Part I: Meet Heather, Design
By Kelly Droz, Intern
Kelly Droz is a Heather & Hide intern, fashionista and blogger, she sat down this summer with owner, Heather Madonia
for a 2 part interview. Here is Part I outlining how Heather got started in design and small batch manufacturing.
K: How did you get the idea for Heather & Hide?
H: It came from the need for something versatile and stylish that can be used while traveling. Traditional travel gear, although highly functional, is not always stylish. When you’re globetrotting you need the best of both worlds,so I tried to create something to fulfill that need. Our original design features a dual zipper and snap closure, making the bag hard to pick pocket, but stylish enough for a night on the town in Barcelona!
K: What is your favorite part about designing?
H: I have always considered my personal style to be unique and I really appreciate the expression aspect of designing which allows me to be whomever I want, every single day! I channel that into my bags and express my flip-flop nature in the fabric and zipper combos! Some days, I’m feeling dapper and polished, so a blazer matched with a pair of oxfords will spark my classic designs in gray, navy and tan. While other days it’s a flannel and combat boots, yielding more funky pieces using a lime green zipper and marble cracked leather.
K: Where do you draw your inspiration?
H: It’s really all over the place right now and I’m trying to produce more cohesive, thought-out collections moving forward. A big factor is travel. We initially had the idea for Heather & Hide during an international backpacking trip and every time I leave the country it seems to spark the most creativity! I think it has to do with the exposure to so many new things you can’t just find in your backyard.
K: What is your favorite decade style wise? Music wise?
H: I love the 1940’s pin up style, but my #1 favorite goes to the 1920’s. The over embellishment and the cliché of the flapper really changed the fashion scene and allowed women to be more creative and open with their personal style, which I love. With music, I love all decades and genres; The Eagles, Notorious BIG or everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure, T Swift has popped up on my Spotify. It’s really something different, every day!
K: Who taught you to sew, make patterns, and construct your purses?
H: My mom. She owned a drapery workroom my whole life, and I just grew up watching and learning from her! The first time I used a sewing machine, I was 7 years old. As far as pattern making goes, I can’t say I actually know how to do that, the closest thing I have to formal training is an associate’s degree in Interior Design. The construction of the bags has literally been trial and error. With leather, what you have in your head or on paper does not always translate well in the production room.