Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Isha Webb. I live in beautiful San Diego, California with my husband and grey kitty in a cute 1950s house. I’m blessed to have a home studio that I cherish. I started out my design career focused upon swimwear and lingerie 12 years ago; however, life lead me down a different path. I took on the massive challenge of making my own wedding dress (as well as all the bridesmaid dresses) in 2009, and the catch was that I had never made a wedding dress before! After my wedding, I realized I was kind of obsessed with all things bridal, and that I loved it enough to start Lovey. In the fall of 2010, I opened my Etsy store, Lovey by Isha, and have never looked back.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
It’s hard to pry myself away from Lovey activities, but when I do, I love to play video games— my weaknesses are RPGs and zombie apocalypse games. I’ve managed to get my husband playing too, which is double the fun because we’re so competitive. Recently Pinterest has been taking up a lot of my free time, giving me way too many recipes to try to cook, along with DIY home projects.
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
Oh, the Adventures I’ll Have, because my life has been one pretty cool adventure after another. I never ever expected some of the twists and turns along the way.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Many times the fabrics and trims I use are my main source of inspiration. I’ll get a good cut of fabric and immediately start to think of ways to use it and bring out its best qualities. A very long time ago I was a ballerina, and think this influences my aesthetic most often. I’m a sucker for pink and anything girly.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means quality and the knowledge that someone made the item with love.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My mom and husband have been most influential in my career. My mom supported me in my early years by always encouraging me to keep making stuff and lovingly donating clothing for me to cut up and re-sew. I must have ruined at least a thousand pairs of socks to make Barbie clothes when I was in elementary school!
My husband has had to endure a different set of annoyances, like epic trips to the LA garment district, stepping on sewing pins all the time and the constant fabric hoarding I’ve done for the past seven years. He has always believed in me and my abilities as a designer and this has pushed me to where I am today.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I knew I would be some kind of artist at about age 15, when all I wanted to do was make clothes. A year later, I got out of high school early and enrolled in fashion design school. The days were grueling. I didn’t have a car or driver’s license and had to catch two buses every day while lugging a sewing machine and sewing gear around with me, but nothing else mattered. I ate, slept, and drank fashion for the next few years and started selling my handmade goods on the beach, at clubs and shows, and really anywhere that would let me set up a table. Those years were difficult and filled with “starving artist” moments that made me see I really do this because I have to. It’s who I am, and without it I’m totally unhappy.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is totally wacky! Sometimes I start off with a silhouette I want to achieve, then I start to drape the fabric. Other times, I’ll start off with a sketch and a pattern block. The key is that over the years I’ve learned to go with the flow so I don’t get too frustrated if I end up with something totally different in the end.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I would love to go back in time and see inside Gustav Klimt’s studio. I’ve always loved his use of shape and color.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A handmade vintage nightgown from the ’50s that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago. I wish I could squeeze my size 12 body into it, but vintage is terribly small!
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Take a break! Sometimes just getting out of my studio and not thinking about my work is the perfect solution to ending a creative rut. Then, when I decide to go back, I feel refreshed and can think of a million things I want to try. Before I know it, I’m back up and running.
What’s the most important question a couple should ask their wedding vendor?
I suggest every couple ask for examples of previous work. It’s a huge red flag if the vendor has nothing to show you.
What’s the most memorable custom item you’ve created for a wedding?
I made set of bridal veils using lace from my client’s grandmother’s dress. I’m such a sentimental person that I was really choked up when they saw the finished product.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would love to be working out of my own little store and continuing to create pieces that I love. I hope my passion for making beautiful things never wanes and that I can continue to live my dream.