How did Bikini Design Club began? Who we are.
Posted on December 04 2020
Many of you asked how i got to designing patterns. So it's time to share with all of you a bit off who i am.
I was born in the seventy's in Lisbon Portugal. My parents always pushed me and my brother to learn and to manage our selves when we wanted something.
So when i was 18, i went to university to study architecture. I loved creating and imagining spaces and houses and it seamed the perfect fit for me.
This meant for me to move out of my parents house, since we lived far from the university. So when i was 18, I started living with some house mates in Lisbon.
One or two years later I decided to start working. I always loved traveling and i wanted to start buying my own stuff without depending on my parents for everything.
So I started doing hostess work. Working in congresses, seminars, supporting brands when launching new products, etc.
I liked it so much and gained the taste of having some independence that i moved to night school so I was able to work more. I was then working everyday of the week and sometimes weekends.
In 2003, i was 23 and was finishing my 5th year. It was time to decide what i was going to do. (Here in Portugal we are not very used with taking one sabbatical year and travel).
So, when I thought about it, it didn't made sense to me, after 5 years of intensive studies to go and work somewhere for 500Euros a month. It seamed to me that as a female, on Architecture I was going to have many years in front of me dealing with night CAD work drawing for a fancy name architect, while earning the minimum wadge.
My brother had a very new company of his own for Websites development and he motivated me to open my own company also.
So I decided to open my own events company. My parents landed me 5K, I bought my first 20 uniforms for the hostesses, rented a very central office and started "eating" yellow pages to build a data base of potential customers.
And so I did, alone for one year, calling potential customers and selling them our services until I finally had some acceptance and started doing events and hostess services.
In 2005, I bought an office, we were now growing and being the best we could. We earned some major clients in Lisbon and then more clients and our hard work was starting to show.
I had my son. I used to say back then that I had a baby (my company), but now I really had a son, a baby boy. This was a life changing event, I realized life was not all about work...
My company had already stated a name in the market and we were stable and growing. My vision always was to be the best we could, improve every time, learn with mistakes and move on. I invested part of the earnings withing the company and optimized internal procedures making us more efficient every year.
While my events company was running, and recovering from the economical crisis from previous years (economic crisis in Portugal was hard in 2017 and 2018), we invested in new uniforms, a new APP for the hostess booking , it was going to be a good year, so we were investing for 2020.
But then, COVID hit us, hard.
It was late February when we realized this was going to have major impact on our business. So from 13th March 2020 we all went home.
All events were canceled and we stooped completely.
On the first two weeks, i did some sewing and designing, but this was only a hobby. I learned how to sew one year ago (in 2019) and only had a few lessons for normal clothes, not swimwear.
While trying to figure out if there was anything we could do with events, I was also releasing the tension sewing bikinis. I started studying and designing and participating on group conversations @ FB related to sewing swimwear.
Some very nice girls, asked me for my patterns so I thought this could probably be a good idea. Design and selling patterns.
It was on the 20th April when I was able to launch the first website with a few patterns.
During the next months i was selling custom made swimwear and also patterns.
It was late May, when I decided to remake the website and dedicate myself entirely to patter designs abandoning the handmade swimsuits. In Portugal there are many brands at the moment for swimwear, and honestly, the Portuguese marked is too small for so many brands.
If I want to improve my designs I have to focus on them, study, improve and learn how to make them perfect. I learned that many brands have very poor pattern design and still sell, but I don't identify myself with that, I want to do them perfect and so i keep learning, studying and when necessary update the ones I've already made.
During this learning process, many people motivated me, like Susan, Lori, Ciera, Kedesha and so many others, but most of all, Stuart from Pattern School Online.
With Stuart, I challenged myself, I'm always reading all his teaching, and applying the knowledge to my patterns.(or at least trying to!).
I have recently learned how to work on a specific fashion design software that allows me to design 2D and also 3D and this meant offering 12 different sizes and 10 new patterns in mid September.
I'm loving the journey and this is only the start.. I'm not going to stop!
You can also watch my video on our youtube channel : here