Amanda Sutherland, The creative journey

"Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved playing with her dolls, making tiny clothes and sorting out her nanny's button box whilst dreaming of ,one day making grown up accessories and having a shop"

"Little did she know that one day her dreams would come true"

"The path to a creative career is not a job, its a way of life"

Creativity had always played a huge part in my life, from making jewellery and selling it in the staff room, to setting up little makeshift stalls throughout the school years. Each project becoming more eccentric and the desire in entering the big wide world of opportunity becoming the ultimate goal.

After completing a combined four year BTEC and HND in fashion design at the London College of Fashion I launched into my working career as a head buyer at Londons Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, where working alongside the most talented designers from all over the world was truly the most amazing experience. Having the opportunity to spend many hours of the week wandering fabric markets, trinket shops and department stores seeking anything and everything required to complete the running of a production was both exciting and sometimes at times even a little scary.


After mastering the workings of Ballet and Opera I proceeded to continue the journey within the Westend by working on productions including Jesus Christ Superstar as well as various fringe theatre productions and commercials for the BBC.

 

My final break came about by working as a ladies period costumier for the worlds leading costume house "Angels The Costumiers" which really was a life changing opportunity.

I continued my love of design and fashion by working on numerous films, theatre productions and television dramas as well as working for high end fashion designers assisting on seasonal collections.

Working as part of the team on Eastenders was a completely iconic moment as well as creating costumes for the Bond films and well known period dramas. I had never imagined that I would be watching films and dramas recognising the costumes I had played a part in styling!

At the age of 26 I felt that I had gained enough knowledge to fly the nest where starting up my own business was within sight. The scariest thing I ever did was leave the comfort of my Costumiers desk armed with my books of knowledge and my very forgiving pot plant to launch Amanda Sutherlands very own accessories label.
Amanda Sutherland accessories was launched in 2002 where I started out my business in a shared bridal boutique promoting through local events and recommendations. For many years the main focus was on Bridal accessories and Fascinators riding many waves of changes through trends and economic ups and downs.

In 2012 whilst strolling through the heart of Cambridge the discovery of All Saints craft market influenced the next phase of the business journey. I knew that I wanted to take on the role of a market trader on a Saturday stall in order to promote the newest range of ready to wear range of Hats, neck wear and headbands.

This movement was influenced by the vintage designs of past eras which was a familiar area of costume studies. Recreating modern day accessories with a vintage twist was a natural move.

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Amanda Sutherland, All saints market vin

All saints market

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The accessories stall became the perfect place to attract an array of customers from vintage lovers to overseas tourist visitors all of who fell in love with the vast array of designs. This allowed our beautiful designs to be both appreciated and also taken worldwide with many customers returning to their home countries and promoting the hats, neck wear and turban bands.

With the trends on shopping habits changing, the gradual buying was turning away from markets and after a fabulous 5 years trading at All Saints market, with a heavy heart the time had come to leave my beautiful stall and promote the accessories online as well as exhibiting at a handful of craft and Christmas events.

Aside from promoting my work through my own website, the doors of Etsy marketplace opened which allowed me to reach worldwide customers and continue my quest for global recognition.

My accessories range grows stronger and bigger as every year passes. The feedback I have received over the years has been truly humbling which establishes every day how that little girls dreams really did come true.

Amanda Sutherland