Holly Stalder is the stuff I dream of. Since I first spied her designs on etsy, I fell in love. There is an air of modern romance (a cliche term, I know). The fabrics are vintage, the look is perfect for work or a fantastic party.

When I asked her to do a Take Five interview with me, I figured she was too busy being fantastic. But she happily agreed, so I ended up with 6 questions instead of five. I couldn’t help it.

Read her answers below.

6-9 holly stalder

images: courtesy holly stalder

Tell us a little bit about you. How old are you and where do you live?

I am 34 years old and I live in Portland, Oregon. I recently sold a retail clothing store that I owned for 8 years and now plan to concentrate on designing my clothing line. After the sale I moved into a studio/storefront where I can design my line and meet with clients.

What do you love about indie style? What is it that inspires you?

I love how immediate it can be. I can design something new and sell it the same day. I am also inspired to make limited edition or one of kind pieces out of the antique fabrics- something that can’t be done in the mass market.

6-9 holly

Who do you imagine you are designing for?

Myself, although I hardly ever wear my own designs for some reason. I always design things I imagine either myself or my close friends wearing.

How did you get started designing? What is your process from idea to product?

I started 8 years ago when I opened up the store. From there I started making one of kind dresses out of
reconstructed vintage clothing. Now, I make “fancy” clothing, mostly dresses and dressy separates. A lot of my design process starts with fabric shopping, with either second hand or new fabrics. On saturdays I go to estate sales looking for fabric and lace and I end up hand dying a lot of the what I find. I don’t sketch out what I am making beforehand. I usually work by draping and or making samples from flat patterns and then I sketch it or take pictures to have a record of it. Every once and
awhile I will reconstruct a vintage piece that I find just for fun.

Give us your favorite undiscovered designer/shop.

I would have to say estate sales- that is where I shop the most and find really great vintage pieces.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen and a bunch of fashion magazines.

Holly’s etsy shop

Holly’s bio and full collections here.