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MEET: I wish I was a... by Becky Pearce of www.red-bird-jewellery.co.uk


How did you get started with iwishiwas a…; how did it all begin? It all began with my son. Because of my job as a costume designer, he has quite an unusual dressing up box comprising everything from marigold gloves to furry hats via belts, ties and industrial goggles, and he puts all of this to very good use!


With many branded dressing up clothes on the high street, the characters are already established leaving little room for imaginative play. I began to realise that there was a distinct lack of vibrant and well-designed play clothes out there which aren’t prescriptive and don’t conform to gender stereotypes.


I put together a collection, based on 68 | ukhandmade | Winter 2010


a superhero theme and road-tested the designs on friends’ children. The pieces were met with a huge amount of enthusiasm and after much encouragement from other mums, I decided to launch them out into the world. Finding a gap in the market is quite a hard thing to do, and I’m very happy that I was able to discover one, quite by accident!


What job did you do before this? I trained as a textile designer (specializing in embroidered textiles) and went on to work as a costume designer and maker for film, TV and theatre.


I still work as a costume designer/ maker on a part time basis, whilst running my business in tandem. I’m lucky in that I work freelance. Work tends to be sporadic, so I have


times when I’m really busy, but this is balanced by longer periods when I can dedicate more time to running my business. It’s a bit of a juggling act at the moment, but ultimately I’d love to make iwishiwasa… my main source of income before too long.


How do you come up with new costume ideas? I offer a bespoke service and am often contacted by parents who will ask me to interpret their child’s superhero alter ego. Children are often incredibly specific about what they want, down to colours, shapes and special powers. This is my favourite part of the work I do and is a great jumping off point for new ideas.


My work as a costume designer also provides unexpected inspiration.


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