We sat down with Debbie and listened as she explained the details of how bad bridesmaid dresses created a fresh idea for the wedding industry!
“It was an artistic accident that led me to this business of making artful flowers out of fabric. For my own wedding, I sought out a dress designer on Etsy to make the bridesmaid dresses of my dreams. I sent her pictures of my ideas, we collaborated and corresponded back and forth until finally the final products arrived. When my matron of honor sent me a picture of her wearing her new dress, my heart instantly sunk in horror and utter embarrassment. The dress looked nothing like it did in the pictures the designer sent me!”
“I could only imagine how horrible the other bridesmaids' dresses were going to turn out, so I demanded that they each mail me back their dresses without even opening the boxes first (to spare me any further embarrassment of my clearly misguided artistic vision), and I would buy them all brand new "traditional" dresses with only months to spare until the wedding date. (As a side note, the "traditional" dresses didn't turn out so great either, but at least my bridesmaids had something appropriate to wear on my big day.”)
‘Feeling disappointed and jilted out of the $600 I would never get back from this designer, I had nothing to do but make the best of it. I saw that this designer was selling a single fabric flower pin for $40. $40?! This flower looked like an arts and crafts project gone wrong, and I knew I could do much better. So I cut up all the original bridesmaids' dresses (made from gorgeous vintage, hand-dyed fabrics - at least that part was nice) and started making my own fabric flowers to sell on Etsy. I specialize in using upcycled fabrics from thrift stores, the bride's closet, or even my own collection of fabrics. My flowers range from using sentimental fabrics, such as the bride's mother's wedding dress, to everyday tee-shirts, making the flowers truly unique.”
“I taught myself everything I know about making flowers, and as they began to sell, I realized I just may have a talent for this business! And so, what was once trash(y bridesmaids dresses), was finally turned into treasure.”
“Tattered Petals was beginning to bloom, but then I contracted Lyme disease and my life changed dramatically. I lost my steady day job because I was too sick to work the regular hours they demanded. But making flowers was something I could do in the comfort of my own home and on my own time, and was one of the few things that brought me pleasure over the pain from Lyme.”
“So here I am now, still healing from Lyme disease, and making more flowers than ever. Watching my business grow and working with such wonderful brides and other clients has undoubtedly been a benefit to my health. Without you, the potential client who is reading this for the first time, or the bride who came back to read my profile, I wouldn't be on this healthy road to recovery and loving my new job as a flower artist. YOU are my inspiration, my muses, and all I have left to say is, "thank you" to the RegrEtsy designer who tainted my dream of the perfect bridesmaid dress. Had things not gone so wrong before, they wouldn't be so right today.”
“Love is everlasting. Your flowers should be, too.”
Enjoy a glimpse of her lovely creations on Etsy!