A bride’s interview with owner and designer Maggie:
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you become a wedding dress designer and seamstress?
A long time… I have been sewing for as long as I can remember, as young as I could hold and maneuver a needle and thread. It’s the chicken and egg story as to what came first, the love of sewing or the inspiration to design. For me, I couldn’t have one without the other. I never used just one pattern to create a garment, I used multiple patterns to get just the design I wanted. For all of my childhood, sewing and designing was a hobby and what I did to relieve stress and express myself creatively. Even after studying Textiles while getting my fine arts degree I still thought in the back of my mind that I’d have to find something else to do to make a living.
After college I joyfully took a job working for two wedding dress designers in downtown Seattle, WA. It was there that I became immersed in the wedding dress world – working mainly in white and ivory, having my hands on silk everyday, and brushing up against women during one of the biggest transitions of their lives.
Observing women preparing for this transition day after day tugged at my heart. While the process itself seemed so enormous to a woman’s psyche, no one was talking about it. As I worked with and observed hundreds of women in the process of finding their dream dresses, while managing the stress of planning the rest of the wedding on top of regular life, I recognized a need for the blending of expertise in design and construction WITH total emotional caring and heart. Sometimes these women went dress hunting without really knowing themselves very well and what they might truly want minus all the opinions of girlfriends and moms and aunts. Over the years I’ve heard story upon story of women feeling like they were just another bride in the wedding industry machine; their experiences lacking in true connection.
The turning point for me was after I graduated with my Master’s in Transpersonal Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy, that I truly acknowledged that I wanted to make a go of being a wedding dress designer, but that I wanted to do it differently. I now had the opportunity to provide women with a sacred container – one in which to have a beautiful dress created for them, but also a place to be recognized for the big transition they were going through.
After sewing and designing all my life, doing that professionally for over 15, I decided to open my own wedding dress design studio just 3 years ago.
The comment that I hear a lot, and just tickles me is this: “This is the most fun part of the wedding planning because it’s all about the process.” The journey becomes enjoyable instead of ticking another thing off the list!
I love your wedding dress and custom services and portfolio. Everything sounds great…. So can you tell me what really sets you apart from all the other wedding dress designers or boutiques out there?
Maggie Evans Designs was created to cater to you and your desires. I am solely dedicated to serving you as the bride. I do not take on other types of sewing projects or alterations of other types of garments. I focus exclusively on weddings.
My studio is different than most traditional bridal boutiques. Everything that I do is artistic and bespoke. That means you will always (I don’t use that word lightly) get something beautiful that is one-of-a-kind made just for you. I don’t replicate designs from pictures torn out of wedding magazines or found on Pinterest. Inspiration is good, it’s necessary, but I design for you, your body and your desires. That’s true whether I am creating a custom gown from scratch or tailoring a dress you purchased elsewhere.
I have a small collection of dresses that I’ve designed for re-order. Yes, these dresses I’ve designed to be a complete look as they are, but for you they might be mere suggestions. Again, everything that I make is customizable, from fabric to overall design and details. I will always share my aesthetic opinions and make suggestions tailored just to you and your body and the look you are going for, but the final decisions are left up to your desires.
Because I give so much time and attention to each bride, I take on a limited number of projects each year. I want you to feel that you have space to share and talk through anything that comes up for you during the dress process. Choosing a gown speaks to so much that can be challenging for us women: body image, pleasing others vs. choosing based on our intuition/instincts, dynamics with girlfriends, mothers or sisters, our desires for approval, and the debate between being to revealing or too modest.
My creative brain is always turned on even on my “days off” – it’s how I move through the world, express myself, and relate to others. Sometimes I even dream about dress designs and realize new ideas while I sleep.
This all sounds to wonderful. But, it also seems expensive. Am I going to be able to afford to have a customized wedding dress? How can I justify spending so much money?
Having a dress designed and created just for you or tailored just for you is about more than just the end product. It’s about the process, it’s about having a say from the beginning, it’s about creating memories, it’s about self-love. It’s a gift – that you give yourself.
