Fashion Yell story. Tell us more about the business.
Fashion Yell specializes in one of a kind fashion for the not so ordinary girl. The girl who wants to walk into the room and make heads roll. Someone who is not afraid to be bold and set her own standard for beauty. What I find beautiful is a perfect balance of modesty and confidence. She is a wild and free spirit who embraces her mind body and soul. And if she isn’t she would wear my clothes to make her feel this way even just for one night.
The Fashion Yell girl does not take herself too seriously. Life is way too short to wear boring clothes and she embraces this. Fashion is art and I love the challenge to have a room full of materials and see what I can create using what I have.
I am proud of maintaining my values for Fashion Yell to be an eco friendly line. In the future I look forward to developing and using echo fabrics and dyes and finding new ways to use different eco friendly materials. This will be the avenue I take if I ever get the opportunity to do large production runs of the line.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I would like to see the fast fashion industry take more responsibility on a global level for preserving our planet. 🙂
- Fashion Yell is extremely affordable one of a kind fashion ranging from $50-$350 depending on the style, materials and amount of work.
- Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: fashion_yell
- Facebook: courtney dickins
Models: Stephanie van Burk (pink raincoat), ——-Constance Antoinette Day( pink corset in kitchen and pink diner picture) ,——- Ashley Hayward (Gold disco jacket, black and pink jacket with white trim down front, rainbow army coat) (All of her photos were taken by Sercer Studios but edited by me) ——- Hannah Kat Jones (purple and green on stairs, pink feather cape and star corset, topless shot with metallic pants)