Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hip + Urban Girl of the Week: Caroline Lim

This week we chat with Caroline Lim, fashion designer and owner of the boutique Champagne & Cupcakes. It's one of our favourite places to go dress hunting in Toronto, that we wanted to meet the owner to learn more about how she got started.

What made you choose to a career in fashion design?
Fashion design was always what I wanted to do since I was a kindergarten kid.

Where did you go for college/university and what did you study?
I went to Ryerson University and studied Fashion Design.

Is there anything you would have done differently or advise others about?
I originally started designing at the wholesale level right out of school for 6 years. It was a lot of fun but very, very difficult to do as a one person team. So, I then decided to go corporate and work designing for a company. I quickly learned that setting wasn't creative enough for me and decided to start an entire new label and go retail. I've never looked back!  I wouldn't have changed anything in my professional journey because I really needed to try things out and learn by experiencing each type of design career.


Tell us about your store!
Champagne & Cupcakes is a dress boutique exclusively. It features our own private label, Champagne & Cupcakes as well as other hand picked labels from LA. The dresses are flirty, fun and easy to wear for all occasions from everyday to cocktail events.

We also feature our Champagne & Cupcakes, White Label which is a customizable special occasion collection.  It features 30 plus styles where you can select your fabrics, style details and colours to create the dress of your dreams, (very popular with wedding
parties). Along with the dresses, we feature several pretty and quirky Canadian accessory lines. 

How did you come up with the name for your store?
The name Champagne & Cupcakes was created because 1) they're my two favourite
things and 2) the concept of the line and boutique is about affordable luxury.  Champagne representing the luxury and Cupcakes, being the affordable.

What made you want to become an entrepreneur and open your own store?
Being an entrepreneur was always in the cards for me.  Being born into an entrepreneurial family and growing up "behind the counter" I got to witness the life of a business owner.

What are some of the perks of your job & what do you like best about it?
The perks of my job is that I can create what I want, when I want it.  The creative freedom is amazing!

What is your typical day like?
No two days are the same really.  But, usually my days consists of sourcing fabrics, fittings, production, working with clients and sewing.

What are some disadvantages of your job, that maybe we don't think about?
The disadvantages of being your own boss is that your work day never really ends. There is no leaving your work at work, at 6pm.  

Top 5 trends you are seeing for fall?
I would say the top trends would be animal prints, patterns, jewel tones, metallics and heavy hardware.

Where are your favourite places to hang out in Toronto? 
Hmmmm...fave places to hang out? It's pretty hard to say having just had a baby, unfortunately life hasn't been so glamorous lately. But, I must say, Toronto has a gorgeous waterfront which both baby and I have totally enjoyed strolling with the stroller!

Where would you go on your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be Japan.  Specifically SanrioLand! I'm a die hard Hello Kitty fan!!!

What would you tell your 20 year-old self?
I would tell my 20 year old self that shoes aren't everything.  (They're VERY important...but not everything) he he he.

What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?
My advice would be to just follow what your heart says and not to worry about whether you'll make enough money or if you'll be successful.  Your happiness is what matters the most!

Visit Caroline's Store: www.champagneandcupcakes.ca
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Champagne-Cupcakes/454088505593

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