Think about all the time and energy that you might (or already have for that matter) spend looking for the dress that’s just right for you. Imagine all the moments you spend day-dreaming about your “perfect” dress and wonder where in the heck you are going to find it when you’ve not come across one image that’s exactly “it”. What would it be worth to know you are going to get just what you want, and have that time freed up to spend with your sweetie, or enjoying the outdoors, or spending a weekend away with friends or focusing on other parts of the wedding planning. Wouldn’t that feel great? Wouldn’t you feel so smart?
There is a reason why I offer several ways to work with me to get your custom dress.
Come visit me for your complimentary consultation and find out exactly how easy it can be. And not only easy, how about satisfying, relieving, and inspiring?!
I’d love to have you tailor my dress but it seems expensive for just one day. How can I justify possibly spending as much or more on alterations than I did on my dress?
Who do you work with best?
You are my bride if you appreciate good, unique design and fine craftsmanship, AND you also are craving a process that is authentic, and even sacred. You desire a high-quality product AND a high-quality experience. And, gosh darn it, you are frustrated because you don’t fit the traditional mold and you want a dress as novel and sophisticated as you are!
In art therapy there is a term called third hand intervention. This means that a client knows what she wants to create but lacks all the skills required to pull it off. That’s where the therapist comes in and creates the object with the direction of the client. Because I am also a therapist, I see through this lense sometimes. So that’s me – I’m the therapist creating your beautiful object with your direction and my expertise!
Who’s not going to benefit from your custom services?
Price shoppers and micro-managers who don’t necessarily care about quality. When you hire me, you hire an artist and you will get the best product and have a great experience if you let me do my job. That’s where the magic happens!
Do you take credit cards and do you have a payment plan?
Yes and yes.
I love cash, I like checks too, and I also accept credit cards with a 3% convenience fee.
50% deposit is required to begin your project and the balance is due when your dress is all ready to walk out the door with you. Alternative payment plans are offered on a case by case basis.
This process seems exactly like what I’ve been looking for. So how does it work exactly?
That’s fantastic! The next thing to do is schedule a consultation with me. You can peruse my website to read about your different options and if you are not sure exactly what direction you’d like t go, that’s okay too. Just come on in to my studio and be prepared to get inspired. You can also sign up to get my #1 tool that I use to help brides find clarity and total inspiration for their wedding dress, plus 3 months of email tips and tools so that your wedding dress journey is more than easy – it will be totally enjoyable!
What have your other brides said about working with you?
One of my favorite comments ever is this:
“I got to wear a dress that felt like it was literally made for me (because it was!), got more compliments than I ever expected and The Knot even gave us a shout out on their Twitter and Instagram. Trust in Maggie and don’t look back. She was exactly who I needed before I even knew I needed her. You can feel confident that her creativity, vision and expertise will lead you to nothing but a beautiful end result.”
You can also read more about what brides have to say here.
I have a few more questions before getting started. Can I call or email you to discuss further?
Absolutely! Choosing to have your dress made just for you is a magical experience and one I LOVE to talk about. Please email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to chat!
**Scroll down for more information, including my bio video.
Maggie has been sewing for as long as she can remember, possibly in the womb. She received her first sewing machine at age 10 and nothing could hold her back from designing and creating clothing after that.
She received her BA in Textile Art from Western Washington University in 2001 and immediately went to work for a renowned bridal shop in downtown Seattle, WA. While she loved sewing bridal gowns and working with brides, she discovered that there was a key piece missing. No one was acknowledging the powerful transition that was happening in these women on a deep emotional and psychological level so she switched gears and headed to Boulder, Colorado to study Art Therapy at Naropa University. Talk about experiential education about transitions! While she was working towards her degree, Maggie had a baby boy.
In 2010, she successfully completed her Master’s in Transpersonal Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy and promptly went back to sewing wedding dresses!
As with all dreams that do come true, she is now happily beginning to combine her unique dress making design skills with her deep interest and talent in psychology to offer meaningful experiences for brides. She offers bridal counseling, custom dress designing and her own dress collection for brides to choose from, all out of her gorgeous studio in South Boulder.
Her work has been featured in the Rocky Mountain Bride magazine, as well as on Couture Colorado, Ruffled, Sweet Violet Bride, The Handmade Wedding Blog, New York Daily News, Style Me Pretty, Offbeat Bride and Daily Mail UK. She was also a featured artist at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art where she presented a show called metamorphose which was all about the dynamic transition a woman makes as she prepares for marriage.