Sue Bradbury: My mother let me loose in her fabric scraps with a needle and thread when I was a little girl. Growing up in rural North Dakota, I had very few options when it came to clothes shopping, so if I wanted something different I had to make it myself.
My parents always encouraged me to be creative and even helped me become an enteprenuer at 16, by opening my very first boutique. Although it wasn’t much, it was an outlet for me to express my creativity and it led to my acceptance at the Massachusetts College of Art, where I received a BFA in Fashion Design. With a handful of fashion related jobs and the continued support of my family, I have been sewing every day since and have learned a lot along the way.
Now I spend my days at home in Portland, Oregon sewing and caring for my beautiful son, our two cats and my loving husband :)
Nickole of Hard Love Apparel took the plunge into selling her hand dyed tees when she decided to stay home with her son. Her tees are everyday rock and roll and each is unique. She has a degree in Fashion/Design and was looking for a way to keep active creating while still finding time to spend with her son. When she first found Etsy, she was THRILLED to find a venue to showcase her designs! With lots of support from her family and friends, she’s been working constantly to create new designs and make each more beautiful than the last!
For my shop, I draw up every stencil by hand and hand dye or paint each item. So, every t-shirt is personally created for you by myself. I take great care in creating high quality and beautiful pieces. And, most importantly every item is made with LOVE!
Nickole’s favorite item in the Hard Love Apparel shop right now is her Neck Tie T-Shirt. (Insert your own tie dye pun here.) She loved the menswear inspired fashions you see on the runways, but wanted to make it more wearable for everyone. I’ve seen a lot of these bleach dye type tees recently, and often they come off as too kitchy/80’s flavored for my taste (I actually lived in the 80’s and refuse to don jelly shoes and style wave bangs ever again). Nickole does a great job of making them modern in her choice of theme and execution.
Hard Love Apparel is heavily influenced by Nickole’s LOVE for fashion, art and design, but she also draws a lot of inspiration from interesting pieces that she sees along the way. Most of her sales have come from word of mouth, so let’s start talking.