Meet the creator of Very Mary Designs
I first started sewing as soon as I could hold a needle. Stringing beads and making doll's clothing were my first projects. By the time I was eleven, I was wearing my own handmade garments. I knew wanted to be a designer and seamstress!
Growing up in Victoria there wasn't much opportunity to work in the garment industry, so at a young age I began working in the upholstery and drapery field. When I was 16, I was sewing clothes for others. Eventually I met a wonderful English woman who taught me pattern drafting and tailoring in her shop on Oak Bay Avenue.
At 24 I moved to Toronto where I initially worked doing alterations for Creeds, a high-end apparel shop. I later apprenticed for a Yorkville Couture and after three years I started my own clothing line.
With husband and two children in tow I returned to Victoria and launched Mary Joyce Designs - a clothing business using all natural fabrics with original water-based screen printed fabrics. During that time I also started a manufacturing company - M Joyce Manufacturing.
In the mid 90's the Commonwealth Games hit the city of Victoria. I worked on the sales team as a designer and production manager and proudly won a competition to design CBC's host broadcasters and crew uniforms, beating out Nike and Reebok. I used Richard Hunt's art and my design sense to create a range of garments for the games, from suits to hats and everything in between. We also produced a lot of garments for the opening performers.
Today I spend my time creating and making wonderful hats. I also work locally doing alterations and clothing construction, and I am the sole pattern maker for a small artisanal clothing company based on Vancouver Island. I continue to love using my skills creating beautiful designs for others to wear and enjoy.
I hope you will love my hats as much as I love making them!
~ Mary Joyce