Today’s feature comes from Alicia Colina-Ashby. She has an eco friendly store that works with recycled materials called LaAlicia.
She have studied classical music, design, advertising and the human condition. One of her favorite things to do is concepting. That is a process that has always intrigued her. Some people say there are no new ideas left. She completely disagrees. She loves to exercise her brain as well as her imagination regularly.
Some of the things she enjoys in life are; learning, loving, sunshine, writing, giggling, friends, family, PBS, hugging, and her shoes named Pablo & Paco. She considers herself a chocolate connoisseur, a chronic people-watcher and an auction tourist. She believes all of these activities feed her brain and nurture her need to create.
How did you get into fashion? Tell me how and when everything started.
It all started when I will a little girl, my mom and I did origami together and later a friend of the family showed me more ways fold paper. The texture, color, smell, and feel of paper drew me in and to this day I am fascinated with how many different types there are to choose from. As an adult, I wanted to see how much I could remember from my childhood paper folding. I was surprised to remember it all and as I experimented with techniques and recycled materials — my version of the paper purse was born. Long story short, it was a happy accident.
When did you first know that you wanted to be in fashion?
Never thought I wanted to be – it just kind of happened and now that I’m here, I love it. I think using things that would normally go to the landfill or recycle bin to create interesting accessories is a fun challenge.
If you weren’t in the fashion industry, what would you like to be doing?
Something involving colors, imagination and textures.
Tell us about your fabulous store and what products or serviced do you offered?
I design, make and sell accessories made with primarily recycled materials all by hand — purses, earrings, bracelets and brooches. Please check out my store LaAlicia or follow me on twitter for updates and special offers.
I would call my own style simple and classic with a shot of fun accessories! I love the uniformproject.com — where this young woman is wearing the same shift dress every day for a year with different coordinating pieces and accessories. She’s doing so well and looks totally cute everyday!
Who is your favorite designer? Isaak Mizrahi.
If you had a choice of all designers in the world, who would you prefer to work for? Why?
Shirin Askari. She has a feminine yet sophisticated style. She has a way of making everything look soft and curvy while still maintaining structure to her pieces. Her work is incredibly complimentary to the female body and she picks incredible colors and textures in her fabrics. I think working with her could be an incredible collaboration and learning experience.
I love to do custom orders and have done quite a few. A client brought her maps back from her family trip to Hawaii and another brought gift wrap from wedding presents and I made purses and coin purses with these memorable materials. It was great to see the delighted look on their faces when I delivered the finished pieces.
Earlier this year, I was commissioned by Mohawk Paper to create two promotional “portable swatch clutches” with their paper stocks. One was raffled off at Clampitt Paper in Dallas and the other was on display at the HOW Design Conference this year in Austin, TX.
Which magazines do you read? Which magazine is your favorite?
Marie Claire, Elle, Latina, Make, Craft, Wired, Fast Company, MS Living, Southern Living, National Geographic, Communication Arts. I think they are all faves for different reasons. They all get cut and folded when I’m done reading them.
What do you see on stores that you think is really great?
I love that big designers are making affordable lines for department stores like Isaak Mizrahi for Target, Vera Wang for Kohl’s, etc. This makes fashion available at all price points and more accessible to everyone.
I love to see what other artists are up to — it’s inspiring. Recently, I went to and reviewed the the Mohawk Letterpress show — see my review here http://www.feltandwire.com/?p=4835
I also enjoy hearing feedback from other artists and customers about what they would like to see me produce in the future. Although using recycled materials to create accessories has its’ challenges — it’s all worth it when someone asks, “how did you do that?” or comments “I had no idea that was possible”
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on getting my line of holiday ornaments and decorative garlands out in the world. Feel free to come by the Jingle Bash (etsydallas.com) in Dallas, TX to check out my latest creations in person. I’m also working with a couple boutiques in the DFW area to carry my accessories. Bodacious Boutique at Preston & 635 currently has my pieces in their store. I’d like to continue to focus on creating “green” accessories, explore teaching my techniques and perhaps expand my techniques to 3D art as well.
What do you do in your down time?
Down time? What’s that? Sleep, moisturize my fingers (paper really dries them out), and experimenting with ideas that have been rolling around in my head for a while. I like to feed my brain by reading, exploring and enjoying life. I love to spend time with friends and try new restaurants.
In addition to working full time as a freelance art director, I maintain my own blog at http://la-alicia.blogspot.com, and contribute to the etsydallas blog at http://etsydallas.blogspot.com monthly with a feature called Eco•Ideas.
Thank you Alicia for taking the time to talk to Unik Apparel!