#ICanDoThat Episode 29 with Gina Conti

In the 29th episode of #ICanDoThat Jonathan Joseph and Rachel Elspeth Gross, interview Gina Conti. Little Red Fashion introduces Little Red Village and its first interview series #ICanDoThat on instagram. Our #ICanDoThat campaign is a one-question interview for our IGTV that asks industry professionals across disciplines to respond to the question: "What advice do you have for a kid who wants to do what you do within fashion?"

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The video of this interview can be found here!

 

 Prerecorded and posted: December 16th, 2021

 

Speakers:

Jonathan Joseph

Rachel Elspeth Gross

Gina Conti

Rachel Elspeth Gross  00:01

Hi everyone, we're here on #ICanDoThat this is going to be our last interview of the year and we're so excited to have the lovely milliner Gina Conti with us today. Hi, Gina, thank you so much for making the island.

 

Gina Conti  00:13

Hello! thank you rachel, hi Jonathan. So, so happy to be here. I'm just tickled brimming with excitement.

 

Jonathan Joseph  00:22

We love a good fashion pun.

 

Gina Conti  00:25

Thanks for inviting me.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  00:27

Well, we really love the work that you do. And we've been trying to cover a variety of types of careers within the world of fashion and having a millenary seems like we really, really needed to do that. So would you talk to us a little bit about how you got started? In your current line of work?

 

