BC: Tell us a little about your process: How do you come up with your designs? How do you get from the initial idea to the finished creation?
HL: I just go with my vision in my sketchbook, mess around with it on the computer, and stop when it feels right. Not very interesting, huh? I had no idea how long a process it is from initial idea to finished creation until I started doing it. You have to deal with manufacturing and the back and forths between samples and materials… At the end, when it’s finished and you have it in stock, it’s a big relief!
BC: Have you ever made anything and not liked it?
HL: ALL THE TIME. I trash designs and new concepts all time!
BC: Where do you get your inspiration?
HL: We get inspiration everywhere. We read a lot of fun magazines and RSS feeds, walk around to different stores, travel, research, talk to people about what they would like to see… Everything we can do, we do!
BC: What do your designs mean to you?
HL: They mean playfulness, uniqueness, and fun!
BC: What’s it like knowing that stars like Anne Hathaway are wearing you creations? What went through your head when you first heard that she had been spotted with them?
HL: It was so cool. My friend in London actually sent me a Facebook message with the Daily Mail link and was like, “LOOK!!!!” It made me really happy that she likes her Wolf vs. Sheep pair. I was also happy that she wore an unexciting outfit so the journalist could only comment on her mittens!
BC: Do you have a favorite pair of Vs. Mittens?
HL: I wear the Owl vs. Mouse pair.
BC: If your mittens could talk, what would they say?
HL: My friend and I once acted out the end of an awkward first date with our pair on the subway. It was really funny. My mouse and her sheep made out in front of everyone. And then a lady asked us where we got them.
BC: Got any tips for aspiring designers?
HL: Make a realistic business plan! We didn’t at the beginning, and had to work backwards to get back in the right place. Also, having a product manufacturing company is REALLY expensive to start up. Every factory has minimums, and if the factory is overseas, you really need to be there a lot to oversee quality control. If you don’t have seed money to make your products in bulk and go to trade shows, it will take a lot longer to create a sustainable business, especially one that sells a seasonal product. Ah, lessons learned!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.