Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ashleigh Toby and her Goatthings

You know when you graduate high school, and you can't wait for your class 10 year reunion? Not because you absolutely loved and miss those 4 years, but because you want to see who's who now, and what paths each of your friends are taking. Well, not that I've been graduated from high school for very long, but I'm so happy to say that catching up with Ashleigh Toby, a fellow high school peer of mine was definitely an impressing experience.
Ashleigh is the designer behind the up and coming, locally made jewellery line - Goatthings. Being the same age as myself, Ashleigh has found a passion and a success in creating beautiful accessories for her self proclaimed company. Though her company is considered to be in its beginning stages of growth, Ashleigh has already been able to sell her work to local boutiques in Victoria, and is even expanding into the Vancouver fashion scene.
For as long as I've known Ashleigh, she has always been an innovator of style and has an incredibly keen eye for design. Mix that with her unbelievable motivation and passion, and Ashleigh seems to have already found the key to her success. Funny enough, Ashleigh was in the same Sewing class as myself in Grade 12. We encountered many mishaps together (mostly on my part), opening our eyes to the world of fashion careers and design. Ashleigh successfully created her own grad dress as a project for the class, and of course looked absolutely gorgeous on that memorable day in June.
The designer herself (below, right)

Recently, Ashleigh hosted her first jewellery party for Goatthings, which I attended and bought myself a handlet. I was able to ask her a few questions about her journey in the jewellery business...

O: How did you become interested in making jewellery?

A: 'I became interested in making jewellery on more of a casual note, it started with a necklace for a friend, then a few more for friends, then a hobby turned into my small little company.'

O: Do you think you could continue doing this and make it a career?

A: 'With Goatthings I have yet to make any major goals. Ideally I'd love for it to become something that grows into a full productive and successful company, but for now I'm taking it order by order and letting it grow itself. It's a great process!'

O: Was there anyone that especially encouraged/supported you to create this business?

A: 'I've had a huge amount of support behind me. There have been a handful of major people with great advice I've listened to and will keep on listening to.'

O: Where has your business expanded?

A: 'From the one piece I made for a girlfriends birthday last year, it has grown into a jewellery line being carried in two shops in Victoria, and one in Vancouver, all growing my sales and recognition of the Goatthings name. There has been talk with a couple more stores in Victoria, but nothing to confirm yet!'

O: Where do you get your materials from?

A: 'I've gotten my materials from all over. Many things from Victoria and local shops, and most things from online shops and Etsy.'

O: Do you have any favourite jewellery designers?

A: 'Jewellery designers I definitely get inspired by are Fiona Morrison from Wolf Circus Jewellery who has mentored me in so many ways, and Nicole Ritchie with her House Of Harlow line... though I don't know her I wish I did!'

O: What do you see yourself doing with 'Goatthings'?

A: 'With Goatthings I'm going to take it day by day and see where it goes. Keepin' it easy!'

Ashleigh and Goatthings are definitely a combo to keep your eye out for, as well as support. You can find her stuff at:

HtO Surf-Skate-Swim Shop
1314 Broad Street
Victoria, B.C.


Amelia Lee Boutique
610 Johnson Street
Victoria, B.C.

Ashleigh has her own website where you can order, catch up, support and join this creative, beautiful and one of a kind line. Obviously she has Facebook so, check that out too.

Pictures were taken by the gorgeous Julia Loglisci for Julia Loglisci Freelance Photography.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Research

A couple days ago, my friend Jaimie lent me this book, 'My Wedding Dress' - written by a collaboration of authors, all delving into their memories of wedding dresses. I thought this would be an interesting read, and an awesome way to get into the wedding spirit as I work on my cousins dress!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creative Stumbling

Recently, I went on the website 'stumbleupon' (, a website that generates webpages based on a select list of 'interests' the user chooses. I heard about this particular site from my good friend Gurjit, in my program at Kwantlen. It's a great time waster - let's just say that. You'll end up spending more time on this website than you do on your facebook page. BUT you will feel like you accomplished something after, because you've now acquired a lengthy list of crafts or 'to do's'. Anyways, I came across a site (the 36th avenue). On this site, are numerous DIY gifts and crafts that caught my interest. Here are my favourites from this particular list... 1)Paper Clip Earrings!
2) Bird Nest Necklaces
3)Tea Cup Lights!
These are all crafts you can do with a lot of ingredients you'll find lying around your house! (or you can visit your nearest Michaels store!). I love coming across blogs like these, as they inspire you to make cool things for yourself that are much more satisfying to own than a cheap piece of nothing from Forever 21 or H&M....don't get me wrong though - my closet is full of those cheap pieces of nothing... Check out the site!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pattern Mix Up

I know, I've already discussed my problem for saying YES to too many projects. I am, however, going to employ myself to make MYSELF a new dress for my cousin's wedding in September (I mean...the girl sewing the dress should PROBABLY wear something she's made herself.) Now, it would be a great opportunity for me to practise my drafting skills, but I get frustrated quickly and quite a bit and being out of practise for a while (not the best news for september...) I'm just not even gonna pick up my drafting tools. SO! like the dress I made for my friend megan! (PICTURES SOON), I'm going to cut and sew a dress from my own imagination and with the help of some peices of commercial patterns! These are my potential dress ingredients...
And these are just sweet patterns I found...

Ballerina Buns

Lately, I have been somewhat obsessed with these 'top knots', which I found on the blog '' (one of my favourite DIY blogs). Right now, in the summer time, my hair has decided to become my worst nightmare and I hate everything about it - EXCEPT when it's in a bun! So, here are some gorgeous pictures to get you inspired about becoming a ballerina (if it's only for the hair)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Leather Accents and DIY shorts.

I have been so lazy lately. I don't know what it is about this weather, but I've definitely had the opposite reaction to sunny weather than I would have anticipated. You'd think I'd be frolicking around on my beautiful new cruiser bike, picking flowers, having tea parties, wearing denim...but no! I've been slaving away feeding the old folks, going to school, and watching WAY too many episodes of Pretty Little Liars, and Girls. Don't judge. Anyways, I'm back...for now. And I've been perusing my favourite blogs, and visited one of my favourite DIY blogs - A Beautiful Mess. I was, admittedly searching the internet for some wedding DIY's that my cousin Jaymie might enjoy - I'm still working on the dress! Pictures to come (for all eyes but Lito's!) GETTING TO THE POINT - I came across these cool instructions to jazz up your wardrobe! I've always wanted to add leather to some outfits, but had trouble with my sewing machine when I was attempting to create a leather bag out of a used leather jacket. It seems to be MUCH easier though, when sewing leather, to only sew ONE layer of the thick material...Maybe make some leather pockets? Leather fringe?...we'll see...
here, they've attached the leather pockets to a cute pencil skirt...maybe an idea for the fall? One of their most RECENT posts however, had DIY shorts. These are REALLY cool, and if you have a pair of old shorts you don't necessarily wear anymore, you could make them into something really cool and original...
THESE were my fave...^
But THESE remind me of James :) Check out this sweet blog for more DIY projects! PS Sewing day tomorrow! Tackle: 1) WEDDING DRESS 2) MEGAN'S DRESS 3) A pattern for a dress I can wear to the wedding...The designer has to wear her own stuff don'tcha know.

Thursday, June 28, 2012