Whats not to love about mixing art with fashion? We certainly love the combination, and was thrilled to interview Michelle Cardona, Owner of her own Fashion label 1Vintage Soul and Creative Director of Lovestrength. She tells us about how she got into the industry and what inspires her to create her collections.
Tell us about yourself, how did you start out becoming owner of 1VintageSoul and Creative Director of Lovestrength?
I originally opened my small shop in the Summer of 2012. I named my etsy shop 1VintageSoul because I am a lover of all things vintage, and have always felt like I have an “old soul”. Etsy was where it all began for me. It was simply a way for me to earn supplemental income while working my dreadful 9 to 5 office job. Most evenings after work, I would create my own artwork and graphic designs for iPhone cases and covers. Each case was personally handmade, packaged and shipped on the weekends. I eventually left my job to manage my own business full-time. Within a year of opening my etsy shop, I purchased my domain name and launched my online boutique, www.1VintageSoul.com. I continue to sell handmade iPhone accessories, along with a curated selection of vintage-inspired, bohemian clothing for women.
At the beginning of 2014, I connected with Deborah Cappellazo, the Owner and Co-founder of lovestrength. Deborah shared with me her vision for the lovestrength belts and accessories line, and shortly after, we joined forces and I was on board as the Creative Director. Serving as Creative Director allows me to utilise my love for art, fashion, and photography.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I personally draw inspiration from the ocean, music and art. I am a true Angelino, born and raised in the City of Los Angeles. I now live and work in Orange County, and am still discovering new locations here for inpsiration. The Circle in Old Towne Orange is a great place for vintage treasure hunting! I have lived in sunny Southern California my entire life and I love it! There is street art everywhere you look, and the energy here is always vibrating with creative souls. Inspiration is everywhere, that it’s hard not to be inspired.
How do you start making each collection?
I am excited to share that Deborah and I just finished designing for lovestrength’s upcoming Fall/Winter collection. The two of us sat down together and merged both of our style aesthetic to create a very special collection. We create styles that we would love to wear ourselves. We both gravitate toward vintage and antique hardware, and you will see this in many of the new belt styles.
What prior experience prepared you most for this position? What have you learnt
I previously worked for a direct manufacturer of women’s clothing located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. That is where I learned all the behind-the-scenes of creating and producing ready-to-sell clothing. I have learned that in this industry, you have to consistently move forward and move fast.
In the past few years in the profession, what you can tell others staring out?
The best piece of advice I can give anyone starting out, in any profession, is to never stop learning! Become not only an active listener, but also an active learner. When you listen and learn with focused intent, you are more likely to achieve your goals. Read books and then, read more books! They don’t even have to be books about business or fashion. Just read. Write down what resonates with you, and never stop learning. Knowledge increases your capacity to learn. That knowledge will not only help you grow as a person, but you will be better equipped to grow your business.
What plans do you have for the future?
My plans for the the future are to continue growing 1 Vintage Soul and lovestrength. I am currently organizing another amazing photo shoot for the next lovestrength look book this June. Some new and exciting collaborations are in the works, so stay tuned for that!
Where can we find you online?
http://www.instagram.com/1VintageSoul (Instagram is my current obsession)