Gina Conti  00:46

Well, and I'm glad you decided to include millenary, because, you know, in so many, which for your younger viewers might not even know a milliner is a hatmaker. Right. So lots people don't even know that term. And, and many schools, many, like even in Detroit, we have a Center for Creative Studies, and they have an assessories department. But there's no millenary and the assessories department, there's handbags and shoes and jewelry, like almost always, when you go to a website for any kind of store, go check out the assessories very rarely even find hats there, which is, were changing that little by little I got started was very unconventionally, I had not ever considered growing up a career in the fashion industry. I wanted to be a singer. My mother was a singer and my mother was a huge influence. On me growing up, she's a was a semi professional model before she married, she was a singer, a very good singer. And, you know, gave it all up because she fell in love with my dad, you know, he was a carpenter. And you know, regular, just a regular guy. And the furthest from fashion you could ever imagine, my dad could care less. But my mom was always into it. And she in fact, worked in a millenary store in Detroit, I'm in the Detroit metro area. And in high school, she worked in a millenary store and gradually became a fire for the store. And she was a fashion hound spent every dime she made on clothes and hats and shoes, and took real good care of all her things. And so she had quite the sense of style, really, really a wonderful sense of style. And you know, you resent it a little bit when you're a kid mom telling me what to wear all the time. But it was, it was really good advice. So I and then when she, we watched movies, when I was a kid tons and tons of movies, my mom always had a movie going and movies in the 30s, the 40s, the 20s. And she'd say, Oh, look at that dress, or look at those, and I paid attention and the styles. Now, of course, probably because of that my favorite time periods would be 20s 30s 40s 50s, even 60s, you lost me in the 70s I had to really appreciate I didn't like it when I was wearing it then. So you know things come round and round. So I started I had a lot of different careers before I actually started becoming a milliner. I but I think my segue into into fashion was I wanted to be it was either a mortician or a singer. And I wanted to be I wanted to work on store windows Oh, to do store window to be a window trimmer, right? Was just oh my god. It's like creating a stage was in theater. Oh, I loved all of that. But I didn't like being out front, especially I like backstage with the costumes. And you know, the makeup and you know, telling everybody what to do and where to go and lining them up. And all that was exciting. And to do a store window would be fantastic. So to make a very long story short. I got married, got divorced. I had two kids and raising kids by myself, I get this opportunity to be a sign printer at a store in our area, which is called Montgomery Ward, just like Sears. And if I be assigned pest I'm going to take that job because they have mannequins and I'll get them to see what I can do. And I took that job and I say I'm going to stay there for a year and then I'm going to get hired by the big the big department store which was jail Hudson's in in our area. was quite quite the store. They had the Woodward department of fashion I mean, the more haute couture stuff they had in that department store. So a big cruise ship of a store, downtown Detroit, the big 12, 15 floors, whatever it was magnificent. So one year later, I got a job as the women's fashion coordinator for JL Hudson's. I was like, Oh, I'm so proud of me. Well, it's a glorious title. But it's a Display Manager, right? It's display 60 mannequins to cart around carry around tool bag on your thigh, dressing them and they had to have islands. It couldn't be known. You can't go without nylons, nylon shoes, jewelry, handbags, hat, everything responsible for 60 of them three different floors ready to wear casual swimwear gowns. You have to do it all. And it was so it's I was exhausted. But it was so exciting creating these vignettes, which are you know, it's very different now, when you just, you know, everything's up high. And it's you know, display is way different now than it was when I was a girl. So but I was very excited to that was my first I think real for real entrance into fashion. It was the my first thing was fashion. Then by the time I get done with that job, I was said, you know, there's got to be more to life than just ribbons and this and that. And fashion, I'm going to do something completely different, not fashion. So I went from there to I was a catering director and a an event planner for a private dining club in Detroit on the Renaissance Center on the 36th floor overlooking all Detroit and Detroit River and Canada. And it was very prestigious and doing weddings and bar mitzvahs and cocktail parties and dignitaries and I had 16 private dining rooms. To me, it was like being an air traffic controller. And a gourmet dining club, I managed to be signed and took, took our members on trips and events and, you know, coordinated all of that. But what that taught me I was there 13 years. And it was very creative for a long time. And that's what fed me. But after a while, there's only so many wines that go with the veal. So I and I missed I was a singer before I got married, and I really singing to me was just the end all, I always I loved singing. That's what I wanted to do before I had kids. And it's just not conducive to being at the bars singing at night with two little ones at home. So I had to scratch that idea. But that hunger to do something that was as fulfilling didn't happen until I had this epiphany one day of working, working 60 hours a week at this job. And still on the side part time painting clothing, making jewelry, doing that kind of creative thing. I finally got into a timeshare at work I split my work schedule with this great gal. It worked out perfectly. And then my boss wanted me to come back full time was doing three days in full, you know, four days off. And I said I can't do it. You know, this job is getting in the way of my career. Yeah, I had been dabbling in. Once I was doing the painted clothing and jewelry. I had this epiphany one day. And I know it doesn't help anybody to say that. But it was I want to make hats. I want to make hats. And started trying to find how do you make hats? You know, there was no go on the internet and Google support. Just ask another Google. But my boyfriend Richard travelled a lot. And he would I say look at when you go to this town that town would ever get the Yellow Pages, look up the supply houses and anything to do with hats millenary and bring me the Yellow Pages. He would bring me the Yellow Pages. And I would study those anytime he went somewhere to travel. I could join him but I would only go up there was something in town that had something to do with millenary otherwise there's no point I'm not looking for a vacation. Wanted to learn. So I spent years buying old hats. taking them apart. I mean, literally spent a couple years doing that. taking them apart, buying books, whatever book I could find Richard was great to help me find books and reading, experimenting, taking things apart, putting them back together reverse engineering things. What is that material what blah, blah, and then travel. When Richard would travel if I could join him on something that was a good lead. One of my first trips was to Philadelphia, he was actually was living in Philadelphia at the time. And I said, Okay, I'm coming, went to the museum ran up the steps like Rocky, you know it was so exciting I went to see my first hat exhibit there, bought every book that was, you know, part of that whole exhibit, went to go visit somebody who had hat blocks, hat molds for sale, and got a real Rude Awakening, they were like five $600. They look, I mean, they were like sculpture pieces, some of them, to have them. I mean, they were magnificent. But I thought, I'm like, this is never going to happen. I'm never going to be able to do this. And, you know, I still kept studying this, there's got to be at where there's a will, there's 40 ways. My dad's a carpenter, maybe he can make me some things out of wood I pots and pans on that dish upside down looks pretty good. I bet I could learn how to just walk a hat took one class in town, a woman who was a friend of one of my mentors, taught a hat blocking class, she must have been like 87 at the time. And one little shop downtown Detroit, brought my mother with me. So she could take notes in case I couldn't write them down fast enough, there was no video taping the thing. And once I learned how to block a hat, and that was a tea kettle steaming felt with a tea kettle and putting it over a mold, right. And that was so exciting to me. It was so exciting to me. Nothing excited me this much since singing, as making hats did and it. I'm still excited by that still is almost 29 years later. So I'm really still in love with the process with the materials. So I learned how to do that I'll mainly by myself did go audit a couple of classes at FIT. I couldn't just say well, Bye, kids, I'm going to go to school. So I did that I audited a couple classes. And I was just in awe being in those classes watching Anne Breazeale who taught there for a long time and fit about four foot three little tiny thing. And all the students are out there watching and I thought why isn't somebody threading your needle? Why aren't they like, behind her? Why aren't they you know, and took tons of notes. found out how to design a Steam Box for myself so that I could I could have three things going at once. This is all done on and how exciting it is to discover those things for yourself. You know, just liberating to buy one of these buy that, you know, I bought a jiffy steamer I thought oh my god, I've arrived $300 You know what? Yeah, no, you take it apart and use this nozzle and put it inside a big box and just use it for steaming acid. It's an amazing thing. So all of that was a discovery. It was all self taught. But I did have two mentors. One is a lady in Chicago. Her name is Rosie and I was still working my full time job at the time, had some time off went to Chicago, we had an associate club there. And I thought well, while I'm there visiting Richard, I'll go visit this woman whose name I found in the back of From the Neck Up the book I told Rachel about the hat Bible for kids for anybody learning this first good best book to buy. And her name was there. So I tried to track down the address and I got a cab and went looking. The cab driver can't find it. If it turns out it was on a side street because she was already in her 80s and she had her millenary shop in her basement. And I was so I mean I saw there was a theater group came in with designs for hats bringing them to Rosie because she could figure out how to make them she made church hats. But she had been in the business probably 50 years. She was amazing. And we kind of just bonded the minute we met and I bought my first hat blocks from her i two hours to get back on the plane and get home and Richard took all the half blocks that I bought and there were things she wasn't using anymore. And she said you can take this one take that one and and he took them. He took them home shipped it to me later and I was ecstatic. And I said to Rosie I you know I'm starting over again at 40 years old. This is my beginning. So I don't have a lot of time to waste. If you can help me cut some corners and let me pick your brain once in a while, I'd be so grateful. And she said, Honey, I don't want to take anything to my grave that somebody else needs. And it was magic. I'm so blessed. And there are people out there still, you know that that you hit with or something. I ended up spending a couple of weeks with her at her house. And she was a few years later, she's getting older and couldn't get down the base. So we ate a lot. And we went through our scrapbooks and talked about hats and I learned some you know, she was my fairy godmother, millenary fairy godmother.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  15:38

