Patricia is a woman of substance when it comes to fashion and people. She naturally has an understanding of knowing how to make women feel good about themselves by styling and designing the right clothes that matches their personality. Patricia had known from an early age she wanted to pursue fashion. She followed her instinct and passion which lead her to be successful in the fashion world today. She has styled many well know actors and artist. Her online boutique Denim Blu is a success.
Patricia Freeman made her passion for Denim Blu become her career through authenticity, spirituality, and love.
Which one of your childhood experiences had a major impact on your life and how has it helped you to be the successful Fashion Designer you are today?
It wasn’t just one experience in my childhood that had a major impact in my life. It was a series of events in my childhood that shaped who I am today. I think what was important was the beginning of my journey is that my grandparents raised me and because of all the experiences they gave it set the tone for the beginning of what was to come. In thinking back now, this was invaluable.
My life was filled with a household of abundance music, spiritual and fashion/cultural related discussions throughout my life. As a young child, I didn’t realize how important learning about spirituality, music and cultural/fashion eras of the 1920s-1970’s would be. I was taught things from the big band music, fashionable trends people wore, why they wore it and all this was tremendously important because I draw back on that today.
When did you realize Fashion Design was the career path for you?
I’ve always been interested in creating beautiful things and making people beautiful. I was drawing simple sketches as a child and in school. I always the child to make clothes for dolls and bought tons of fashion related magazines. I was into Vogue, Hair Magazine, Right On Magazine and any other magazines that showed me trends.
I had my family early on so I decided to concentrate on raising my children first. Once my children got to a certain age, I decided it was my time to do what I always wanted to do.
How did you teach yourself the skills and techniques a person must have to be successful in Fashion Design?
I love what I do. I couldn’t afford traditional fashion design classes because I had my children at an early age. I didn’t let that stop me, I did a whole lot of construction techniques and fabric research and a tremendous amount of practice. I was a stickler for creating the perfect garment and I knew construction would be important, especially for plus garments. I actually went as far as going to thrift stores, taking garments apart and putting them back together. I also took small workshop recreation center community classes from time to time to perfect my craft. I’m still growing professionally and believe in constant research and taking continued education when I can.
How has your spirituality influence your creative style?
I was raised a Baptist and I’m also a member of First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. As a child I was always taught putting God first in all things, keeping faith and believing in myself no through all challenges. Being a member of First Baptist Church of Glenarden, helped me to find my purpose and the spiritual teachings there is my framework in life and in business.
I’ve evolved spiritually as a person and I find drawing on my spiritual side gives me clarity and energy to deal with the challenges of the world. There are even times where I cannot get into sketching or design mode until I’ve read a scripture on my mind. I feel centered after that experience and uncluttered my mind to create beautiful sketches.
What motivated you to create Denim Blu?
Originally, I wanted to create an online boutique for clothing, mostly Jeans.
It’s funny, in the very beginning; my son Wesley encouraged me to create Denim Blu. My other children then supported me as I talked about the process more and more.
I created the online boutique and it skyrocketed to the point I had to shut it down. I couldn’t keep up with the orders. Before I shut it down, a lot of my customers sent me emails asking about plus size clothing for women.
A few years later, I decided to rebrand Denim Blu as a design company (with a wardrobe stylist component) to create custom clothing and pull pieces as necessary from showrooms for clients.
What is it about designing ready to wear you like?
I wanted to design ready to wear (RTW) clothing for women because it was casual, informal, and practical and most of all women could wear the pieces daily. You cannot wear couture pieces every day. I want a consumer to walk into a store and be able to wear a Denim Blu piece to work, home or even a date night. Very practical, transitional and quality pieces were my goal.
Have you thought of designing couture?
Yes, I have and do on special custom order.
How did you raise 4 children and have a successful clothing line at the same time?
It wasn’t easy at all. The key for me was I raised my children properly to be good people, focused on them, their school and things they needed to do. That was my focus. Once I knew they were in order then I moved on to create my line. I knew that if the family and home isn’t secure it’s no way my business was going to flourish. I had to be patient, wait my turn and RESEARCH. I didn’t waste time during those years. I researched and created my plan.
Once I decided it was the right time, I put in place the plan I had already researched. I created a team and the rest is history. Once I decided to get things going, I had to remember not to be discouraged no matter the challenge that came my way. There were times my son had football practice, my girls had cheer leading, and I had to cook dinner, help with homework and then after everything settled down, was up sketching in the middle of the night-Just to get back up early in the morning for work. That was the sacrifice I chose to make to be successful.
Which one of your children is following in your footsteps?
Well, that I don’t quite no yet. All of my children seem to be artistic in some way. My daughter Paige is extremely talented, a true artist and can draw and sketch just about anything. My son Wesley, musically talented and writes great lyrics. My Oldest daughter, Janae writes poetry and plans to have a lounge & restaurant one day for artist to showcase their work and my youngest daughter Jordan is out of this world academically. She has plans for a career as a pediatrician but I see signs of her as budding gifted writer and loves music (making beats). She also asks questions about making things and designing. So we shall see what the future holds.
What does the future hold for Denim Blu and Patricia Freeman?
September 6, 2014, I’m presenting the “Beautiful U” Collection at the Runway the Real Way during New York Fashion Week, Curated by Catherine Schuller and presented by Errickson Wilcox. This will be held at the Yotel Hotel located in New York City.
I’m scheduled to dress a client attending the Female Hip Hop Honors Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles in September 2014.
I see Denim Blu Evolving even more in the the fashion world, maybe even being a formidable presence in the plus sizes world. In the near future, the collection garments will be in high end boutiques. I cannot announce where yet.
I am currently working on fashion related projects with celebrity friends in the film and music industry and also continue working on wardrobe options for my clients, such as Melba Moore.
In future, writing editorials on fashion, a kid’s line and men’s line. I already have sketches for a Big/Tall mens line ready for sample production. I’d love to also do some television segments on style and fashion.
The future is definitely bright….
Interview by Claire Guerre