"fashion fades, style is eternal."
MARTHA: Fashion Fades, Style is Eternal. I have that quote hanging above my work area in my studio to remind me of why I opened my business… why my philosophy is what it is.
RICM: I understand there are 3 R’s to the Restored by Design philosophy.
MARTHA: Actually there are more than three. We create my style of clothing, jewelry and accessories by RECLAIMING AND REINVENTING. We REVIVE, REFRESH, and RESTYLE by designing new pieces from previously loved materials, vintage fabrics, reclaimed objects, and industry excesses. Our eclectic mix of raw materials uses a fraction of energy resources to manufacture, leaving a low carbon footprint.
RICM: Why add eco-awareness into the mix?
MARTHA: Because we are a GREEN artisan company dedicated to the creation of eco-fashion jewelry, clothing, accessories, home decor, rare finds, and unique works of art. We are very passionate about a greener life that helps grow community with style!
I started the business in my studio in 2010, we went full time in 2012. People come into the store because of the combination of clothing and jewelry and the intimate shopping experience.
I call my style Bohemian Chic or BOHO for short. It’s an eclectic mix of elements… very individual. There is a kind of a revival of 70’s fashion going on, slightly hippie looking, different patterns tossed together… lace, fringe, big necklaces with beads of wood or metal, colors, and textures. It can be quirky… have a funky edge to it, be very bold or very feminine with pastels.
I am not a classic “tailored” designer. Being a local store, I offer a sensory shopping experience where customers can touch and feel the merchandise. I ‘ve had a customer say to me, “Oh my goodness, this reminds me of my favorite store in Paris.”
RICM: How does eco-awareness influence your fashion philosophy?
MARTHA: My fundamental philosophy for eco-consciousness guides my choices in raw materials and the manufacturing process. I carefully select each component from found bits and pieces, factory cast-offs, vintage fabrics, lace, charms, organic materials, natural stones, pearls, shells, resins, wood, and more non-traditional “green” materials. The real investment is in the creative talents of all the artists, designers, and artisans who create these special one-of-a-kind pieces. All local, truly eco-aware, and all fashionably up-styled for sustainable treasures worthy of investment! They are new to you to love!
RICM: I understand that you do custom work for customers?
MARTHA: Yes. If a customer loves a particular design of a dress but it isn’t made in her size, I’ll custom make it for her. I will also take old garments that they don’t wear anymore and restyle them into an original design just for them. From their own closet, I’ll reinvent old precious clothes into new ones instead of having to donate or toss them out.
My customers can also participate in our Create With Us Series of classes and workshops, with a Fall schedule soon to be posted on my website in August. One of my popular workshops is called Repurposing from your Wardrobe. I’m repurposing a dress with a customer right now. She wore a beautiful dress when she got married. As you know, wedding dresses (or even bridesmaids dresses) only get worn once and then sit in the closet forever. By restyling the wedding dress to a non-wedding dress… dyed a different color, adding a few different accessories, she now has a new dress that will get much more usage. Make something beautiful. It’s just sitting in a box.
To learn more about Restored by Design, Martha Jackson is hosting RICM's Inspirational Speaker Series on Wednesday, August 26th from 6-8pm. Read all the details here. Join us for an evening of inspiration, hear her story, tour her store and witness her craft first hand. You don't want to miss this!
Restored by Design
128 North Main Street
by Joseph Shansky
Photos by Sophia Dias