Originally from Ireland, Sandra grew up surrounded by creativity. Her mom and grandmother were home sewers and her dad owned a menswear store. Given her surroundings, there was no escaping design.
She went to design school, moved to NYC and got her first job working at Victoria’s Secret. She later moved onto work at other large fashion brands like The Gap and Hanes. Working for the big brands had its pros and cons. They guaranteed a steady income and benefits, but creativity was a challenge when her sketches filtered through so many people within the companies.
So after 10 years in the industry, Sandra was ready to move on to places where she could be more creative. She applied for positions at high-end brands, but her resume wasn’t good enough. And other jobs she was qualified for, she wasn’t interested in. So, as Sandra told me “If you can’t find the job you want, why not make the job you want?”
Combining her design experience with her passion for vintage fashion, Sandra started her own clothing line, Recollection. All she knew when starting the line was how to design. She knew how to source fabrics from her previous jobs, but couldn’t work with them because they only dealt with large quantities. Organizing a photoshoot? She didn’t know how to do that, but she figured it out by talking to people, looking around online at what other designers were doing, and being patient with trial and error.
When I asked Sandra if she has any recommendations for other people who want to start a clothing line, she said “As much time and effort and money you think you’re going to need, double that at the very least. Feel like you’re ready for it. It’s a very personal thing to do. Stay true to yourself and your POV. When you’re your own person, you rely on your opinion. Other people who haven’t worked as hard are offering up their POV. Keep your integrity. Be authentic in what you do.”
If you’re also a new designer and want to connect with Sandra to share advice, she’s open to it. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Sandra for the great interview – I’m looking forward to your future collections!