Mission: TO MAKE PSYCHEDELIC ETHICAL ACTIVEWEAR FASHION FOR THE WILD AND WONDERFUL
I’ve never met the person I’m writing about today, but that’s one of the great things about The Spiralling, it’s created a platform that allows me to make connections with amazing creative people, like Misha. One of my friends in Bristol told her about my website and I was very pleased when she said she’d like a feature.
Misha is 26 and studied Fashion & Clothing at Liverpool Community College “I realised my love and talent for fashion. Finally, I had found something that filled me with drive and inspiration! I believe that fashion is so much more than merely a means to stay modest, warm, and comfortable; it is the freedom of self-expression by using the body as a canvas. I went on to study Digital Design for Fashion BA (Hons) at The University of Central Lancashire where I graduated in 2014 with a First Class Degree with Honours.” During uni she spent a few months working as a Graphic Design Assistant at Visage – a company that supply Marks & Spencers (amongst others). “In spring 2014, one of my designs was sold in stores and online. I can’t describe the feeling I got stood in M&S looking at my design on the display. It felt like I had made it so far… when it was just the beginning.”
In January this year she decided to start her own project, Mezzone Designs. “A good friend suggested I put the blinkers on and focus all my energy into leggings. It was sound advice, and I ran with it. Our leggings inspire self-confidence and motivation to get active and save the world at the same time. If you’re into yoga, dance, climbing, skating, or just strutting your stuff around the house, then Mezzone Designs leggings are perfect for you.”
Misha found help from The Princes Trust and did their Exploring Enterprise course. “I now have a business mentor. She has helped me get funding and guides me through the most confusing side of business admin.” The Prince’s Trust offer a grant called ‘Will It Work’ and Misha received £150 from this. “I crowdfunded £260. I used this to buy my first 10 meters of lycra made from recycled fishing nets that are polluting our oceans and killing our wildlife. I am a very eco-conscious individual, so it has been crucial that I follow the same set of ethics with my business. In this day and age, it’s much cheaper and easier to get your products made in Asia, but that comes with a hefty carbon footprint. My fabrics are printed 40 miles away onto recycled fabric, and handmade, with love, at home. I have faith that we humans can undo some of the damage done to our home planet by thinking outside of the box, and sharing positive thought.”
Setting up your own business comes with all sorts of challenges and Misha has had to overcome her fears of failure. “I have built up all of this from nothing. I can just about afford to get by, so the idea of spending a months rent on fabric is bonkers. I still work as an embroidery specialist for Design Stitch Sew, and I’m an Eco Cleaning Fairy! It pays the bills while I build up my baby business. I’m a really lucky gal and have a small network of brains behind the scenes: Web designer – Gee Ninowis, Content Editor – Max De Silva Willis Photographer – Michael Foster, Models – Bex Cision, Ally Caulfield, Chloe Witchell-Chibber, Seamstress & Motherly Support – Tina.” During a recent photo shoot Misha had a bit of a moment. “It felt like my chest was about to explode and my eyes welled up. After months of battling against the odds, it finally felt like everything was coming together.”
Misha has just received a business loan from the Princes Trust as has bought a fancy new Coverstitch machine so that she can finish her leggings to a professional standard on the hems and waistbands. “When it comes to the construction of the leggings, my mum is the brains of the operation. She has taught herself how to make them, so she can teach me.” She is also going to print her collection onto t-shirts so that the designs can be enjoyed by men and women alike, “Not that men can’t wear leggings – I actively encourage it!” As well as this she has received her first commission to make a pair of shorts. “It’s for my friend who skates with the riverside rebels roller derby team. I am eventually going to expand into offering a personalised service creating outfits for teams and clubs. This is just the beginning for me and Mezzone Designs, but it’s an exciting, tough and empowering journey. I would love to inspire other people to pursue their dreams and realise, you can make amazing things happen with a little hard work and fairy dust!”