Catherine Porter, owner of Akito Avalanche designs and creates beautiful hangers, worthy of any wedding dress. Here she talks about how and why she set up her business.
I specialise in making bespoke personalised wedding hangers for the entire bridal party. I create simple but elegant hangers to showcase bridal dresses to their full potential in photographs and they also make a gorgeous keepsake for your bridal party. Then hangers come in two sizes, adult and child and three colour ways ivory, pale blue and pale pink. The hangers are finished with a lace trimmed vintage luggage label, hand written in calligraphy and tied with ribbon. I can create the hangers to suit the bride’s colour scheme using coordinating ribbons and can create different coloured hangers on request.
I price my hangers reasonably, £3.99 for adult and £1.99 for children's, weddings can be expensive enough and I offer a discount for multiple orders.
I set up my Etsy shop as it seemed the perfect forum to promote and sell my product and it’s a fantastic way to create an on-line presence in these very early days of my business. I have long been a huge fan of Etsy and it is great being part of a wider community of like-minded and talented sellers.
I initially set up my Etsy shop in 2013, but had a 6 month break shortly afterwards following the birth of my daughter, once life had calmed down a little I then re-opened Akito Avalance Wedding Hangers in January of this year.
When making a hanger for a bride, initially I sand the wooden hanger down so it is smooth, so as not snag the beautiful dress that will eventually hang on it. I then hand-paint it, I currently use shades from the Farrow and Ball and Laura Ashley range, these give a lovely colour and a smooth texture. I give the hanger one final sanding to create a silky smooth surface and then apply a matt acrylic paint to ensure a beautiful and durable finish on the hangers.
I then create the bespoke labels that I tie onto the hangers using lace, ribbon and vintage luggage labels and writing in black calligraphy.
I have always loved weddings since arranging my own in 2010 and kept a keen eye on current trends through blogs, magazines and my Pinterest site (Oh I LOVE Pinterest!) www.pinterest.com/AkitoAvalanche/. The one thing that struck me is the amount of beautiful dresses in wedding photographs that are hung on nondescript plastic hangers. I remember the slight disappointment of seeing my beautiful dress hung on a large plastic hanger and with this in mind I wanted to design something that was different from the sea of wooden/wire hangers available and had a pretty, vintage feel to it. Ultimately the dresses are my inspiration the fabrics, detail, design, colour and texture.
I’m currently looking at expanding my range and experimenting with different colours, fabrics and materials such as linen paper, burlap, buttons, brooches and some beautiful Nottingham lace I have come into possession of. My long term goal is to introduce fabric covered padded hangers using beautiful fabric and trimming.
Your wedding dress is THE most beautiful dress you will ever wear and it deserves to be hung on a beautiful hanger.
Discover Akito Avalanche's gorgeous range at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AkitoAvalanche