When you grow up in a motel, you can bet your life is going to be pretty interesting. This week we interviewed Alex huggett of look coy to find out how she got started, what inspires her and get insight into her creative process. Not only did we find out that she grew up in a motel (how very wes Anderson) but is constantly inspired by old Hollywood glamor as she designs clothing and accessories as well as scouts vintage finds for her line. She still has a day job but being a maker is a necessity, “When I come home I need to make something beautiful to balance my world again.” Get to know alex in and her life of making, kitties, motels and Marilyn Monroe below.
I’m Alex Huggett, the 31-year-old owner & designer of Look Coy accessories and apparel. I’m also a wife & a mother of two adorable kitties, Piglet & Beans. I grew up in the mid-west running around the halls of my parent’s motel with my older sister. We moved out to Orange County, California just before my 5th birthday. My mom wanted us to start having a more normal childhood with neighborhood friends instead of hotel guests. I love Orange County for its location. I can be in LA in 30 minutes to see a show at the Hollywood Bowl, or go on a day trip to hit the slopes up in Big Bear. Where else can you do that?!
With Look Coy, I create accessories & clothing inspired by the Old Hollywood eras. I grew up watching Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, & Grace Kelly. Their effortless style has had a great influence not only in my creations, but in my brand identity as well. To me, “Looking Coy” is a very powerful thing. It’s knowing the cards you have, being in control of the situation, & playing those cards perfectly (in a modest way of course). I like starting my design process by picking a theme for a collection & that really dictates what I’m going to make for it. My “Final Frontier” Collection included rings, earrings, & necklaces made with druzy stones, which reminded me of the nebulas in outer space. Whereas my “Prohibition Party” Collection was all 20’s inspired headbands. I also like incorporating my passion for vintage in my work by using recycled vintage components when I can. You can view my creations at www.LookCoy.Etsy.com. You’ll also be able to find a selection of purely vintage items on there as well.
I remember creating jewelry since I was about 10. I would make little earrings & sell them to the girls in my class, but I thought it was just a passing hobby at the time. Then when I turned 25 I had a total meltdown about what I should be doing with my life. I had a Marilyn Monroe quote playing in my head, “You know I’m gonna be 25 years old this June. That’s a quarter of a century….Makes a girl think!”. So, I did some travelling & soul searching to figure out what would make me the happiest career wise. I remembered having so much fun when I was a kid making things with my hands & just being creative. I had a light bulb moment! I had gone to school for clothing construction & design, so I had some skills… I just had to have faith in myself & leap.
I find that being creative is a necessity for me. I have a day job currently & the funny thing is it’s the opposite of creative. When I come home I need to make something beautiful to balance my world again. But I’m all about being optimistic, so it’s actually helped me grow in other important business areas like record keeping, organization, & tax stuff.
The main obstacle I face in having a creative life is keeping a balanced life. When I first started I gave my business everything. I would pass up on making any time for me, which came back to bite me. I burned out fast. Now I have to make sure to tell myself – “Okay it’s 6:30, time to stop”. It’s good for me to set those time limits for working so I can enjoy time with my family or exercise any stress away.
The advice I would give to anyone (even those not trying to start a creative business) is this: Never let fear hold you back from doing what you love. Turn your dreams into your reality. Life is just too short to not grab hold of your dreams & take off running with them!