At House of Coco we love a good wedding, our favourite part of the day is ogling over the bride and admiring her dress and accessories. One lady that comes highly recommended by Brides is Susanne, the the founder of Gadegaard Design, a couture bridal accessories and head piece brand that offers the most luxurious and unique pieces to make you feel a million dollars on your big day.
We spent some time with her to find out more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Gadegaard Design as a brand, launched in September 2011. But following my own wedding in 2009, I started purchasing materials such as sinamay, lace and different pearls and crystals. I started very small, creating sinamay hats and fascinators for bold women. But because we don´t have a tradition for hats here in Denmark, I mainly sold them outside the country. But I loved the creative process, and what it gave me
I was a shop manager in a fashion jewelry shop for over a decade, so I have keen sense of what customers asked for, how to market and sell it. But wanting to maintain a steady income, I started testing materials and designs, to see what I was capable of. My family and friends gave me feedback, and helped me find direction.
What’s your background?
I am completely selftaught, and I have really learned what it means to be driven by creativity. Elizabeth Gilbert recently said “Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to made through you”. I really understand this on a deeper level, because I can feel in my core, if a piece is missing something. A piece need to be fulfilled, in order to feel content. And this, more than anything, has shown me that this is what i´m supposed to do. I use the internet a lot, join communities if I need to learn a new skill. I will buy books and materials to learn, and don´t just accept “I can´t do this” if I haven´t tried. I sometimes still wish I had taken a classical design education, but I also think, in some way benefit from not having it. I believe everything happens for a reason, and perhaps a proper education, would have seen me trying something different, and failing spectacularly. So I guess, I feel I´m in the right spot☺
How many people are involved in the label and what´s the process behind launching a new piece?
I am a one woman show. I design, make and pack. I do the accounting, answer mails, phonecalls and manage all social media. So anytime you reach out to Gadegaard Design, be it email, facebook , twitter or when you buy, it´s all me
If you could start your business over, would you do anything differently?
Not much. I think I started prudent, thinking that I wouldn´t want to wake up at age 60, thinking maybe it could have been a success. I followed my heart, and learned so much on etsy. About SEO, writing optimal descriptions, tagging right and using social media. I can only think of one thing, and that is not reaching out to my “dreamteam” sooner. I have established a fantastic relationship with my photographer Tina Liv, and a beautiful very young model Mira. And they have really helped me visualize my brand. Tina Liv is so vibrant and talented, and her vision for the look and feel of the pictures really gives my pieces life. Mira is just so sweet and humble about being a model, and her look has just defined the whole look. She can wear anything, and I am so humbled by both their help and enthusiasm.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started?
My most difficult moment, was leaving my full time job. It was daunting, to say the least, to let go of the security. It was time to fly or fall. Fear and doubt has sometimes hit me hard, but just when things looked the darkest, some odd chances came my way, and I really think, this is what i´m supposed to do. Call me crazy, but nothing ever felt so right.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn´t know?
I come from an extremely creative family. My mom and dad both paint and run their own online gallery. My brother is creating beautiful unique furniture. And I have had 2, rather small, exhibitions of my own paintings. Well that was more than one thing☺
2015 has just begun, where do you plan on taking the brand?
This year is dedicated to further establishing my brand, and developing new pieces. I still feel I am missing some items, such as a more wide selection of veils. And I really have some new skills I would love to perfect.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
To me this has been a steady climb. The best day to date, was actually my first real photoshoot with Tina Liv, where I literally saw hours of sewing, beading and pressing finally come to life with a real model. I could see the look come alive, right before my eyes, with each pose. It was a real eye opener, to see the difference a real photographer can make for a product line. It went from homemade, to couture in seconds.
What inspires each collection?
For each collection, there are a lot of sketching, searching for materials and a lot of trials. One dream was making a small line of metallic handbags, to go with the other products. But it didn´t work as well as I would like, so I started looking at the metallic faux leather with different eyes. And slowly a whole collection was coming together before my eyes, with the unusual faux leather, in metallic shades of cobber, silver, antique gold and pearlescent as accents, against the fine laces, crystals and Swarovski pearls. I seldom have word for what I am creating. It´s more a feeling. And once the collection come together, then there is time for reflection and for putting a name to that feeling.
Where can people find out more?
For updates and to keep in touch, drop by: www.facebook.com/gadegaarddesign
or if you´re looking for a bespoke design, especially made for you, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
hope to “see” you soon, Susanne