Make what you love


“Let me show you something ridiculous I made,” Prima said when I arrived in Brattleboro. “It’s not going in the shop, it’s just something I made for myself, but I love it. Look at that, isn’t it absurd!” She showed me this beautiful red bra made of swimsuit fabric with a bit of lace at the center and matching shorts. Not your average swimsuit, but quite a lovely thing, and something I think others would enjoy. I insisted on photographing it so she could list it in her shop, and it got us thinking about what inspires our best work, what sells, and what is worth working on.

I always think Prima’s craziest projects, the ones that she makes for herself because she loves them, are her best work. As a shop owner, she worries about whether anyone else wants to wear a swimsuit that looks more like lingerie, and that’s definitely a reasonable concern. But she had so much fun making this swimsuit, and I think that comes through. When you love what you’re making you pay attention to it in a way that is difficult to force – you notice all the little details and have an intuitive sense that the peach elastic band should peak through in the center.  So my vote is that she should list the clothes she wants to make for herself and not worry about designing specifically for her shop.

There’s no question that you should make the things you love, because it’s just fun to do so. But what about when you’re designing for a shop? How important is it to think about what other people want to wear? Prima and I decided last weekend that for her it might be better to just make the things she wants to wear and hope that someone else will have as much fun in this lacy red swimsuit as she does.

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7 Responses to Make what you love

  1. Kristin says:

    Oh my gosh, I love it! The colors and the style are just darling. I love the detailing in the middle, and I can’t believe she thought people might not be interested in it!

    I’ve actually thought about the question you posed quite a bit because while it’s certainly a big question for store owners, it’s not something that most people necessarily think about in their own personal lives, but they should. When people create simply because they think others will like it, I feel like it really loses something. When you start doing that (whether it’s for a shop or something as simple as getting dressed in the morning), I feel like you begin to lose your own style or eye for what you think looks good. And then you begin doubting and nothing good comes from that. Everyone has their own style, whether they think so or not, and when you’re true to what you like, others are innately attracted to it.

    While it’s true that lingerie inspired swimwear might not be embraced by everyone, there is a group out there that will love it and purchase it. I’m sure it’s much complicated for those who sell their creations, as their time and money is tied into it, but I completely agree – it’s much better to stick to making things you like!

    • Naomi says:

      I hadn’t noticed how this could apply to something like getting dressed in the morning, but of course it does. And I always like it when I see someone who seems to be having fun with their clothes even if it’s not what I personally prefer!

    • Ashley says:


      Let’s just say, for example that someone really likes the 60’s style shift dresses…or drop-waisted beaded gowns look on others. She may make one because she likes how it looks on others, and never wear it because she doesn’t like the way it looks on her, or wear it, but never feel comfortable in it and feel sad because it doesn’t fit her the way it fits others. Either way, it’s kind of unsettling.

      On another note, I’m all about lingerie-inspired swimwear! This is gorgeous!

  2. Natasha says:

    I studied product design and they were always telling us how we shouldn’t design what we want, but what the client wants. That might be true when you’re working for someone else, but I think when it’s your own business it’s important to put a little of yourself into your designs. It’s what sets you apart.

    • Naomi says:

      Yeah, I think it’s different when you have a specific client and they have a vision of their own. But if it’s not a custom job you don’t have a customer yet, so you can’t really know what they want. I know Prima spends a lot of time trying to imagine when a hypothetical custom would like, but sometimes it’s best to just make something beautiful.

  3. Lita says:

    Does your friend Prima has a blog too?

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