Sparklewren Bespoke Corsetry

Sparklewren Bespoke Corsetry was created by arts graduate Jenni Hampshire in Durham, UK. Serving an international client base, Sparklewren produces beautifully decorative corsets to both standard sizes and bespoke specifications.

Everything available in the etsy shop can be made-to-order in a standard size, or for a bespoke fit (including distance fitting sessions) you can contact Jenni directly. The etsy shop also features discounted sample pieces ready-to-ship, which Jenni produces in order to test new designs and techniques.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Jenni.
I studied Fine Art at university and was left rather disillusioned with the whole thing. I felt that the emphasis was too much on context and not enough on craft. So afterwards I decided to teach myself a skill. I chose sewing and since I love exaggerated silhouettes I started with one of the hardest garments of all: the corset!

I then discovered that corsetry is such a rich and engaging subject that I could spend an entire lifetime pursuing it. I also just love the corset as an object and consider it a very "happy accident" that I've found something I love so much.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Laugh!

But my favourite corset-related activity is hand-finishing as I find it so restful. After that, I would say lacing the corset onto its owner gives me an awful lot of satisfaction. People generally get really excited at the beautiful smooth shape they suddenly have, which makes me happy.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
As with all new small businesses, the biggest challenge is getting up to speed with keeping accounts, running your own schedule and being organised.

But on the fun side of things, there are many creative and technical challenges which make my work stimulating and satisfying. Experimenting with new patterns, playing with design details, and fitting clients with varying body shapes are all wonderful, challenging parts of what I do.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wasn't sure! I assumed I would be an artist, although I didn't know what kind. Through my life I have painted, drawn, stitched, sculpted and photographed. I'm happy to have finally found a skill that suits me perfectly.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Well corsets can be rather tricky to purchase for a friend or partner without a full set of measurements! But I think a wonderful gift would be a silk posture collar or waist cincher, dripping in beaded lace, since you only need one measurement and they are so unusual and elegant. I have blue eyes, so I would like a pale blue silk with cream details.

What other artists out there do you love?
I recently discovered a new lingerie brand, Obey My Demand, that I absolutely adore the look of:

It's all about texture and a tactile, form-fitting surface, which I just love. I'm also a big fan of CorsetLacedMannequins, and wish to order from them again and again (as funds allow!):

What does your future hold?
Happiness! I have hopes for the business of course (and would love the opportunity to produce a corset for someone truly sparkling, like Kylie Minogue or Immodesty Blaize), but mostly I just aim for contentment in everyday life. I try to be good to the people around me, work hard, and appreciate what I have... so I would hope for my future to be more of the same.