Meet Faith, of Faith Rowan Leeves. Faith designs and, along with her team makes the most beautiful high quality garments at her Brighton studio.
We discovered her dreamy brand through instagram, and quickly we fell in love with the silhouettes and the use of deadstock and new natural fabrics.
You can shop three ways, “ready to ship”, “pre-order” or “custom” but everything is slow made.
For those that don't know you, please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your beautiful business?
So I'm the founder of Faith-Rowan Leeves, I founded FRL in 2019 during the first UK lockdown. After working for various brands I decided to slow everything down and create a micro brand that makes high quality, wearable clothes right here in Brighton. I used to run a sustainable underwear business in London where we produced all our products in house using deadstock surplus lingerie materials. I loved what I did (I studied lingerie and swimwear design at London college of Fashion) but I needed more variety and scope with my designs, plus you never got to see my work as it was always worn under a t-shirt!
Could you tell us why you started your business and what inspired you?
Ultimately I love clothes and hate fast fashion. The entire fast fashion system is corrupt and unethical. The fast fashion system isn't serving anyone ( except the big bosses (men) at the top)- not the people who make the fabrics, sew the garments and especially the planet whose resources we are using to make all these garments. I am also a maker and a compete nerd when it comes to machinery, techniques and precision so I set out to see what I could create with the skills and knowledge I had from my degree and running an underwear business.
My tutor at uni said to us on the first day that we started " If you can make a bra you can make anything" that is essentially my motto. I can make underwear that has to be sewn to the millimetre or it wont fit together correctly so I can totally make a dress. I started with making pieces for myself and it went from there.
What is the Ethos of your business?
My ethos is all about wearable pieces that have longevity. Pieces you want to put on everyday for a long time. I worked at Beyond Retro for many years when I was a teenager and the quality and craftsmanship of the authentic vintage pieces was inspiring. I now try to make all my pieces to transcend trends and last a lifetime.
I love the materials you have chosen to make your beautiful pieces, what do you look for when choosing them?
Well, try stop me from buying fabric. I love colour and texture and try to source a variety of fabrics. Firstly I find deadstock fabrics - these are often very limited edition so have to find more all the time. I also get new fabrics (only with natural components) so that I can have fabrics sticking around for a bit longer. I currently work with an amazing textile mill in Lithuania where they weave my linens to order! I pick the colours and the style and they make it for me so there is no waste or unwanted material.
Linen is one of the most amazing fabrics and is 100% natural - I object to using any plastic in my new fabrics and wanted to use a supplier as close to here as possible. They only use EU flax and it's been a family company for many generations.
It is great that you have chosen to offer 'made to order', what was your reason behind this?
Everyone is different! and that's something that should be celebrated, I hate making things that won't be cherished so I make things to order.
We can raise the hem, lengthen the hem or make any other changes you'd like to have your perfect piece, thats the beauty of working small and slow is that we have control over the whole process.
We have actually started making a little bit of stock as we have grown a lot in the last year and have found a mix of made to order and stock works well.
What are you most excited about over the coming months?
BRIDAL - I have a whole stash of deadstock laces that I'm dying to work with. We have done a lot of bridal Rita dresses this summer so I am excited to keep expanding on that. Plus I love all the extra details that you can get away with when designing something so special like a wedding dress.
What and who inspires you in your work?
Well - my family. I love running my own business and had only really just started FRL when I got pregnant with my daughter - it was very early days and I had no idea if I could make it work but I sat down, made a plan and got to work. Here we are now and my daughter is 14months old and my business is still going. It's not always (if ever) easy but I do it so I have the flexibility, freedom and creative outlet that I need to be the mum I want to be.
What is your biggest piece of advice for female business owners and those wanting to start their own business?
JUST DO IT! Taking the plunge is the hardest bit! But once you've decided to do it then trusting your instincts and going with the flow are my two biggest things that help me.
Discover Faith Rowan Leeves below:
Instagram - faithrowanleeves
Website - faithrowanleeves.com