Amber Dunford dropped off some of her new line of amazing mOde clutches today for us to carry in the store. We asked Amber some question to get to know her a little better.
BG: Tell us about yourself.
AD: I'm kind of a pack rat. Not in a hoarder sort of way, but I definitely tuck away little trinkets, fabrics and furniture with the intention of making something amazing out of them some day. I am also a sucker for anything with a story behind it. If there isn't one, I usually make one up. About 2 out of 10 friends, think I can deliver a spot on Russian accent. I was born on Christmas day and sent home in a stocking. I carry all bugs outside, with the exception of spiders. I love traveling and recently crossed Thailand off my short list. I also have the cutest dog on the planet named Iverson.
In my non-crafting life, I am a Mental Health Therapist at a non-profit agency where I work with children. I am also adjunct faculty at The Salt Lake Community College where I develop and teach a Design Psychology course for the Interior Design Program.
BG: Who/What inspires you?
AD: I am surprisingly not that inspired by other handbag designers. I love accessories, clothing and fashion, but find they way someone puts it all together to be more interesting than the actual pieces. I am always inspired by architecture, textiles and design, and often find beauty in cast away items at vintage shops. I also think anyone doing something they are passionate about, usually translates as inspiration for me. Anytime I see a total stranger wearing one of my clutches, I have to contain myself from tackling them or repeatedly telling them thank you. That sight typically makes the long hours hunched over a sewing machine entirely worthwhile.
I recently a heard line in a documentary where someone said, "You should really do what you love, because that is what you will be the best at." Pretty simple words, but inspiring nonetheless.
BG: How do you get the idea for mOde and what made you decide to start the company?
AD: I used to work at a furniture store years ago and as a result of fabric being discontinued, we were left with piles of upholstery fabrics. I couldn't bear the idea of tossing them, so I began squirreling fabric away with no actual plan for using it. I decided to teach myself how to sew and I began experimenting with the fabrics, eventually landing on the idea of clutches. My early edition ones were hilarious, but luckily I have darling friends who supported me and wore them around town. I eventually began fully lining each clutch, creating my own tags, embroidering, screening and doing my own grommets. It's completely a labor of love, but fortunately I love doing it.
Although many fabrics are upholstery grade, I also began using fabrics acquired from thrift store finds. Most of the mOde line is currently comprised of vintage dress remnants, curtains, tablecloths and upholstery fabrics.
As for the future of mOde, I have some art collaborations on the horizon that should be a lot of fun. Overall, I'm just really excited about where things are heading.
BG: What do you do when you are not madly sewing clutches?
AD: I'm pretty simple. If I'm not sewing or searching for fabric, I am probably taking on a project around my house, trying to figure out how to keep a garden alive or hanging with my cute friends and family.
BG: What are 3 of your top 5 movies or books?
AD: I wish I had a few life-changing books to rattle off, but the reality is that I am likely reading psychology books or design magazines. I usually turn on music in lieu of picking up a book and almost always have something playing while I sew. My top sewing jams are a few songs from Phantogram, Sleigh Bells, Warpaint and the entire Jogger, "This Great Pressure" album.
As for movies, I am usually content with any documentary or Wes Anderson film.
*All photos courtesy of Amber Dunford.