Coral Marie is a small business in Athens County, Ohio. Owner, Coral Wedel, makes high quality "slow fashion" goods by hand, which are the opposite of mass produced products. If you are looking for unique fashion pieces that fit your lifestyle and make a positive impact on the environment, Coral Marie's products are perfect for you. We interviewed this awesome local entrepreneur to learn more about her craft. Meet Coral Marie at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3!
Tell us about your local business.
Coral Marie is sustainable slow fashion imbued with minimalist beauty for the practical modern woman. Offering timeless options for every season. Designed & responsibly handcrafted in small batches in my solar powered studio. Founded in 2011 on the belief in the importance of what we wear, because it affects the way we feel and there is such power in feeling. You can shop online at www.coralmarie.com or visit my studio shop in Athens County.
What drew you to your craft?
The transformation of self through body adornment has always peeked my interest. I have such fond memories of making costumes together with my Mother as a little girl. She continues to play an important role in inspiring me to cultivate my own passions and follow my dreams. It was my education at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, that really opened my eyes to the possibilities of fashion, art and the body.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
Looking back at my body of work as a whole gives me the opportunity to view my own progression of ideas. I tend to see each piece as a part of the whole picture that I am painting over time. I especially enjoy when I can take my time to invest in the process with precision. Some of those special pieces have been custom wedding gowns and my sculptural art garments.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I spent a considerable amount of time re-arranging the furniture and imagining myself as an interior decorator. I still love doing my own interior spaces because I enjoy utilizing my design skills in many areas of my life.
What is your creative process?
I often begin with fabric and move into flat pattern drafting to develop the shapes I want to work with in a collection. As I work through sketching and the sampling process the design concept takes fuller shape as it coalesces into a moment. I often don’t name my collections until they are complete because that is when I really discover where it all is taking me. It is a journey each time. I am constantly inspired by my surroundings such as color, texture, concept, or just the feeling in the air.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Trust yourself. Stay the course and keep true to your vision even when it seems beyond reach.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Supporting local artists & makers is an important part of creating a resilient local economy. When we buy something made locally we are keeping our environmental impact low while also keeping money in our local region. Supporting creativity helps to enrich the world and when you do that in your own region you are directly giving back to your own community.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I love being a designer because it challenges me creatively and offers me the perfect outlet for the expression of my point of view. My mission is to balance aesthetics and function in order to create strong design and to then craft it responsibly. Additionally, developing meaningful relationships and supporting community through my work are an important baseline for what I do. Being in the position to do work I love that also supports community is a dream come true.
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
Let go of the fear and go for it! Hard work and a unique vision can take you a long way. Develop a strong support system and draw on it as you go.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
Ohio is where my heart belongs. It will always feel like home to me. Every season has its beauty and because I love being outdoors, exploring new places to hike with my family is a favorite of mine.