Shanon Ravacio is a risk-taker. In a sea of sequined & beaded couture gowns, she unknowingly made a bold statement–different, unique, modern. She is a representation and a reflection of today’s generation. Fierce & cutting edge. Fearless and strong. And perhaps, she knew about her risk-taking attitude all along. In high-school, she created & published her own comic book series to select friends and cousins. In college, she took up a course (Engineering) dominated by the hormone-driven male species, and later on made another risk–she left her corporate life to focus on miniature fashion making.
According to ShaSha, “Miniatures have amused me since childhood so I started collecting dolls, making their clothes and accessories and decorating their place at a very young age”. No wonder, this 34-year old mom to a 10-year old boy has somehow managed to master her craft to perfection. Her expertise may be in the form of miniatures, but it’s impact, huge & strong. Get to know more about ShaSha in this Barbie Collective Manila exclusive:
BCM: How & when did you start designing clothes for Barbie?
ShaSha: Technically, I only started designing clothes for “the” Barbie in 2010. But I was about 9 when I would make doll clothes for my fashion dolls (from another brand). Dioramas, miniatures and storytelling prompted me to design clothes for my characters.
BCM: Is there a particular time of the day when you feel the most inspired?
ShaSha: Not really. I get inspiration anytime, anywhere, even in my sleep.
BCM: What type of Barbie body is the easiest to dress and the hardest? Why?
ShaSha: I am especially fond of the Fashionista line because they’re “fun” to work with. They’re articulated enough and they exude this positive vibe (or so I imagine )
BCM: How do you get inspirations for your designs?
ShaSha: I always have a story in my mind when I design. And my protagonists are the girls who love life. They know what they want and they do what they love every day. They love hanging out with friends and of course, dress for the occasion. So I design what they would wear to be able to live their life to the fullest.
BCM: When did you realize that your hobby can translate well into a full blown business?
ShaSha: After maybe a year or two of doing it as a hobby, and realizing that yes, I want to do this every day for the rest of my life, I finally took the courage to start planning and preparing for it to become not only a source of income, but also a way of life.
BCM: How did you come up with the packaging for your designs?
ShaSha: As a kid in the early 90s, I had pen pals around the globe. I love hand writing letters to friends, sharing stories and getting those exciting letters from the mail man. My packaging is basically like a thank you letter to the person who believed in my creations.
BCM: Can you give us an idea of your client profile?
ShaSha: Most of the people who always come back to my shop are the creative types. They are photographers (professionals and hobbyists), bloggers, photo/video story makers, stylists, doll face-up artists, and miniaturists. There are few who buy from me and keep their collections in private.
BCM: How would you define your brand & design aesthetics?
ShaSha: I create for the stylish girl who loves life more than anything else. She likes to wear comfortable clothing so it’s easy to move around but still look elegant. She has the minimalist yet sophisticated style; she knows that it takes a well thought-out design with the most complex execution to look effortlessly chic.
BCM: What is the hardest part of designing clothes for Barbie? and what is the most rewarding?
ShaSha: The hardest part in designing clothes for Barbie would be to face your fear in developing the pattern you want. The most rewarding is when finally, after all the pattern and prototype tweaking, you get the desired fit and design. Sometimes, I get what I originally envisioned. Often times, I come up with new, exciting designs.
BCM: How did Barbie influence your personal style?
ShaSha: My personal style is pretty much comfort clothing, which Barbie may not be wearing too often. But I like that Barbie exudes positivity and celebrates life. That’s what I live for.
BCM: Any tips for up and coming designers?
ShaSha: Be yourself. It’s okay to be inspired by other designers, but always go back and make a dialogue with yourself, and ask “what design really makes my heart smile?”
Photo by: Michaela Unbehau.
Follow AtelierNiShaSha on Instagram: @ateliernishasha
ShaSha is also a blogger! http://www.ateliernishasha.blogspot.com
Visit ShaSha’s Etsy page! @ateliernishasha
Michaela Unbehau is a published photographer & a fashion doll collector from Germany. You can see more of her stunning photographs on her Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/dollimages
All photos taken from/courtesy of ShaSha & Michaela Unbehau via http://www.ateliernishasha.blogspot.com