We all need good adults. We all really do.

 

Gina Conti  15:40

She was she was amazing. And I met another guy in Dallas because Richard was traveling to Texas doing some consulting work. And so there was a  millinery supply house in Dallas. It's has since closed. But I went there and got to talking with the owner. The shop had been there for 48, 58 years, something like that was there a long time he took over from his father and this guy was not young. And so I was just in candy heaven. And he said, you know, you're just as crazy as this guy. We know he's a milliner here. And sometimes he teaches at the, at the college at the community college, he said you need to meet him. So he gave me his name. I called him up. His name was Ian, Ian Dehler. And so you have to come over and we have to meet. So I went over and met him we got chatting, chatting, chatting, chatting, everything was so fun. And he's all you can't leave now. It's cocktail hour, stayed and had drinks and had dinner. And he took me to his work room and we just we just hit it off. It was, you know, it's like little ants going to the same tree. Everybody knows how to get why do you all get there, somehow everybody innately knows how to get there. And it was wonderful. And he was also a mentor came to stay with me a couple of weeks, you know, a year or so later and showed me some things in my work room that I had never seen that I have one little piece of it was called spar tree and pay for her to spar tree. It's like a willow. It's Willow with like a cheese cloth over it. And it comes in sheets. There's just starting to the tree that it's made from somewhere. I'm real bad at this part of the tree that it's made from as extinct now. So they don't really you it's called, like Willow but it's not. So like real is wood like little wooden bamboo wood covered with this very light sheet. So what you do is when you're molding it, you can pull back the linen like cheese cloth like material, and then pull it back over when you can't see a seem. Oh, wow, amazing. Man, you do material over the top of it. And he made me a little like crown hat crown. And he said, Now you can make a hat out of this. And you know what that is? 20. Some years I won't touch it, I will not use it. This is my this is my gift from him. I won't use it. I look at it every every moment. And then I found out you couldn't find it hardly at all. Now, Philip Treacy uses something, it's there's a new thing. It's like spar tree now. And I haven't really looked looked into it. But that's available, but you have to really, really look hard for materials and research, which is so much easier now.

