Workspace: Erin Healy turns home into clothing design studio
Her foyer features sequined hair pieces with feathers and sequins. A tray filled with pins and spools of thread is on a desk in the corner of the family room. Most hard surfaces have eggshell-colored sheets with pencil drawings.
Erin Healy, a local fashion designer and mother of three, uses her home in Palencia as a showroom and studio.
Like many Jacksonville-area entrepreneurs, she juggles her work and home lives more seamlessly because she works out of where she lives.
“I don’t really need a storefront,” Healy said. “I don’t do alterations — I do custom work, and it’s really convenient, being that I’m a mom.”
Healy is preparing to show her resort collection at the upcoming Miami and Charleston fashion weeks. Her family room is the main space where she’ll lay out the entire collection to see where she needs to make edits.
She says women enjoy the
pieces she creates because they are unique and are limited editions.
Healy said her customer is typically “a woman that likes classic style and unique fabrics that kind of give it that edge.”
Samples of the fabrics are littered on her dining room table, along with stray sketches. Oftentimes, Healy said she’ll have an idea of what she wants to design, but it won’t be finalized until the fabric is chosen.
Although she’s been sketching since she was in high school, Healy began designing seven years ago and is self-taught. She met another designer in St. Augustine who introduced her to a pattern maker. Healy then began selling her pieces at trunk shows, parties and charity events.
But everything changed for the designer in 2010. She entered Miami Fashion Week’s emerging designer contest and was picked as one of three finalists. That year, she was able to show her collection on the runway.
“I got some momentum as far as getting the name out there,” Healy said. “I met some amazing people through that whole network of Miami Fashion Week, and I’ve been showing ever since.”
Healy’s runway shows are a staple in Jacksonville’s fashion scene. She’s shown at the past Jacksonville Fashion Week events.
However, the local event has been canceled this year. She now primarily shows her work at local trunk shows and hosts her own runway shows for charity.
Even with Jacksonville’s Fashion Week’s demise, Healy is optimistic about Jacksonville’s fashion future. Her business has been growing and she hopes other local designers get a chance to experience the same success.
“We have a lot of talented artists here,” Healy said. “If we can find the support and keep it up, it can become a very good market for fashion.”