As promised here is the text of my interview with Chloe Parker of Style Arc.
I am sure you will find this very interesting, but before you start reading I really have to share my own feelings.
As a sewer I love my Stylearc patterns. They fit me and the styles are both classic and current - not an easy combination to find.
I came out of this interview feeling that Stylearc could be best described as an artisanal pattern company. These are crafted patterns, hand drawn patterns - with a fairly short distance between the designer and the end user.
Now on to the interview:
Thank you so much for doing this interview Chloe. Like many other sewers I have become a huge fan of your patterns in a very short time. To be honest I really feel your patterns are designed to fit me and your designs reflect what I see around me, what I want to wear.
But like so many other Style Arc fans I have questions. Who are these folks, where did they come from, and why do their patterns just seem to work ? For a start can you give me a little background on Style Arc. For example how long have you been in business? How would you describe your company?
Style Arc is an online clothing pattern business with an industry base. We started Style Arc at the beginning of 2010 and it came about one Saturday morning over coffee with a couple of colleagues from the rag trade. We started chatting about home sewers and what patterns were available to them? We researched and noticed that there was a gap in the market place for ready to wear patterns… which lead to the beginning of Style Arc.
Our company is small like any business starting out, and consists of 5 people with a variety of educational backgrounds and life experiences in the rag trade over many years. Our team consists of 2 pattern makers / graders, one sample machinist, and 2 people in the design/forecasting team. A positive drawn from working in a small company is that you are involved/ exposed with all areas of the business and that is very rewarding to us all.
Can you tell us a little about your design and production process?
The design team research on a daily basis whether that is trolling the internet, flicking through the latest magazines or on a buying trip, their job is relentless. Being an online line business we are always conscious of the different seasons across the world, and strive to design accordingly, putting forward appropriate styles for the different hemispheres. The design team sketch up the range for the forth coming months and present it to the team. At this stage some styles will make it and some will get the chop. For those that make it they are handed to the very skilled patternmakers and then on to the machinist for sampling. We will fit the first proto and review it all together. More often than not we will need to make alterations to the pattern after the first sample to ensure that the fit is correct and then review it again.
Do you have any plans for a North American distributor?
We are constantly reviewing the business and how better to improve our services to the customer. So in answer to this question it would be a possibility for the near future.
Tell me. What do you think is different about the Style Arc draft for sewing patterns?
It is most important to our brand that we keep the personal touch and customer service at this level along with great fitting patterns. That is not to say we don’t wish for further growth. We are so pleased with what we have achieved in such a small amount of time and look forward to the next 12 months.
Thank you Chloe for a great interview, for your time, and for your patterns.