 

Jonathan Joseph  17:07

Yeah I'm sure.

 

Gina Conti  18:50

It's crazy. If I would have had these at my fingertips then. You know, although I don't know, would you have? Would you have appreciated it as much would I have appreciated as much as all the work I had to do to really find information. Maybe yes, save time, come up that way grow up that way, like kids are growing up that way, it's way different than him to look through every resource at the back of every book and track down where that is and you know, look for information and look for tools. Kids now can have YouTube tutorials that are there's a lot of crap to you know, you got to weed through. But there's so much basic information and on how to's, right for kids.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  19:39

Yeah. You don't have to have the community necessarily or you know, thriving arts or creative kind of part of town. I mean, you're right. It's there's a lot out there. And I think one of the things we're really trying to do is show people that they can do you know, just because you don't have necessarily the same resources or the same access. There's a lot have creative ways to make the work you want to do happen?

 

Gina Conti  20:04

Don't tell me no.

 

Jonathan Joseph  20:07

We don't believe in no. Right? At all. But

 

Gina Conti  20:11

yes. Don't say I can't write, I'll try twice as hard. My mother used to say that just don't say, I can't say at the very least say, I'll try. Don't say I can't ever, you know, because you've shot yourself in the foot, you know, before you even start, you've doomed yourself. And you're going to fail, you're going to fall down you I fall down plenty. That's okay. You learn falling down, right? Oh, I never saw it that way again. Right, I quoted this price to do that. And it took me four times as long. What was I thinking, you know, you learn by making mistakes,

 

Jonathan Joseph  20:53

you know, learning by doing is the best way to get you know, the only way out is through. And so that's a big part of what you know, these interviews are about and really all of our resource building that we're doing at Little Red Fashion is about just empowering, empowering kids and adults with all the different ways and all the different mediums and through people like you all the different inspirational mentor types, to show them that that's exactly what you've got to get comfortable with. You've got to get comfortable becoming uncomfortable to get to whatever you want to be.

 

Gina Conti  21:23

Yes. And don't think that just because you say Oh, I'm going to grow up and I'm going to design dresses, or whatever and you get so far and then you think I'm not doing so good. This is that will lead you to the next thing. It might be another thing in fashion, it might not be dresses, I was making jewelry. It's not jewelry, it was hats that I love. I I'm a frustrated sculptor is what I am. Absolutely, right. That's absolutely it's the definition. Because this is sculpture for your head. And it's a fashion statement. And when you look at somebody you look at their face, what is the first thing you do is look at their face.  You look at and we are sculpture, we are viewed three dimensionally when I create something it's like on a potter's wheel. You have to look what's the first thing a woman does when she goes into the dressing room to try and address she goes into that three way mirror and looks behind her? How do I look from the back? You know, you don't have of yourself? Yes. Right. And so hats to me were so. So three dimensional, cultural, new, but it's a sculpture. I think I think of us as sculpture. It is something that enhances a person or should enhance you. I also I've never been a petite flower. You know, I was five foot ten and just put on heels and a hat. And I'm six two loved it. Now I'm shrinking, but I loved that. And also I would get for my shows, all kinds of models, young, old, heavier, thinner, all different types of women. Because you know what? I would joke with him, you can eat all the french fries you want and still be a great model, all you need is a head, if she doesnt have one she's out, but all you need is a head and you're in, you know, yeah, you need consultation to help you what looks best on your face, and your your shape and what you're doing all of those things are important too. And I think that's important when I'm designing something because I'm I'm thinking about the people that will wear it. I do primarily custom work. Because I decided a long time ago that I could not compete with China. You know, and I'm not mass producing. And I didn't want to mass produce. That's not why I started doing this.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  23:58

