What's a woman's wardrobe without a little sparkle? Glitz and glam is definitely the route designer Amanda Whitworth took with her Crystal Addiction company. The company,started in 2010, focusing on bedazzling accessories, and glamming up footwear with Swarovski crystals. Whitworth has worked as a make up artist, as well as a skin care professional. Beauty is her thing, and it shows. The designer's work will appear in the upcoming Jacksonville Fashion Week, March 27th through March 30th. Over the last couple of years, the designer has designed and created various shoes, including sandals, wedges, high heels, platforms, and boots. Amanda took time to talk about her business, her inspiration, as well as what sets her apart from the rest.
On how Crystal Addiction began
"Since I was very young, I have always been attracted to things that sparkle,sequins, rhinestones, glitter, and, of course, diamonds. If it was shiny, I wanted it! Nothing has changed, and as an adult, I find myself always adoring things embellished with crystals. This is why I became a crystal designer.
I started my business in 2010. It really was just a hobby. I started off embellishing candle pins and flip flops. Being that I really loved high heels, I decided I needed to make my own pair, completely strassed with Swarovski crystals. When I wore the shoes out for the first time the attention these shoes brought was unexpected! I had women coming up to me all night inquiring about them. I was actually being followed into the ladies room! The excitement and interest I saw in these women is what made me decide to start my business. I wanted to make these beautiful shoes for other woman to enjoy as well. I was clearly not the only one with a crystal addiction!"
On what sets Crystal Addiction aside from other companies
"I set myself apart from other crystal designers for several reasons. First, I use only Swarovski brand crystals. I do not spread out the crystals. This gives a smooth seamless effect. Most of the shoes you see in department stores or on the internet are made with rhinestones, which give off very little sparkle and have major craftsmanship flaws. I have recently discovered a new, amazing adhesive that bonds the crystals so well,that to remove them you have to break them off.So no more worries about crystals falling off. I plan on keeping this a secret! Another thing that separates me from other crystal designers is my use of colors. I have a niche for combining and mixing unique colors to create a fabulous piece that is different than anything other designers have done. I also make sure the placement of the crystals is perfect, insuring no gaps or unevenness. This takes a great amount of skill to do and years of practice to master it."
On 5 things a woman should have in her closet
Every women should have shoes in every style, a purse to match, comfortable jeans that look and fit fantastic, maxi dresses, and of course jewelry! There are more than 5 must haves, but these came to my mind first.
On fashion Amanda expects to see during Fashion Week
"I expect to see bright colors, fabric block, floral and some stripes. I am not a fan of high waist pants, or the cold shoulder tops . I absolutely love fitted, right below the knee dresses. I am pretty sure we will see some of these as well."
On her new collection and the importance of accessories
"I feel like shoes, purses and accessories can make any outfit. My new collection of crystallized shoes, purses, jewelry and home decor will be seen for the first time during my show on March 28. Bright colors, breath taking brilliance and unique patterns would describe my new collection. If you have on a plain black cocktail dress and then add a pair of fabulous crystallized heels and a matching sparkling purse, you just turned your plain outfit into a head turning ensemble."
On being invited to participate in Jacksonville Fashion Week
"I feel very honored to have been chosen to be in JFW. I have been working very hard to make sure my new collection makes a great impression on all who see it."
Advice to those wishing to have an accessory designing career
"I have a few recommendations to anyone with aspirations to become any kind of fashion designer. Keep a sketch pad nearby at all times. Sometimes an idea will come to me in my sleep and I will get up,write down notes, and sketch patterns. I also recommend making a 'look book'. Collect different photos that inspire you and keep them in a binder. This is very important: Don’t worry too much about other people accepting your ideas and designs. Do what comes from within your own thoughts. The fashion world can be a tough one, so try to take criticism lightly. Most people are just trying to help."
Check out Amanda Whitworth's crystal creations at www.crystaladdiction.net .