Noblivity Spotlights Amy Witte | Amoeba Swimwear
Designer Background Summary: I graduated from the School of the Art Institute in 2009 after studying fashion design and fiber arts and then worked at several internships with local Chicago designers including Abigail Glaum Lathbury and Andrea Loest.
How did you get started? People always ask me why swimwear? I think I chose swimwear first because I love to swim, I swim competitively and even swim in Lake Michigan once a week in the summer. But also because I feel like I am always searching for that perfect bathing suit that is not only flattering but also fun and unique. I think that’s really what inspired me to try to create a swimwear line that would fulfill all my expectations.
What inspires your designs? I find inspiration in every day life. Chicago is a great city for inspiration. I walk out my front door every day and I am instantly bombarded with amazing graffiti, art, design and culture. I like to bring that feeling of city life with me everywhere its so exciting and I want my swimwear to reflect that excitement.
How would you describe your design style, design signatures and who is your targeted customer? My target customer is twenty to thirty something fashionistas. These ladies want to look like rock stars, they want to stand out in a crowd. My design style is urban, street style, rock star, I try to bring the city to the beach in every collection.
What designers inspire you?As far as other swimwear designers I love Zimmerman, Kushcush, Graffinis, Zeugari and L Space
What obstacles did you have to overcome? Its always hard, I think, starting any kind of business; you don’t know what you are doing, people don’t take you seriously. I think one of the hardest things so far has been just getting the brand name out there and letting people see your designs. It has been really helpful being an Associate Designer for the Macys fashion incubator, I’ve just had so much more exposure since then and also opportunities to show my designs around Chicago.
How did you overcome them? What has been your greatest moment on your journey so far? The first sale was the most exciting, so far, its just so satisfying to know that someone else appreciates all your hard work so much so that they will actually pay money for it.
What has been the biggest change in your designs so far? I am really just starting out so my designs really haven’t changed too much.
If money were no object what would you do right now? I really love what I am doing so I don’t know that I would really want to change what I am doing, although if money were no object I would have a much nicer office….with a view of the lake….and maybe a butler.
What are the best and worst things about being a designer? I love the design process and production process and I even love all the tedious tech packs and line-sheets and all that computer work. I hate having to stay on top of everyone else in the process, making sure everything gets done in time.
Describe your typical day? I usually get up early, I either have swim practice or I run. Then take the dog out for a walk. Then I’m off to the office where I work on stuff till around 2 then I come back home and eat, check emails, get the mail and make any phone calls I need to make. Then back to the office till 8 or 10. I know it sounds pretty boring but I do love it and can’t imagine having to work in a cubicle.
What’s your philosophy of life? Life is way to short to do anything you don’t want to do.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? I would have been born a man, I think it would have been a lot easier
When will you know you have made it? When I can hire someone to fluff my pillow at night before I go to bed. Then I can retire.