Will you tell us about the process when you tell us like how like a customer comes in and they say I need to have for a wedding or how do you how do you work with them? How do you make it

 

Gina Conti  24:07

everything is by appointment here because of the time that it takes and I get a little background before they come in and if they're if they're doing a wedding or they have an event they're going to go to they have their dress their ensemble, whatever, bring it bring your jewelry, bring your shoes, bring everything you're you're going to if you've got that or pictures of it or direct me to somewhere online, and then we will sit down and we'll discuss I measured their head usually a fitting appointment for me takes about an hour. It takes like one and a half minutes to measure the head and the rest of it is talking. And I also i i live where I work and my my supplies are in the same place. So I'm running up and downstairs with samples of materials or what about this color? Let's say we use this veiling we we put it together together. I get it feel for what they want. I will instruct me how you want a big gorgeous hat for the Kentucky Derby, you're four foot 11. I mean, if you have a brim this size, you're going to get hit by a car, just so you have to speak to have a big brim happen, it needs to be proportionate to, you know, to you, like, I don't remember who said it, but there's very little ready to wear on the hangers. What you need, if you're gonna buy ready to wear is a very good tailor or seamstress, right? You find something that's sort of go sort of works, and then you have it altered to suit if you can't afford to have something custom done. You know, so. So I meet with somebody we discuss what they, what they the colors what they want, I don't, I don't do dyeing to match things, because it doesn't always come out the same way. It's just so I will encourage people and plus that too much matchy matchy anymore is just for a long time hasn't been perfect, but pick up different hues pick up different things, different colors that that accent that make it you know, more exciting, not just color. So that's what we do we meet and generally there's a like, I request a deposit to begin gathering or having the materials and the balance is due when the head is finished. It depends. It could take six to eight weeks, it depends. Because I order materials in also, I will go shop fabrics, I will go to a store, we have a pretty couple good stores that are but that's not New York. And then I will shop that takes time out of your day. So all of those things if I have a client that I've never met, and I have plenty that I will build a private fitting room on my website for them, just their private fitting room and their hat. I mean their head size, a picture of them the picture their outfit, everything we do goes in that room so that we can now I can do swatches in the mail, all these things just take a little extra time. But that's what I pride myself on I'm doing for the individual, which makes it really special. You know.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  27:13

Sounds really special. It sounds fun to do. A little like being psychic, it sounds like and it's a little bit collaborative and

 

Gina Conti  27:21

A little psychic. Yes. We're all speaking English, we think but then how somebody sees it in their head is a different view.

 

Jonathan Joseph  27:29

Right?

 

Gina Conti  27:31

You ever watch project runway, right. Yeah. So that's what we do when we do custom. And that's exciting. I also have a ready to wear collection. But it all my ready to wear is made to order. Everything is handmade, one at a time. There's no stamping process. There's no automated blocking machine, you know, like they have in other factories, you know, so I've seen them. It's a wonderful thing, but I'm not a big factory. And that was never my goal.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  28:05

Yeah, you don't want to do that that way.

 

Gina Conti  28:08

Yeah, as a kid, when I wanted to be a singer watching all these musicals is lovely. And I thought for sure, you know, I'm eight years old singing out my bedroom window because you never know a telescope might be driving by.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  28:22

never know things happen. I mean all

 

Gina Conti  28:25

but they happen like that in the movies. My mother's fault. I watched too many movies.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  28:29

Whatever, my, my daughter were already watching. I mean, there's so many wonderful, wonderful costumes from those eras who were telling me that you love so much. I mean 20s 30s 40s from the best clothing in the world with that interwar era and I

 

Gina Conti  28:42

and I'll watch, I'll see the hats that were made then, and sometimes I'm going who told them that looked good, but there's a you know, we were at a shortage of materials during your time. And so if a hat was made was just made flat or somebody bent or twisted or did something and it was a one off and went with the outfit. And because there was only so much of that fabric or so much of that felt just so much of whatever. And they put it together. You know, like Scarlett O'Hara with the drapes

 

Jonathan Joseph  29:19

Yeah. I mean, some some of my favorite hats are from The Women

 

Gina Conti  29:23

Oh! that movie! Oh my gosh.

