Friday, May 1, 2009
I have an interview with Cynthia at The Cupcake Provocateur for your reading pleasure today. I have quizzed her about her roots in aprons. Here goes nothing. I am no Barbara Walters, but I am trying...
Julia: What was the moment at which you knew you were going to open your store? Was it a sudden thought like a bright light or a gradual progression? How much do you have to work to keep your business going along the straight and narrow?
Cynthia: I knew I wanted to start my own bakery/business for the past couple of years, the process was a slow progression. First baking for family and friends and then getting requests for special occasions. The aprons came into play when I was having trouble finding cute aprons to wear while baking so I decided to make them myself and it slowly picked up much like the cupcakes and baked goods.
I was working a 9-5 job and was very unhappy and one day I had enough and decided to launch Cupcake Provocateur, though it was a slow process I was motivated to move mountains. It is hard work running a business and definitely a learning experience, but at the end of the day I know all my hard work is going to my family and myself.
Julia: What is the biggest challenge with your business?
Cynthia: My biggest challenge so far is adjusting to a fast growing business, it is hard work especially since all the aprons are handmade but I am lucky to have a small staff to help lighten the work load.
Julia: How/Where did you develop your trademark pattern? How many fabrics do you look at before choosing your line? How often do you change your line?
Cynthia: I sketch the majority of my patterns and sometimes use actual vintage patterns from the 1940's with my twist. My main style the "Cindy apron" was sketched from a vintage magazine and is actually a common pattern there are several different versions out there. I like to have themes for certain lines, I am currently in a fruit phase and have just purchased fabric for the Spring/Summer line bold colors mod patterns and fifty's kitsch fabrics are always a winner and primarily what I look for in any fabric I choose.
I try to make CP aprons stand out. I think daring ans sexy is the way to go...why not have fun and spice it up and look elegant while doing the same old daily chores.
Also the Cindy Style is in honer of my Mother (I am her namesake as well) she gave me the crafty gene I think it is because of her that that style happens to be the most popular on the website....thanks mommy!
Julia: Are you a self taught seamstress or did someone show you how to? Explain details for either.
Cynthia: It is a bit half and half I always sewed by hand growing up but could never afford a sewing machine, my wish for one came true one year for my Birthday I was given my first Singer sewing machine. If I could sew a straight line I was happy! But since then I have taught myself and have taken classes but there are always new things to learn which keeps things fun.
Julia: Who or what is your biggest inspirational source?
Cynthia: HMMM that is a very good question. I would have to say the "Who" would be my family for supporting my ideas, goals and dreams. And putting up with my spur of the moment Free spirit.
My "Inspiration" would be my love for all things vintage and retro. I grew up watching B&W movies and musicals with my Grandfather and just being mesmerized at the beautiful clothes, hair and makeup of all the actresses....I was convinced I was born in the wrong era and now my goal is to bring back the beauty and class to the modern day homemaker, working, woman, wife and mother after all when you look good you feel good!
Thanks Cynthia for sharing your thoughts with us!!! And thank you for creating such lovely aprons for all of us to enjoy.