Blog » Pretty Birdie
If you are looking for something unique, feminine, handmade, and created in North Carolina’s backyard, then you’ve found Stephanie Teague’s fashion line.
Teague is a designer living in Greensboro and her pieces are as beautiful as the label’s name, Pretty Birdie. She creates limited-edition dresses, skirts, tops, jackets, and jumpers fit for any occasion.
Stephanie started designing clothes when she was a little girl. “We were poor growing up so I started making my Barbie doll clothes, which turned into redesigning clothes from the thrift store, to eventually creating my own line.” She is a completely self-taught designer, having taken only two sewing classes in her life. One was a couple of years ago, and the other was in the seventh grade. Pretty impressive, considering she’s been making a living off of her designs full-time for two years now.
All of Teague’s designs are cut, dyed, and finished by her own hands. It was only recently that she hired an assistant to help sew for a few hours each week. “Sometimes my fiancé will help me put snaps on a piece or two when it gets really busy,” Teague notes. Most of her collection is made up of limited editions, but every now and then she creates a one-of-a-kind design.
The Pretty Birdie style is inspired by nature for texture and color, and takes into consideration different female silhouettes. Teague says she is passionate about creating pieces that she “would want to wear, and that are not too trendy and can be a staple in a woman’s wardrobe, while still being unique and special, as opposed to a one-season deal.” Even the name Pretty Birdie sprang from nature. “There was a bird hanging around for a while, singing all the time, and the name just came to me one day.”
One of Teague's favorite design trends is military. She creates modern military jackets that are perfect either for the office or a night out with friends. Pretty Birdie also offers a lovely collection of dresses, which she quickly says are her favorite pieces to create. Each dress is made from silk, organic cotton, or hemp, which allows them to be lightweight and comfortable.
Teague says her most difficult piece to create would have to be the organic lace wedding dress. This design usually takes about three months to create and incorporates hemp, organic cotton muslin, and the bride’s choice of lace. A nice added touch is a colored sash that can be customized for the wedding colors.
Teague says she feels quite confident when she is in her studio and doesn’t seem to have many creative blocks these days. “Honestly I have an abundance of flowing creativity, to the point that I’m sometimes overwhelmed. So I have to work to stay organized with my ideas and know that I can’t make everything that I think of because there simply isn’t time and that would just be ridiculous. I have to edit a lot and make it all cohesive!”
When asked if she had any fashion suggestions for our readers, the artist offered these three tips: “When buying clothes think about where they come from and the difference buying handmade and organic can make. Learn about the benefits of buying organic, not only for the environment but for you. Lastly, think about buying something that you can wear for a long time that will go with many things and is a quality product.”
To fully achieve the Pretty Birdie look, Teague also offers a collection of handmade rings designed by her fiancé. Each ring is created from various recycled materials such as melamine plates, scrap wood from guitars, backgammon pieces, and brass from broken cymbals.
When asked if she had any advice to give you young, aspiring designers, Teague also offered this: “If you’re dreaming about it, then do it. If you think, 'but I don’t know how or I’m not as good,' then still do it. We have desires and passions to do things for a reason and we should always follow our hearts, not our heads. You’ll always figure it out along the way because it’s all about the journey not the destination. Best advice I ever received was and is to relax and don’t give yourself such a hard time. We should all love ourselves a lot more. Sounds simple huh?” Pretty good advice I would say.
Teague is currently working on her spring line for Pretty Birdie and making her own gown for her upcoming June wedding. To see more of Teague's designs, please visit her website and Facebook fan page.
Brandi Moody is an artist and designer living in Raleigh. By day she’s a graphic designer and illustrator for her own design studio. Read more about her life, work and inspiration on her blog, Ever So Lovely.
Photography courtesy Sara Szostack