 

Jonathan Joseph  29:27

That's my favorite movie. Right now. Right up there with Auntie Mame. So those hats from the women I always think of there's that one that Mary Hanes wears with the big jewel in it after the divorce goes through and she's signing the paperwork and it has that big jewelry

 

Gina Conti  29:41

I know I love I love the one with Rosalind Russell with all that tool when she had on that black tree. Oh my god.

 

Jonathan Joseph  29:48

With the bow under the chin.

 

Gina Conti  29:50

Oh my god. That was just so and we were just talking about the Virgin and about the movies because another one of my favorites is His Girl Friday. And so wearing this chevron coat with the hat. Yeah. Oh my god. So that's so inspirational. When you see those hats sometimes and you and you see what's coming with it all comes around again. Like, here oh its a brand new hat. No one's ever know they did that back in 1935. You know, but there's really nothing new under the sun. But it's the way that we rethink it, redo it, revisit rework.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  30:29

Bring a new different lens. Yeah.

 

Gina Conti  30:31

Right.

 

Jonathan Joseph  30:31

Like a rephrasing.

 

Gina Conti  30:33

Exactly. I'm wearing a little miniature top hat, you know, on top hits my favorite, but so I'm wearing this has made that felt. And I'm crazy. I was telling Rachel earlier I have probably four different colors one is for Mardi Gras once for you know, the holidays once for just because and it's just it's a comfortable, fun thing every day everyday thing or dress thing. You know, you will draw attention to yourself when you when you wear a hat. But oh yeah, what's wrong with that?

 

Jonathan Joseph  31:06

I'm partial to bowler hats.

 

Gina Conti  31:09

I like a bowler hat to. I remember seeing when I was first starting out in millenary. There's a men's hat shop in town, one of the oldest in the country. It's called campy the Hatter and I went in to visit the store. We're actually met the owner, we've we've known each other ever since he'd refer people to me. He would go Gina, I have a crazy one he wants I don't know a paisley something crazy. Okay. But I saw a deep, deep royal, like a royal blue, but a deep royal blue bowler hat. That, of course, I couldn't afford to buy at the time. And I never got that hat out of my it was that hat. It's not like I'm gonna make one. You know, but it was that had was so special. But, you know, so I'm so happy doing what I'm doing and still able to do it. It's a it's a lovely thing. You know,

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  32:03

it's important to love your work and to be able to do things that matter to you I I mean, with what we're doing, and we're gonna change the world and we are gonna enjoy the whole time. So the other people who feel the same way.

 

Gina Conti  32:15

There are trade offs, you know what I would say to kids, especially when kids are are learning to do something. And my kids, I had little ones that would help me block a hat. And they just loved it because it was pushpins and hammer no tie a rope and I Okay, I need you to pound those in I need and they just couldn't get enough of it. They loved each got a little hat when they were little and they helped me make it and it was a fun thing for them. It was very interesting. They enjoyed it. And making the hat not just designing the hat to me, I am a maker like we were discussing, I need to make the thing not just dry, I need to make it I need to touch it. Feel it, Be one with it, make it if you decide that's what you want to do is the kid going into fashion because you love to make something. That's one aspect. There are many aspects right in fashion. You know the business and is something totally different. Totally different. You know, here at Gina Conti millenary you are talking with the big kahuna. Yes, I am the designer, the maker I meet with the clients, I do the books, I do all the photos, I do write all the copy music, I build the private fitting rooms do all of those things.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  33:42

And it's a lot of hats.

 

Gina Conti  33:44

A lot has to wear.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  33:46

I couldn't help myself.

 

Jonathan Joseph  33:49

I was thinking it.

 

Gina Conti  33:51

So, you know, it's a lot of it's a lot of different aspects, all of which are enjoyable because it's never the same day twice. But as your business grows, it's impossible to do all of it and then add shipping the bane of my existence. Yeah, but those are things that and that's it's all fashion though, a kid might find out later that you know, they like these other aspects and it's just as important if you want to grow into a bigger business. I I just want to make hats. Yeah, I want to make hats I'm so glad I get to too.  I am so glad I get to too so it's a blessing. And I I would hope that I you know if kids want to want to shoot me questions in the future, whatever. I would hope that you know, they would be beneficial. I'm not set up to actually teach, but I'm not especially a good teacher. But I'm, I love to play. My parents encouraged me ,you know, they encouraged me they told me I could do anything I wanted to do and could it's not my dad As long as you can read, because he couldn't read very well, but he was an excellent carpenter and helped me make my hat blocks and my mom, they always encouraged me they listened. Listening to the kids is so important. helping them find that direction and play play, you have to play.

