Photo courtesy of Erin Fitzpartick Image by: Photo courtesy of Erin Fitzpartick
Erin Fitzpatrick: Erin Fitzpatrick Bridal stemmed from my first company, Radley, which I had started back in 2009. With Radley, I was creating custom hairpieces for private schools that matched their uniforms. From there, some of my friends were looking for custom bridal pieces, so they came to me and it was an organic flow into bridal. To see brides walking down the aisle with one of my custom headpieces or belt designs, there is something so wonderful about that. Plus, all my accessories can be found at Kleinfeld's in Toronto and in New York.
Canadian Living: What is the most important aspect of your business?
Erin Fitzpatrick : The fact that all the pieces are handmade is very important to me. Every piece that has the Erin Fitzpatrick name on it is handmade in Toronto. Also, my products are personal for every bride. They want to be able to touch the product and try it on. The newest part of my collection is the garters, which are going to be the first part of the collection to launch online this summer.
Photo courtesy of Erin Fitzpatrick
Canadian Living: How does the use of social media help your business?
Erin Fitzpatrick : Social media is still fairly new to me. I was trying to do everything through my personal accounts, and then I was advised to do it separately because I needed to focus on the bridal aspect alone. So over the last year, I've joined Instagram and I'm trying to put up posts that are connecting the most brides. Plus, everything is going visual with platforms like Pinterest, so I'm trying to focus more on those details.
Canadian Living: What's unique about your brand?
Erin Fitzpatrick : In bridal, especially for accessories, there is a lot of excess. My brand is classic, elegant and timeless. One of the buyers at Kleinfeld actually described it as the Kate Spade of bridal because it is more minimalist and it is very much on trend with millennials. My accessories add to a bride's wedding dress, without taking away from it. Canadian brides are into pretty, yet timeless styles, and that's right up my alley.
Canadian Living: What are your favorite pieces?
Erin Fitzpatrick: My favorite pieces are actually the most popular pieces! I absolutely love the heirloom belt. It has a vintage-inspired broach in the center of it, an art deco style and a lavish embellishment sewed onto a 1.5 cm ribbon. I also love the Marie Antoinette garter. This one has sea pearls coming through from bow to bow, with lace and silk tulle; it's basically jewelry for your leg. It's funny because I never thought I'd make garters, because I was so focused on the hairpieces and the belts. However, customers were requesting garters, so I had to do it! I've had some requests recently for fascinators, so I think that might be the next addition to the collection.
Photo courtesy of Marianne Rothbauer Photography
Canadian Living: What's the best piece of advice that you have received?
Erin Fitzpatrick : Listen to your customer! It is really easy as an artist and designer to get wrapped up in your own ego. Of course you need to keep the designs true to your own aesthetic, but that being said, if your customer continually asks for certain products, or if you can tell that they like a certain cut or a certain style, you have to listen to that and incorporate that into your designs.
When I was asked to do garters, I thought, 'does it go with my line?' And then I thought, 'if this is what the customers want, I can make these luxurious pieces'. They can be heirloom pieces and I can design them with my own special touch. I would tell other designers that if the customer requests something and you think it can't go with your line, you should still try and see how you can make it your own and make it work with your existing collection.
If you are looking for more wedding accents to add to you special day, check out these 12 new wedding tends for 2015 .