Up Close & Personal with Artist: Kelsey Brehm

Simply Thriving Lifestyle Series 
 We recently had an intimate (pun intended) conversation with Kelsey Brehm, an artist living in New Orleans. Although she fills many roles, her main one is the creative brain behind A Little Something-- a handmade bralette and lingerie line that she created all on her own. In our sit down which can be read below, Brehm gave us the low down on how she got started designing undergarments and what inspires her to continually thrive in her career. To get to know the designer better, keep on reading. To get an idea of her artistic vision, follow her on Instagram.  
A Little Something
  • What’s your name and what do you do?

My name is Kelsey Brehm.  I own and operate a lingerie company known as A Little Something.  I work out of my studio in New Orleans, LA.   As the Chief Designer, it is my hope to create lingerie that inspires all women -- no matter their size or shape, or fantasies or life styles – to love their bodies and to feel beautiful in their skin. I design, create and market lingerie that is as diverse as the woman who wears it.  I like to think that my designs are truly a little something special!

  • Where did the inspiration for your company come from?

I was living in Amsterdam and it just seems like art and design runs in Amsterdam’s DNA!  There are many open-aired, neighborhood markets that lend inspiration with vibrant, color, smells and sights.  As a costume designer, I’m always drawn to fabrics. At the markets, I found beautiful lace fabrics.  I bought a lot and I just knew I would find a need for it somewhere, somehow.

With that seed planted, the ideas began to bloom.  The inspiration to start A Little Somethingcame from beautiful pieces of lace and the reality that women everywhere deserve a little something special, just for themselves, to make them feel good about themselves and who they are.

  • What are some key milestones in getting to where you are now (i.e., what was your journey)?

Hand stitching the first bralette was a stepping stone.  It prompted thought that other women would like what I was making for myself.  Friends told friends, who told more friends.  Women were definitely interested.  And my journey was started!  A key milestone was opening the business--it was exciting to reach a level to actually market my custom designs—a business for women by women. Another key milestone was moving from designing individual pieces to designing entire collections.  These collections brought more exposure to A Little Something and its mission – which was the perfect segue to the next key milestone of exhibiting the collections in annual Spring fashion shows, now going into its fourth year.  A Little Something’s Spring Fling has grown, not only to showcases designs from A Little Something, but also exhibits other designers and artists to showcase a diverse selection of creative art designs and talent.  Each step, each milestone is an opportunity, not only to expandA Little Something, but to engage and collaborate with other local designers, artists, and professionals in a creative industry.

  • What does a typical day look like for you (if there’s such thing as “typical”)?

Typical, HA!  The only typical part of my day is that it starts with coffee. Every day is different.  Some days are very hectic and it seems like there is never enough hours in the day.  There are designs to create, patterns to cut, fittings, sewing, more sewing, venues to explore, photoshoots to schedule, fabric buying, shipping, errands to run, interviewing models, and the tedious-to-say-the-least-paperwork.  It really gets complicated especially when I have what I believe is a GRAND IDEA – like when I decided I needed over 100 paper flowers around my catwalk for a fashion show with only two days before the show!  Other days, I have the luxury to enjoy and seek inspiration from the off-beat, unusual City of New Orleans.   New Orleans is like no other place in the world formed by superstition, traditions, and history.  Besides, nothing can inspire me more than a Mardi Gras parade and good ol’ oyster po’boy.  

  • What’s your favorite part of each day/ what makes you thrive on a daily basis?

My favorite part of my day doesn’t necessarily happen every day, but when it does, it is absolutely my favorite!  It is when I hear from women who tell me why A Little Something resonates with them.  Comments like U sing real, EVERYDAY models who represent all women and beauty in so many traditional and nontraditional ways and [A Little Something] makes me realize everyone can be sexy! – just thrills me to pieces.  It makes all the challenges worthwhile.  I thrive on knowing my creations make women feel good about themselves and that they are proud and confident.

  • What has been your favorite piece that you’ve designed to date?

It seems like every new piece I make is my favorite…but A Little Something for Everyone collection was a special experience that resonated with a lot of women.  It was a collection of different shades of nude bralettes and panties.  It is difficult for women of color to find a shade of nude that works with their skin tone. This collection explored the different shades of nude for pretty undergarments and was quite popular. 

  • What makes you thrive in general (i.e., family, friends, lovers, hobbies, etc.)?

Oh, I thrive on life.  I try to live a life that’s connected, balanced, and meaningful.  Of course not every day is Rainbows and Kittens--some days the challenges seem overwhelming.  I find that ice cream is a wonderful cure!  Of course, I have a dear family and wonderful friends who always encourage me to shoot for the moon and follow my dreams.  That, in and of itself, inspires me to keep it all going each day.  

  • Who are the people in your profession you look up to?

New Orleans has an artistic community that is unique and driven by talented independent thinkers, creative spirits, and non-conformists.  I look up to them because of their incredible talent, their courage, their knowledge and their insight.  I always learn something valuable and interesting from these artists, no matter what the art form is.  

  • How do you feel when you’re designing?

I feel great when I design.  It is almost like doodling to me.  I find it relaxing.  It brings out the free spirit in me.  I always have a sketch pad with me—I just never know when the inspiration will strike, but when it does, I need to be ready to capture it.  It is very satisfying to me to take the design and make it a reality.

  • How would you describe your personal style?

Fashion Functional.  And it really depends on what the day calls for.  When I’m designing, I like to be comfortable—soft comfy clothes.  When I’m meeting with clients, or on a set, or running around town, I like easy and casual clothes that are stylish and functional.  Clothes you can move in.  I like to think my fashion style expresses the unique and creative side of me.   

  • What/who inspires the way you dress?

I love the fashion influence of the 1970’s. Thanks to creativity and expression, the 1970s broke fashion traditions and continues to influence fashion today. It’s like a rejection of formality in favor of function.  A style that works for me.

 

  • What would you say is your go-to outfit?

My bell bottoms, crop top, and my platform sandals. Always with A Little Something underneath!

  • What drew you most to the Simply Thriving Brand?

It’s unique, It’s vibrant.  It’s functional.  It makes a statement:  I strive to thrive! 

  • What do you desire to achieve this year/what are the dreams you’re pushing for?

My goals for the upcoming year is to expand A Little Something with a broader outreach.  I also have other design interests I’d like to explore.  No time like the present to get started on those dreams. 

  • Any advice you have for aspiring creatives?

Don’t be discouraged if your first project doesn’t turn out as you originally thought it would.  It gets better.

Just go for it!  It doesn’t matter if someone is already doing it.  Your talent is unique and you lend a different perspective—share yourself and your work. 

  • Does the unknown scare you? Why or why not?

No, because everything I know now was once the “unknown.” When I’m ready for the information I will know it and deal with it.. Until then, why bother being fearful about it? Never let fear decide your future.

 

 

Thank you so much to Kelsey for taking the time to answer our questions and give us some insight into her creative process! It's great to see young women taking initiative, starting their own companies, and chasing their dreams. Make sure to show this babe some love by, once again, following her on the gram and liking her on Facebook. She deserves it 

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