I came across Annie Turbin Designs on Instagram and instantly went to her website where I found really cute clothes. As I read Annie’s story I was intrigued. I love how years ago, she hand painted a dress for herself and someone asked where she bought it. Annie told her she made it herself and that woman and four others took out their checkbooks leading to the birth of Annie’s business!
I emailed Annie some questions and she’s answered them in conversational form. She’s as interesting and colorful as her designs! Read on to find out more about Annie and her business as I share a few incredible pieces from her hand dyed, hand printed, hand painted collections. Enjoy.
What is your background and how did you learn the techniques/skills to design and dye your clothes?
My background is actually music. Since I was three years old I was taking piano lessons. Mainly I’m a singer songwriter, and then came violin, viola, guitar. Berklee College of Music graduate.
How did you get started in this business?
Backwards. Didn’t plan on it at all. I was singing and playing viola with John Tesh- yikes, remember him? And he started featuring me vocally in the show, told me to go shopping for stage clothes and I saw a fabulous hand dyed dress at Neiman Marcus and I kind of had a shazam moment. It was an instinctive feeling that I could “make clothing” I remember it was a very strong feeling. I became obsessed overnight with dyeing a printing fabric. I couldn’t get enough. Plus I’ve always loved clothing and dressing up, I love it all. Bohemian, preppy, classic, conservative, beachy, blue jeans and diamonds, black tie, ball gowns, bathing suits, cheerleader outfits and catholic school uniforms. I am eternally in LOVE with fashion, utterly obsessed and in love with fashion.
Do you have a favorite material to work with?
Probably velvet or silk.
Where does your inspiration come from as you’re designing/dyeing new styles?
I love jewelry and I get a lot of inspiration from jewels-particularly colored stones. I also love nature, leaves, the way water and oil look together. I love droplets of water on leaves, that kills me.
Do you have a piece you’ve designed that has special meaning to you?
Well, each piece is a child of mine and you know you love your children equally, right? Right. I get super giddy when I’m onto something new in the studio that we’re working on. I did a series of velvets that were totally pieced together in an argyle pattern, they were to die for. I made three or fours skirts. Whenever somebody got too close to one of them, I’d get the heeby jeebies…felt like I couldn’t breathe. Finally realized that I’d be a complete puddle if somebody bought one of them, so I had to take them and put them in my closet. Where they are very safe. I look at them almost everyday. When I lose ten pounds I’ll start wearing . Pandemic cookies,….
How and why did you decide to open a store front boutique?
Several factors drove that decision. I’ve always wanted a store, ever since I could remember. I wanted to be in that energy. The pandemic was a good motivator, great reminder that we don’t have all day, so to speak. I was living in Nashville, and really was just over the south, and especially southerners. I wanted to work with women, sell my clothing everyday, and engage with women who share my love and excitement for getting dressed, no matter what the occasion.
What is your favorite part of owning, designing, and running a clothing company/boutique? What is the hardest part?
It’s all hard. Hideously hard. I love that I’m my own boss, nobody bosses me around. I have to boss myself around. The financial is tough at times because I’m constantly reinvesting in the next season’s collection…development, then running production. I love selling the other lines I’m carrying in my store because choosing them is extremely creative, so I get to scratch that itch constantly.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Come to the store, work work work! Work with my studio in Los Angeles where the magic happens. Constantly shifting gears when a client walks in. Multi tasking because I’m a chick and we RULE when it comes to multi tasking.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Building my store as a destination and continuing with my own brand. And hopefully getting to see Scotland and Ireland somebody, green is my favorite color so that’s on my bucket list.
The fit of Annie’s pants is pure perfection. Those who know me know I usually wear oversized clothes. Well, when I put on Annie’s long flair pants I was so excited. My husband also commented on how well they fit and how much he liked them, almost as much as I liked them on me! They’re super comfy and I really feel good in them!!
While Annie does carry some other brands, such as the skirt I’m wearing by La Bottega Di Brunella, most of what is sold in her store are her own hand painted, hand dyed, and hand printed designs. Annie Turbin Designs utilizes fabric mills in the USA, predominantly in California and are manufactured exclusively in California. Everything is handmade in the USA-I like that! And I like the clothes designed by Annie Turbin-a lot!