It was the dress that stole our Instagram hearts. As shots from Duck & Duffel’s new range began to surface, the ‘Jessica’ dress made us frantically reassess our monthly finances, consider our shoe wardrobe and develop one heck of a school girl crush on this perfect pink ladylike wonder. So today, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to the designer and creative mastermind behind the Duck & Duffel label, and of course that dress.
Ladies, meet Debbie. Also known as one quarter of #FrockSwapUK and 100% total babe.
We’ve enjoyed seeing you add your quirky sense of style to #FrockSwapUK. But for those who don’t yet know you, can you tell us more about yourself?
I am a mummy to 3 year old Audrey, wife to graphic designer Rob, blogger and designer. I have loved making things and drawing ever since I was little so I took the creative route at school and was lucky to gain a place at the London College of Fashion studying womens wear. After graduating I went on to work in media for a buying agency for 10 years before getting married and starting a family. I’m addicted to crafting, sewing, Instagram, Pinterest, fashion mags, baking, cooking (and eating!) and reading other fashion and creative blogs. The blogging scene has been a great way to promote my business but I’ve also been lucky enough to have met some fab ladies along the way, including Donna!
I’ve been a fan of your range since we virtually ‘met’. Tell us, how did Duck & Duffel begin? When did you decide to turn a hobby into a business?
I felt a strong urge to start making things again once my daughter was born. My years in media had been great fun and a fantastic career but it was just not creative enough and I wanted a better work/life balance and to be able to be at home with Audrey while earning money doing something I love (the dream right?!) I started my blog to document different crafts/ clothes/ frugal living while I thought about what kind of business I wanted to start. I have always loved dressmaking so it was a no-brainer really!
I struggled to find fabric that fitted with my aesthetic and wanted something completely unique to my brand. I discovered a digital printers where you can upload your own designs and decided to give it a go and Duck& Duffel was born! I am inspired by photography, animals and whimsy. This year I am also collaborating with talented illustrator Jenny Jackson and producing her wonderful ‘You’re my lobster’ print.
Advice I would give to anyone thinking of starting their own business? Try and keep your day job or a part time job going at the same time it makes the whole process a lot less scary!! Until you get to the point where it becomes too much to manage…that’s when you know you are ready to ‘quit your day job!’
I’m in awe of your creative talent and I know I’m not the only one. Recently, we discovered you’d been nominated for a Mollie Makes #handmadeaward. A huge congratulations! How did that feel?
One word…Amazing!! To get that validation that I’m doing the right stuff and on the right path was really encouraging and we got some great advice from the panel of judges. Plus I got to meet some awe inspiring designer-makers that day and we all swapped tips and tricks. I feel extremely privileged to have be shortlisted with such talented girls.
I think it’s time to share some more pieces from your new collection.
We’ve all fallen in love with the Jessica dress, but what’s your favourite dress from your range?
My favourite I probably the ‘Carrie’ dress at the moment, but my camera print dresses are very special to me as that was my first print design.
And finally, now that we’ve gotten to know you, how can we keep up to date with all your latest news?
You can follow my blog (duckandduffel.co.uk) where I chat about clothes and crafts and I’m also on twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, my handle @duckandduffel. I am also planning on starting a newsletter for those who don’t have the time to keep up with social media (it’s a full time job I tell ya!) So keep your eyes peeled for a link on my blog where you can sign up and receive special discounts and promotions.
Thanks Debbie for brightening up the blog with such a stunning new range. So, the question we’ve all been waiting for…how can we get our mitts on your new range?
You can visit my shop here at http://shop.duckandduffel.co.uk. Readers of Polkadot Pink can receive an extra 10% off with the code: POLKADOT.
So, what are you waiting for?