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I'm sure you've heard amazing stories about success after tragic failure. Well, that's not my story. I think my story is more fascinating, but then again, I have done everything and more that I had hoped to accomplish in life and I just turned 40!
Here is the brief synopsis of how I introduce myself to new students:
I've been teaching for about 15 years, taught at FIDM for 9 years with 3 years in San Francisco and 6 years in Los Angeles. I began my design career at age 5 when I learned how to sew, made things and sold them at my lemonade stand. Fast forward 16 years. I move to NYC to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and get my specialization in intimate apparel (or as everyone knows this: lingerie design). I worked at the absolute worse job in my life after graduation. It deeply traumatized me, that after only 2 days on the job, I left the industry for computer programming.
I move back to Florida (where I grew up) and regrouped. I still wanted to do design so I started building up a portfolio so I could give fashion styling a whirl. I decided that moving to San Francisco would be best for my future.
So, I pack up my car and two friends and take 3 weeks to drive across country for my big move. What an amazing experience to see the country as I did. Anyway, I moved to San Francisco without a place to live, a job or even knowing a single person. It was a great experience to start fresh.
I did my styling. I got to work with some amazing photographers and got some great photos of my designs in the process. I also started teaching pattern drafting, draping and sewing out of my garage. I launched my first business in San Francisco, Porcelynne Lingerie.
Too bad I didn't know what I was doing, but I did learn by making every mistake in the book. It took a massive theft of my merchandise for me to sit down and realize that I was selling my masterpieces for less than what it took to make them. Duh!
Fast forward a year or two, I land a teaching position at FIDM in SF and love it. Shortly after beginning teaching, an opportunity crossed my path and I opened my first store. With that too, I had no idea of what I was doing. Lucky for me, my design business was actually doing well and I even found a local factory to make my goodies.
I ran the money pit for a year and a half before I decide to turn it into a co-op. What a fabulous way to run a business. We had 12 people promoting and working the store and for the first time it was profitable. Then I closed it. Then I had all sorts of free time I used it to write a book on how to start your own clothing line (by way of how not to start your own clothing line).
Then I decide that it's time to get serious about finding a husband so I could start a family. I move to LA, meet my husband and get married. We buy a house in the mountains and have a beautiful baby girl. I go back to work to realize I don't want to go back to work and decide to open a store. I felt the store was not enough, so I decided to start my own nonprofit design school.
That brings us to our current day and time. So there you go, that's my story. Plus I forgot to mention that I've written 4 other books and had one translated into Spanish. So there it is, oh wait, did I mention I started my current business online and by accident? Well, that's another story for another day.
Porcelynne's Fabric Boutique
The Fabric Boutique is the newest project led by head designer Jennifer Lynne, of Porcelynne Lingerie. Lynne has hand selected fabrics, trims and notions. The Fabric Boutique carries a wide selection of lingerie and corsetry supplies, as well as pattern drafting supplies and fabrics for every day. There is also a "must have" section where you can get everyday needed products such as thread, needles and selection sewing machine accessories. They can also do custom buying for your project needs.
Porcelynne's Design Institute
The Design Institute is coupled with the Fabric Boutique and occupies half of the shop. Lynne and other professionals in the fashion industry teach lingerie design, fashion design, pattern drafting, draping and entrepreneurship. Classes are all designed as 8 week courses and cost $360 each.
More information can be found following the link on the bottom of the website. Porcelynne's Design Institute is officially operating as its own entity and is a nonprofit organization.
Jennifer Lynne, Proprietor
Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and graduated in 1999 with a specialization in intimate apparel. Over the years, Lynne has participated in numerous fashion events, won several awards and has been a mentor for many up and coming designers. Lynne has been instructing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for the past seven years.
Jennifer's previous accomplishment was launching the publishing house Los Angeles Fashion Resource. She has authored multiple textbooks on entrepreneurship and lingerie design.
Porcelynne Lingerie closed its doors in 2012 in preparation of the new endeavors launched by Jennifer Lynne. Porcelynne Lingerie was developed by designer Jennifer Lynne in 2000 as an escape from uncomfortable underwear. Their focus was on fit and with the combination of colors and fabrics, every piece was special.
Porcelynne's philosophy in business was as important as was the fabric choices. All fabrics used were rescued from factory overflow and henceforth, have avoided ending up in a landfill. Porcelynne recycled all items from the studio and showroom floor. Fabric scraps were donated for re-use and all other material were recycled when possible.
Porcelynne used limited resources in packaging and shipping. Items were not pre-packaged in plastic wrap, so there is less of a contribution to the environmental impact of plastic waste.
Porcelynne employed contractors who were local to help maintain a balanced local economy and to recirculate the cash flow to those who were our neighbors.
Porcelynne Designer Collective
Porcelynne Designer Collective Boutique was a San Francisco based co-op in the Mission district. The Collective was home to 11 co-op designers and numerous other designers. We closed its doors in February 2008 after 2 wonderful years in business. We would like to thank everyone who participated in our co-op as well as those who supported us.