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Free To Be You And Me – A Q&A with Kucoon Designer Andrea Spratt

She once created rules as a teacher in Los Angeles but now she’s designing outfits for the wild and free.

Andrea Spratt changed career course and lucky for us she’s making fun, comfortable and stylish clothes under her Kucoon label.

Designs that at are playful, confident and fashionable? Sounds… and looks… good to us.

If you’re ready to spread your wings, please visit http://kucoondesigns.com

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Cherry-Blossoms
Andrea Spratt

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1. Why did you become a designer?

I never made the intentional decision to become a designer. In fact I didn’t call myself a designer until I had actually reached the goal of making an income solely off my designs. I was an inner city high school teacher that found peace of mind in sewing.

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2. Who are your influences?

My influences are the rule breakers, who are not breaking rules to get attention but doing it for self preservation. I have met them throughout my life and they have served as a reminder to follow my heart when the rest of the world tries to distract.

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3.  Why did you choose to design apparel and accessories?

I decided to go to Burning Man in 2004, a desert festival filled with misfits and visionaries. At the time I was a teacher with a creative side that hadn’t found a home.

When I say this I mean I had not really found my medium. I joined the circus, for real, and started to design costumes for them. I was a teacher during the day and at night I would stay up late putting together party pieces.

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4. Where do you get your ideas?

I have no idea, most of the time I am just putting fabric together like a puzzle piece. My best creations are when I am playing around and making mistakes and then trying to make them work.

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kucoon2

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5. Why did you start your business in Los Angeles?

I lived in Los Angeles and really just lucked out that my home turned out to be the best place in the country to make clothing. The downtown fashion district is a gem for designers. There are so many resources, you can always find what you are looking for.

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6. What’s it like running a business in Los Angeles? Any suggestions or tips for people wanting to start their own venture there?

Los Angeles is like no other city, and I have lived in many of them. There are a ton of YES people. There are so many creative people so it is easy to build a team to create a vision, you just need to have the vision.

I had so many friends that grew up with me here in Los Angeles, all of us reaching our goals of being a working artist. I am still friends with these people, the videographers, photographers, web designers, models, make up artists, stylists… the list goes on.

I could not have done it without them. Los Angeles is an ocean of creatives.

My suggestion to anyone who wants to venture here is to find a group of people that share your vision and collaborate with them.

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kucoon3

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7.  What should women look for when buying an outfit?

Really easy – something that looks good on you and that you will actually wear. Make sure that it feels good on and that you feel good in it.

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8. Why should a person buy one of your designs?

Because the above answer applies to my pieces. They are made with a stretch cotton, soft and stretchy, follows your curves and feels good on. Anything that you feel good in will allow you to feel comfortable.

I find that if you are wearing something that is not comfortable, it is because you may be trying too hard and that means you are not being true to yourself or your style, not cool.

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dani

Dani Dress

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9. What is your most favorite resort or beach destination on, or off, the West Coast?

I have fond memories of the going to the Outer Banks in North Carolina with family and friends. The sand dunes, wooden fences along the beach, eating gold fish snacks while playing cards on the deck with my cousins, warm summer breezes at nights, outdoor showers. I guess that beach is now also a favorite for the sharks.

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10. What is your most favorite holiday, and why?

Christmas because ALL my family come together; we are tight.

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11. What is a good book for beach reading?

I was just in Hawaii and we stayed at Waimanalo Beach, which is also an incredibly beautiful beach. I brought Shantaram — plenty of reading material so you will only have to bring one book and it is incredibly captivating.

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Ona-Skirt

Ona Skirt

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12. Other than one of your designs, what is your most favorite outfit?

I am a new mom so I don’t really have time to dress myself, often I grab what is on top of the pile. My favorite go to is a simple long t -shirt dress. I found it thrifting and the fabric is super light (and slightly see through) but I feel it is necessary during hot Los Angeles summer days.

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kucoon7

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13.  What are five items you always pack for vacation?

1. Lip gloss   2. Deodorant   3. Sneakers (comfort is essential)   4. A scarf or wrap (great for layering) 5. Black dress (good for casual or dress up).

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14. You have a client that wants you to design them outfits for Burning Man. What is it about your aesthetic that draws in a creative and adventurous crowd?

At a festival you need something that is interesting to look at, makes people do a double take, comfortable because you might be wearing for a couple days if you don’t get back to camp, and has a function. My designs meet the needs to fit the form and complete a function. That’s sexy and smart.

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Genie-Corset-Short

Genie Corset Short

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15.  What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I have worked really hard throughout my life not to come across as being socially awkward, but every once in awhile I get busted.

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16. Any tips or recommendations for people wanting to visit Los Angeles?

Make sure to split your time up so that you get to explore The Westside (Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu) as well as The Eastside (Los Feliz, Silverlake, and Downtown). Avoid Hollywood. When going out at night save yourself the stress of trying to find parking and just Uber, but your probably know this.

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Mimi-Hooded

Mimi Hooded

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17. Is there anything you’d like to add, promote or discuss?

Please check out my website at kucoondesigns.com.

Follow “kucoondesigns” on Instagram.

Find us on Facebook.

And… stay curious and open to change; it is the best way to feel alive.

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Luna-Velve-Pant

Luna Velve Pant

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Images Courtesy of Kucoon