If you want a new, unique place to shop, look no further than alumna Maci Smith’s (’16) online clothing shop. She decided to start up the Etsy shop as a way to use her love of fashion to make money part-time while she traveled over the summer, but now she intends to keep the shop around as long as possible.
“I have always wanted to do something involving fashion, but I still don’t know what avenue I will take long-term,” she said. “Although it started as a short-term idea, I hope to keep it around for as long as possible. I truly love every aspect of the shop.”
Smith first became interested in fashion design several years ago when she started high school, right around the time her mom began teaching her how to sew.
“Up until that point, I had never given much thought to how clothing was produced,” she said. “I realized how much fun it could be to start with a blank ‘canvas’ and see what happens. I was hooked.”
Smith designs and produces every single item in the shop. After getting inspiration from window shopping and, of course, Pinterest, she begins sketching rough drafts, selecting fabrics and sewing, turning things that were once just ideas into cute, handcrafted pieces of clothing. Though the process can be time consuming, she said coffee and Netflix keep her company while she sews. Right now, she said her favorite thing to make are the season’s newest trend, ponchos, because they’re perfect for fall and so much fabric goes into them.
But despite having such a passion for design, Smith actually just graduated in May with a degree in Psychology, and she plans to still somehow integrate that into her life.
“Shout out to [Dr. Richard] Beck,” she said. “I absolutely love people, and for a long time I thought that counseling would be a good fit for me. I also minored in art, so that has definitely been helpful for me. Overall, I am still very thankful that I studied Psychology, because I learned so much about people, and I will use those that in so many different settings for the rest of my life.”
As for future plans, Smith would eventually love to go to fashion design school and continue to expand her shop.
“Although I love sewing and figuring out what I’m doing as I go, I would love to have some professional training to expand my designs and eventually my shop,” she said. “So, yes I would love to expand my business. At this point, I’m just learning from my many mistakes and I’m hoping to improve my shop overall so that it has the chance to keep growing.”
If you’re interested, you can follow her on Instagram @maciclairedesigns or order from her Etsy page, Maci Claire Designs.