Interview with Jessie & Leigh of Cvalda (super-cool indie clothing designers)

st3ph: Tell me your names, ages, location, company name, and number of years sewing/designing clothes.

cvalda: Jessica Michael Clark, 22 and Leigh E. Johnson, 21. We've been best friends for seven years and counting. We're from Ottawa, Canada, and our company name is Cvalda (pronounced "Cwalda"). It means "big and happy" in Czech.

st3ph: What made you decide to start making your own clothes?

cvalda: We love Kitchen Orange, I Clothing, etc, but found their prices to be sometimes too costly. By making our own clothes, we can pick the color and fabric we want, and are not limited to the small pool of designers we love.

st3ph: What are your favorite fabrics to work with?

cvalda: We both adore using stretch cotton twills and fleece.

st3ph: Who are your favorite fashion designers & influences?

cvalda: Our favorites and influences are (in no order and not limited to): Kitchen Orange, I Clothing, JY, Geek Boutique, TPHS, House of Spy, and Fiction Design Co 416.

st3ph: What do you think of the 'Western Wear' look that fashion designers came up with last year?

cvalda: I think it had a major impact on the US targeted fashion buyers, but it is not so evident in Canada. Some of it seems to be alright.

st3ph: Is Hot Topic evil?

cvalda: Only their shipping prices to Canada. BOOOO!

st3ph(to Jessica): Tell me about your one and only rave experience.

Jessica: I went to a small rave, a local one. Not too big of an event. It was so powerful and gave such a sense of belonging and togetherness - everyone being there for the same reason. However we both love concerts way more and I tend to love moshing! Unfortunately though I hurt my back when lifting a 31-inch TV, and now have a fractured spine and damaged muscles, making it so I can no longer attend raves and the like.

st3ph: Describe the most hideous fashion disaster that you have ever seen.

cvalda: We both agrees that the 80s were one of the worst times in fashion and we're hoping it won't make too much of a come back. BUT we did see this one lady mix a jogging suit outfit with high heels!!

st3ph: How many items do you offer for sale right now? Do you plan to add any new patterns or styles to your catalog in the near future?

cvalda: Right now we offer almost 50 different designs and colors. We add different styles/designs almost daily!

st3ph: Do you accept custom orders?

cvalda: That's what we are all about! You pick the size, color (then we see if we can get it), material, and style. We've been selling each top for $45 USD (dress prices are a little higher as they need more fabric). You have to give us exact measurements (bust, waist, sleeve length, shoulders and body length in inches) so we can determine your size by our pattern. The size you normally wear is also helpful info. We usually use fleece and cotton twill (stretchy). They are basically the best type of materials for these shirts and are easily accessible to us. We give ourselves a 'two-week deadline' to have one shirt finished as we both have part-time jobs and school.

st3ph: Where do you hope to go with this? Making a living running your own business?

cvalda: We hope to become well-known and be able to sell our clothing at other stores, but in the long run we hope to open our very own store.

st3ph: How can people get in touch with you to place orders?

cvalda: Check out our website at