It's fashion revolution week! So we've decided to kick it off by introducing you to the most integral member of our team, who also happens to be the Mum of our Founding Director, Emily.
Spotlight on Mims Evans, our Head of Production.
1/ Tell us a little bit about you, you history and how you got into sewing?
Mims - I am a very creative person and like to find the quickest and best way to do everything. I am very practical and can turn my hand to most things. I love D.I.Y and creating homely, welcoming and pretty spaces, both inside and outside.
I can't remember when I didn't 'do' craft. A few of my favourite presents as a child were my weaving loom, dolly knitting and sewing basket containing lots of colourful threads, needles, pins, a tapemeasure etc, which I used to make clothes for my dolls and all of the other dollies up and down the street for my friends too!
Coming from a small country villiage, I was bought up very traditionally whereby men went out to work and women nurtured the family and ran the home. The culture surrounding me in my formative years was very 'make do and mend'. Where everything was repaired, reused or passed onto to someone else who could make use of it. I still live by those teachings now. As money was short throughout my teens, I learn't to transform / upcycle clothing that my Dad used to bring home for me into wearable items. I've always enjoyed making clothing and style - not so much fashion - out of very little.
I went to Hereford college of Art and Design after school and was taught by an amazing tutor, Joan White. I took all of the lessons to heart and to this day always hear her little sayings in my head as I work. She had incredible talent/ knowledge and admired as she once was by myself.
After completing my BTEC in Design for clothing manufacture/ fashion, I moved to Dundee where I became a self-employed designer/ dressmaker creating bespoke wedding wear and one-off's for clients. I was also the recommended seamstress for Arnotts (the house of fraser store in the city).
2/ What is your favourite thing about construction garments?
Mims - I love the excitement of starting out with a flat piece of cloth and transforming it in to an item which will be worn and loved by myself and others. The satisfaction of seeing a garment you have hand stitched and put a little bit of yourself in to being worn and loved by another person is incredible. Creatively, it's a feeling you can't beat!
3/ How long have you been working for Zola Amour and what is your favourite thing about heading up production for a new and emerging brand?
Mims - I've been creating garments for Zola Amour since September 2017 when my daughter had one of her first stalls in Camden Market looming and I offered to help out with stock making to ensure she had enough selection of shapes and sizes for all and it kind of went from there!
I love the excitement of receiving a sample for the first time and the challenge of working out the very best way to construct it to ensure that it's durable and as perfect as I can possibly make it. I was taught by Joan that a garment should always be as neat on the inside as it is on the outside. I take great pride in my work and adhere to that with every stitch that I sew.
I am in a very fortunate position where I can change the construction of anything at all that will help to improve the Zola designs. My hope is that by being dedicated and meticulous, the brand will be recognised for it's quality, style and ease of wear throughout the World.
The concept is incredible and I have no doubt over the next few years Zola Amour is going to see phenomenal growth. I'd like to say that I'd like the brand to 'stick two fingers up' at fast fashion, but obviously as the company directors Mumma, I am not allowed to say that.
4/ What inspires you?
Mims - In the past I was inspired by my Nanna and tutor mentioned before. Their skill and genuine satisfaction at making something out of nothing has always stayed in my heart and I wanted to be like them.
Now I am very much inspired by nature. I love pretty places and wildlife and love to do my bit to help the World as much as I can. My partner and I began to keep bees last year and have just purchased our second hive. We also keep chickens and have recently re-homes three more ex-battery farm hens, such loving girls, who are thriving and treated like princesses as they re-adjust to a life of luxury and spoilt as they free range our garden.
5/ What do you do when you're not sewing?
Mims - When not sewing I spend time outside as much as possible. I love camping in quiet and remote spots, working in my garden and spending time surrounded by my pets/ family and friends. I like time 'just sitting' and day dreaming.
6/ If you could wave a magic wand and change absolutely anything in the World today, what would it be?
Mims - I wish I could make all of the human race care for each other and everything on this planet as much as I care for my home, partner, family and friends. If I could have such as wish the World would be surrounded by love and everyone would feel safe, secure and ready to work for the good of each other and not expect anything in return.