Stockist Spotlight: Sheena Holland


Please could you give a brief introduction on yourself and your company to my readers who may not have come across you before…

Sheena Holland is the Original creator of the vintage Feather Side Tiara. Her vintage designs are in fashion magazines, such as Vogue and most of the Bridal Magazines. Her clients have included singers Pink and Lily Allen, dancers Clare Turton derrico and Emma Holtham and Alan Carr. Sheena Holland's handmade headbands and clothes are one off pieces using Antique and Vintage jewellery.

How did your business get started and what were the ideas behind it?

· Sheena Holland was born in Camden London. In her teens she worked for the fashion designer Katharine Hamnett in the late 1980's at Katharine's design studios as the design room assistant, working on sourcing and preparing fabrics for the catwalks. Katharine's designs and fabrics at the time were a statement both politically and creatively which influenced sheena. The fact that she used British made fabrics and British woollen designers plus natural non synthetic materials for her clothes greatly impacted sheena's thinking and future designs.

· From 1990 until 2003 Sheena went on to design large floral, wire and concrete sculptures in London. Whilst working for corporate florists she freelanced for private clients and one off events like The Queen Mother's 100th Birthday celebration, Elton John's 54th birthday at The Ritz, Michael Jacksons 'World' tour, Jeffrey Archers London and country homes, Films: The Mummy and Sense and Sensibility.

· Sheena started making one off Vintage feather and leather headbands in 2005 and was the first designer to create the feather 'side tiara'. She now creates headbands, bridal tiaras, jewellery and hats and clothes made from vintage materials using re-worked leather, antique, vintage jewellery and feathers combining fashion, shapes and colours from her training with Hamnetts and floristry. Her designs have sold to many people, clients include singers Pink, Lily Allen, Beth Rowley, Victoria Perks, dancers Clare Turton Derrico, Emma Holtham and comedian Alan Carr.

Why did you choose to focus a range on weddings?

Everyone was saying to me you should make a range of wedding headwear, but having worked in the wedding industry for many many years as a florist I felt it wasn’t something I needed to re-discover. But as time went by I started to get a lot of bespoke orders from brides, so I gave in to the demand and realised I had been wrong all along and that I did enjoy it too.

Do you have any advice for our brides to be when choosing their hair accessories for their big day?

Yes, always buy something you will wear again. Much more fun and makes you feel great wearing it again.

Could you explain more about your bespoke service and the steps that it involves?

I chat to the bride asking about what her dress is like, when she is marrying and what colour she has in mind. We talk about shape, colour and texture and then try on as many pieces to see what suits and what she prefers in terms of size and colour and then we go from there. I tend to have a 4 week lead time, it can be more or possibly less depending on the amount I already have waiting.

You have had some huge celebrity clients such as Pink and Lily Allen, if you could choose one celebrity to design a hair band for who would it be? and what would it look like?

I have to say I’ve had more fun designing for the lady who wanders in to my shop, just because she often wants re-inventing and is very open to ideas for change and so pleased at the outcome of trying on something she’d never have expected would suit her.

What inspires you as a designer?

Mostly nature. The colour of a leaf, the shape or texture of a flower and the blending of colours on trees and plants.

Can you tell us your three favourite products from your store and why they are your top picks?

At the moment it is the clothes, I’ve always wanted to design clothes from a very young age. My mum says I used to change 8 times a day, and come down with something more outrageous on each time. From a very young age I was designing and wearing what I made. My mum made me clothes from being a child and it wasn’t unusual for me to be wearing a miniature version of what she had on. And seeing her creativity and ability with a sewing machine inspired me to create.

She was the inspiration for the Vintage, Arts and Food Market I now run. She suggested it and I ran with it. We have been going now for nine months and are about to run a night market in a few weeks in three locations which we as a family are all very excited about.

Going back to the clothes, my top picks are the Kashmir antique smocks, that you can thread a belt through the back of and wear the belt just peeking through the front. I also love the leather and suede collars in pretty vibrant colours.

Are there any future projects in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

See above re: market. I’m also planning other markets too in the new year, an antiques one and a wedding one and a cabaret.

Do you have any tips for anybody thinking of setting up their own business?

Don’t do it! Haha! Expect to fail and expect to succeed.

A friend of mine who is a very successful investment broker once told me, ‘all entrepreneurs fail at things before they succeed’. Something I’ve found to be true.


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