Today, I am honored to introduce you to Karina Cousineau of Karina Dresses. I first discovered Karina Dresses on Sally McGraw’s awesome Already Pretty blog. Then, I had the good fortune of connecting with the Karina folks who are just as cool in real life as they are on the computer screen (A Karina dress is the grand prize giveaway for the August shine: spark your self-acceptance journey; how cool is that?). And the dresses? Fabulous (a review is coming; I just need to get a picture snapped while I am wearing said fabulous dresses). Knowing I loved the dresses and the company, I couldn’t help but want to know more about Karina herself and so I invited her to do this Q&A for the blog. And, now, well, I totally want her to be my friend. We could sit around in our fabulous dresses and eat pie. So, here we go, Karina in her own words…
I love the concept behind Karina Dresses and I know the company’s approach and your designs are largely informed by your life. Can you tell us some of the creation story behind Karina Dresses and what your vision is?
Karina Dresses started with my own desire to have a dress that was figure flattering, comfortable, and could take me thru my busy day from day to night. A friend saw me wearing my dress and asked me to make some for their NYC boutique. I did, and they sold out immediately.
I realized then that there were many other woman who also wanted a dress that was easy wear, easy care so I continued to sew them, first in my apartment and now we have our own production in Brooklyn, NY sewing 200 dresses weekly.
What inspires you in your design work?
What woman want – going to stores to attend trunk shows gives me an opportunity to here what ladies want. It’s very important to listen to your customers.
What is the best professional advice you’ve been given?
Delegate some of my work, follow your heart…..and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Can you flashback to you at 15? What was your style like then? Does that 15 year old show up at all in your life or style today?
My style is the same ish – independent, dancing to my own tune, making what is not found in stores and loving a great thrift shop find.
What is a day in your life like?
Joyful! I get to do what I love ~ surrounded by people I love with two kitties & my dog I adore!
My day starts early- at sunrise- probably since I was born on a farm that habit never went away. Mornings are my most productive time and that is when pattern making happens. It’s important to have this quiet time before the phone starts ringing. At the studio we spend most of the day on customer service- filling orders , production, fabric sourcing and researching.
To relax , I love to cook and experiment with new recipes from what is in season. Recently , I started to make pies as gifts for occasions. Strawberry/rhubarb, key lime and, yesterday, peach – all from scratch and with love .
What is something you most appreciate about yourself?
Hmmm….I feel super blessed to wake up happy everyday. My friends say I am a generous and kind friend.
What is a community issue you care about and why?
Years ago, I took time off from work and went to India to volunteer at a school for street children called the ‘Little Stars School’. Back then, there were about 40 children attending and today there are over 400. I am happy to say we are able to give part of our proceeds to them. Volunteer work and helping is so wonderful not only for the help it gives these children, but as an opportunity to have a place to put your love.
What do you wish all women knew?
That they are beautiful whatever their dress size is!
Digging on Karina dresses and want one for yourself? The good folks at Karina are offering a discount code to my blog readers. The code (MOLR30) will provide $30 off any full-priced dress. Enjoy!