 

Jonathan Joseph  35:21

Well, yeah, really obsessively talking about creative play 24/7 here a little read, if you saw our messages between Rachel and myself and our partner, Ryan, it's all about uncovering the different ways to play through the lens of fashion, and just get your hands dirty.

 

Gina Conti  35:38

Yet get your hands dirty is right. It's it's so much it's fun. And it's it's work though. I did advising a kid if you're going to start you have to learn the basics. That's not fun. It's not fun doing practicing your scales on a piano when you want to know I took piano I want to play Chopin.

 

Jonathan Joseph  35:55

me to

 

Gina Conti  35:58

You know, why not? Take piano? Yes. I want to play Chopin's. What was it? Not?

 

Jonathan Joseph  36:07

C minor. Nocturne in C minor was mine.

 

Gina Conti  36:09

And I expected Well, I'm gonna get piano and I'm gonna play this. And no, you have to the eight oh, my God, just you know, and endless practice, practice. But you have to you have to practice the stitches Rachel, you know you so basic stitches, basic stitches, that the book that I told you that from the neck up, it shows you some basic stitches, basic frames, basic foundations, you have a good foundation, to a hat to a business to anything you do, you have a good foundation. You can go from there. Once you learn the materials, you need a good fabric encyclopedia, and get your hands on those fabrics. And just see how those fabrics work. Even if you're making hats out of felt like I do or straw. The straws behave differently, the belts behave differently. You're the band, the materials that you're going to put around it, if you're going to do a hat base covered with fabric fabrics move in a different direction, right. So you, you have to learn how those fabrics and things behave. Once you've got that down, you can get crazy to twist it up into who knows what you know. And so that's the fun. That's what I really have the best fun when I'm just creating something I want to create, you know, and if you like it, great, you can buy it.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  37:31

Thank you. Thank you so much. We are hitting our half hour mark here we are about like No, no, please not at all. I could listen to you talk forever.

 

Jonathan Joseph  37:39

But I love her said I

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  37:42

just wanted to thank you again for making the time for us. And we will definitely let our viewers know that if they have questions we know the perfect person to ask us. So Jonathan, take us out. But then do you mind holding on for just a second so we can just chat real quick before we'll all go our ways. Thank you.

 

Jonathan Joseph  38:03

Oh, thank you so much, Gina. And thank you to everyone who's watching who follows us here at Little Red Fashion CO on Instagram, or whatever channel you're viewing us on. If you haven't yet, definitely head over to the websites www.LittleRedfashion.com. Get on the mailing list, preorder your copy of little red dress our first book which drops in February, because it is our love, passion and it is the gateway to the rest of our Little Red Fashion library that we're putting together and we will see you I'm in the new year. Because this is our final interview as Rachel said in the beginning for the year. It has been such a blessing in such a journey with all of you through 2021 as we've gone through the crazy roller coaster of life together. And I am absolutely as I mentioned on Thanksgiving grateful for each and every one of you who helps guide our journey forward here at Little Red Fashion as we empower the next generation of fashion lovers, leaders and creatives.

 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  38:56

Awesome. Thank you so much everyone.

Ryan Kendall

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Little Red Fashion Co-founder and COO Ryan Kendall is a book lover and outdoor enthusiast. Ryan fell in love with fashion when he became a stylist, merchandiser, and personal shopper while attending university. Since graduating his focus has shifted to technical and sustainble fashion. After moving to Los Angeles, Ryan was appraoched by Jonathan to help write and edit The Little Red Dress. During the editing process Ryan and Jonathan realized kids who love fashion lack the same level of targeted resources from books to tech that their peers who love music or sports have had for ages. Ryan Co-founded Little Red Fashion to inspire and educate kids about the fashion industry.

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