January 31st, 2019
For Siobhan Britt, it all starts with a visit to a thrift store.
Britt will spend hours scavenging for the right clothes with the right type of fabrics and colors. After she purchases the right pieces, she’ll take her new finds to her closet, where she’ll sift through her thrifted pile to find her perfect combination of tops to create her next, new piece. From there, she’ll take apart the collars and bottoms of the shirts with a seam ripper and iron the hems and bind the two tops with a double needle.
“It’s difficult, and it’s a lot of stuff to process, but I love it,” Britt said.
Britt, a senior fashion merchandising major from Alpharetta, is the founder and designer of her own clothing brand called PNKLMN (pronounced “pink lemon”).
The name of the brand is inspired by the actual fruit of a pink lemon, an exotic, tart treat fancy chefs use for flavor, Britt said. The name also reflects Britt’s vibrant and bubbly personality, and even holds relevance to Britt’s personal life.
“When I was little, my mom would put a cookie and a lemon in front of my plate and I chose the lemon every time,” Britt said.
The inspiration behind the designs
Although Britt didn’t actively become involved in the fashion industry until college, her love for fashion and thrifting has always been apparent since she was a child. Her grandmother, who was a seamstress, would often make Britt dresses to add to her already-overflowing box of dress-up outfits.
“I always wore those dresses and these plastic Barbie heels everywhere — from the post office to the grocery store,” Britt said. “My mom always told me not to wear the heels, but I never listened and ended up with blisters.”
Growing up, Britt was always drawn to thrifted clothes because they were more affordable and sustainable. She loved wearing pieces that truly spoke to her, and even though her thrifted pieces were already different, she would often cut thrifted shirts and tamper with them to make them truly her own.
This hobby became the inspiration behind Britt’s designs in the apparel design studio course at the University of Georgia and — ultimately — the inspiration behind designs for PNKLMN, which was officially started in March of 2018.
The beginning of an unexpected business
Vivi Carrasco, a senior journalism major from Alpharetta, is both a photographer for PNKLMN and also Britt’s best friend. She currently owns two pieces from the brand.
“[Britt] has a very colorful personality and her shirts are very loud in a good way and one-of-a-kind,” Carrasco said. “And that’s how [she] is — if she sees someone being one way, she doesn’t want to be like that because she wants it to be her way.”
The brand itself all started after Britt felt suddenly inspired one night to get better at sewing.
“I was lying in bed and I couldn’t stop thinking about the first shirt that I made [in the apparel design studio course],” Britt said. “So the next day, I took out my mom’s old sewing machine and I just started sewing with it.”
With the help of her grandmother, Britt grew more comfortable with the sewing machine and started posting photos of her shirts on her fashion Instagram account. Her first customer ended up being a friend who came across a photo of her first shirt she made.
“My friend messaged me to tell me that she loved my shirt and she asked me if I could make one for her and her boyfriend with inverted colors,” Britt said. “She ended up loving the shirts and paid for them.”
From then on, Britt knew that this was her passion and she went after it with full force.
After she graduates, Britt plans to continue pursuing her brand and expanding it. Although she would one day love to get a job in New York, her current plan is to start in Atlanta and focus on her brand.
“I’m not settling, but I’m simply giving myself the opportunity to stay local and get a career in corporate retail and be more financial stable,” Britt said.
Britt also hopes to learn more about investing and wholesaling throughout the process, which will hopefully allow her brand to grow overtime.
Britt hopes that through her brand, she can spread a deeper message that extends beyond just looking good.
“I want people to think that they can really be themselves,” Britt said. “I really want the mission to be about being heard and being loved.”
This article was written by Katie Kim with The Red & Black.
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