Monday, January 25, 2010

Interview with designer Terrah Hamilton!

POSH Shoppers we have a surprise for you! An exclusive interview with one of our accessory designers Terrah Hamilton!

Terrah McCauley Hamilton grew up on a farm in Springfield, TN with her identical twin sister-Jennifer McCauley Gomez. Her interest in all things "business" led her to graduating from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and emphasis in Entrepreneurship. She also received a minor from O'More College of Design in Merchandising. After graduation, Terrah made her mark in the fashion industry by elevating POSH Boutique to Nashville's market leader, expanding into three locations- Green Hills, Hillsboro Village, and Clarksville. POSH caught up with her again today to investigate her newest venture: Hamilton & Co. handmade accessories....

Tell me a little about your brand and what you do now?

Hamilton & Co is an accessories company who focuses on handmade items. Born out of a need to fulfill my creative outlet, what was just a hobby has now turned into a business. My products are lovingly handmade with care for each customer's need in mind. Hamilton & Co appeals to a broad range of customers. Seeing that accessories can round out your look- they can be paired with multiple tastes and styles.

How did you start making scarves and accessories and how did you break into this business?

My past work experience is in retail, specifically boutique management and buying. While gaining knowledge of the fashion industry, my 'indie-preneur' intuitions were to start creating accessories. POSH, in Nashville, TN is where I began to test my designs. This testing turned out to be extremely successful--learning which colors worked, lengths that flatter, merchandising techniques, and price points. Through this testing, and online marketing, I was able to determine if my products were relevant in the market and if I could define a customer base.

How long does it take to make scarves/what materials do you use?

It's hard to put a true time on how long it takes to make a scarf because of all the pre-work that goes into it. I spend lots of time researching color trends, fabric content, styling, etc. to develop an idea. Then I source the fabric (could take multiple hours!). After these processes are completed, I can start the actual construction of the scarf/accessory. At that point, it takes roughly an hour to finish one scarf. My fabrics have included jersey, velour, sweatshirt fleece, faux suede, and ducco.

Do you see yourself moving to clothes any time soon?

Possibly in my five-year-plan. My sights are set on making accessories successful first, then branching out into other areas.

Who or what inspires/d you? Music? People? Time periods? etc.

My inspirations come from all sorts of areas in life. The most prevalent are movies with period style costuming (loved Sherlock Holmes and Marie Antoinette), Karl Lagerfeld- his dark and daunting take on fashion and females, Indi-dance rock music, and Highsnobette or Sartorialist blogs. My internal motivation comes from my relationship with God.

How would you describe your sense of style?

My personal sense of style would be described as grey-scale modern cameo. In detail: comfortable- I love cotton!!- yet not sacrificing those key elements that make my outfit relevant for now which include: flat black Frye boots, black straight leg or skinny jeans by G-Star or J Brand with an American Apparel V neck tee shirt paired with a drapey cardigan and topped off with a Hamilton scarf, my BFF necklace from Hunter, and my German Charlotte ring.

What is the best staple of your wardrobe?

I am not shy about investing in key pieces such as leather boots, designer denim, handbags, and a great haircut!

What trends do you see coming and how can POSH shoppers get ready?

Drop your leather jacket and go with a canvas or military inspired look. Boyfriend blazers are still here- hold on to yours from fall and roll up the sleeves. Figure out your perfect shade of 'nude.' Lots of white, pale grays, and flesh tones for Spring. Pop out your RED lipstick! Clients can make an appointment with one of your POSH stylists to get the DL on what to buy for spring '10.

What magazines do you read?

Nylon, WWD, New York Magazine, Elle- I also occasionally peak at Hunter's (my hubby) medical school textbooks!

What was your best Christmas gift?

My trip to NYC to visit my sister and brother-in-law for New Years Eve.

Have you ever worked with another designer? Who are your favorite designers? Idols?

My favorite designers are: Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Philippe Starck.

What has been your favorite project?

Learning how to use my new sewing machine. The technicalities of sewing are not apparent unless you have experienced sewing. I have a newfound appreciation for the labor it takes to create handmade products, especially pattern making.

What is the best part of the design process?

The limitless possibilites!! and color/fabric selection.

What is the fashion scene like in Memphis compared to Nashville?

Memphis is much more conservative than Nashville. There are certain parts of town where I will see an interesting take on a personal style, but for the most part- very American, Southern conservative. Nashville has an apparent indie music scene- walking around Hillsboro village you will most likely see a defined style. People actually walk out on the street! I miss that!!

Are you a personal stylist to your friends?

My stylist abilities are best used when shopping for designer denim. One of my brand new friends used my styling advice on finding the perfect pair of skinny jeans. It can be compared to bathing suit shopping- takes sooo much time to try on and you must be having a 'skinny' day. She had much success with my brand advice. I also help to style fashion shows, benefits, and assist guy friends gifting their wives. My favorite person to help style is my husband. He is always up for a new outfit!

Do you miss POSH?

Hehe (of course!!) I spent 8 years there developing relationships with clients, training staffs, merchandising, gaining experience buying, etc. I have fond memories of all the different personalities that have walked through the doors of POSH. Although I am in a different spot in my career, I will never take POSH for granted!

Come by POSH and check out Hamilton & Co. scarves new for Spring 2010! Also check out her facebook and website! To order email

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