Featured Interview: Siobhan Barrett


Interview by Angel Quintana
Photo Credit: Hailley Howard
Featuring: Siobhan Barrett
Magazine: Issue #39

Siobhan Barrett

Siobhan Barrett

When did you first decide you wanted to make a career out of creating handmade swimwear and lingerie?
A few years ago. I had been making some swimsuits because a girl friend, Lindsay Heuer, wanted/inspired me to do them for a few years for her. Then one day I cut out one of the one piece swimsuits in lace (in other words I made a lace bodysuit) which happened to be used in a photo shoot when a photographer, Kenny Sweeney, was using my apartment and one of the photos went viral. Even though most of the use of the photo was uncredited illegal re-posting of the photo I got a ton of traffic from it and was able to start selling more and more bodysuits which turned into the small business I have today. 

What’s the hardest and most rewarding part of being your own boss and creating your own pieces?
I get to do whatever I want! This is both the hardest and most rewarding part of being your own boss. There is aways work to do and nothing is ever enough. You're also accountable to yourself so you benefit and are affected by all of your decisions first hand. I also get to be the coolest boss on earth and I can tailor my working hours to accommodate a lifestyle that I truly enjoy. This also means I have to manage, motivate, and move myself alongside my business day after day by myself. Although friends and family play a huge role in this process it is up to you every day to do or not to get your work done.

Do you plan on expanding to other articles in the future? What would those be?
I might expand to make some more accessories. I think a cute beach bag for my swimwear would be fun and I am going to make some pretty silk charmeuse sleep masks to go with the lingerie. I come from a womens/evening wear background and I don't have any intention of making women's clothing for sale again. 

Would you ever like to open up a brick and mortar shop for your swimwear/lingerie?
I would love to! I have worked in retail for forever and would love to offer a warm friendly safe, fun environment for women to come and hangout as well as shop. Swimwear and lingerie can be daunting things to shop for and I'd like to change that as much as possible. 

Where does your style and design inspiration typically come from?
I'm inspired by textures, colors, and landscapes from my surroundings. Lately I've been spending a lot of time in the Catskills in upstate New York and I have really taken a lot from the whimsical qualities of the lush landscape and how they change over the seasons. 

Siobhan Barrett

Siobhan Barrett

What do you consider your brands style to be?
It's almost a whimsical nod to retro styles. I don't do underwires or anything very structured which is where the whimsical comes into play. But I find that there is an "old world" feeling to everything that isn't quite vintage but isn't quite modern either. 

How many different pieces do you have and what are the most popular?
I have about 10 different styles/cuts of lingerie which I make in a number of lace and mesh combinations. My best seller is a bodysuit called the Bride To Be Lace Lingerie Bodysuit. It comes in white lace, black mesh, and a mauve lace which are all super duper sexy. 

What’s been the most successful form of getting your name and brand out there?
Instagram! And collaborating/working with women artists and models via Instagram. My sales go up the more and the better the content I post. I also do my own pop up shops which are super fun and really help people see and interact with the products in person. 

How long does it usually take to complete a product start to finish? How many pieces do you make in an average week?
Oh gosh, I can make 2-5 pieces in a couple of hours. And depending on the week I make anywhere from 10-30 pieces a week. It's hard to balance sewing the product and promoting the product because I can't do them at the same time but they both need my time ; ) So some weeks are production weeks and some are business weeks.

How many prints are there to choose from within each style of swimwear or lingerie?
There are about 2/5 prints for each swimsuit and in the lingerie every style typically comes in two laces and a mesh version. 

What’s on the horizon for you? Any collaborations we need to know about?
Lookbooks are on the horizon! And a more defined seasonal approach to my small "lines" of both lingerie and swimsuits. I'll be collaborating with an artist and photographer/model team for an upcoming lingerie lookbook. I also have some GREAT content collaborations with very talented women writers and artists that will be coming out next year. For the swimwear I'm working on some video content to celebrate active, fun, and real women that like to laugh, dance, yell, and play in their swimsuits!

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