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Fashion Quickies

Bethany Feltz

British Steele

Capitalizing on Etsy’s bespoke—or made from scratch—clothing market, Bethany Feltz opened her shop called British Steele only three years ago after having sewed since she was a little girl, making clothes for dolls.

Evoking the “I see it. I like it. I make it.” mantra on the DIY blog, Feltz’s creative process involves making her own version of designs that catch her eye. Using vintage and budget-conscious fabrics she finds around town, Feltz designs made-to-order coats, dresses, pencil skirts, tops, and bags out of her and her husband’s branding and design firm, Typework. Feltz will even design clothes using fabric given to her by customers for $50 and up.

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Kari Smistek

Clementiny Clothing

For Kari Smistek, being adept at altering her own clothes laid the foundation for starting her fashion business, Clementiny Clothing. After a stint making baby clothes for her daughter, Smistek began making clothes for herself, posting the finished product on Etsy. Unexpectedly, Smistek says, her simple shop quickly expanded into a full-time operation.

Smistek’s self-described “earth-conscious and vintage-inspired” clothing features mostly eco-friendly fabrics like bamboo or otherwise recycled and vintage materials. Keeping in mind that clothing and insecurity can go hand-in-hand, Smistek veers toward loose and comfortable silhouettes with her fabrics, and, like a true seamstress, she makes all of her clothes as they are ordered to match her customers’ measurements.

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Katie Gariepy

When you think of pencil cases, handmade pouches adorned with Marimekko fabric, appliqued bows, and vintage zippers probably don’t come to mind. For fashion designer and blogger Katie Gariepy, imagining and creating such accessories comes second nature. Gariepy, 24, launched her own business when she was just 15, making accessories and clothing out of recycled fabrics and selling them on craft sites like Etsy.

As her business thrived, Gariepy decided to pursue fashion design at Buffalo State (’12), and now sells her signature designs, such as the bow pencil case and owl-shaped handbag, at two local Elmwood Village boutiques, Blush and Shopaholic Fashionista. With the tagline “100% cute,” Gariepy hopes her brand will one day have its own brick-and-mortar store, but for now lists participating in local fashion shows and building her brand as top priorities.

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Lisa van Wambeck


Working as a puppeteer and living statue performer for over 10 years, Lisa van Wambeck developed a knack for blurring the boundaries between reality and the theatrical. Inspired by her costumes, van Wambeck tried her hand at designing women’s headpieces, and set up a milliner shop on Etsy, called owllamode.

Intricate flapper headbands embellished with humanely sourced feathers, vintage beadwork, and lace comprises most of van Wambeck’s shop. She also makes fascinators, 1920s-style cloche hats, and vintage-style bridal headbands. In fact, Ali Eagan’s bespoke bridal shop, anatomy, carries van Wambeck’s designs for any bride desiring a “silent cinema queen” look.

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