Jessica Rives is old school– the kind of old school that’s sexy, classy, and fun. Jess has been running Mansfield Lingerie for a little over a year, and she’s gaining steam quickly, participating in Patchwork and other shows in and around Los Angeles. She creates her own patterns from scratch, influenced by styles of the past. Here’s the kicker: the majority of the fabrics she uses for her handmade headbands, bows, and turbans are recycled from other pieces. Jess opened up to dear handmade life about her past, present, and future.
– Aurora Lady
According to Jessica:
I find delight in working with my hands in all sorts of crafts. I love it when a scrapbook falls apart at the binding because I stuffed so much ephemera, paint, journal entries, life into its pages. I love the feel of fabric grazing my fingertips as the sewing machine pulls it away from me when I work with soft, pretty fabrics for Mansfield Lingerie and hair accessories. I also enjoy crocheting, painting, faux finishes, upholstery, mosaics, gardening, digital arts, and home improvement projects.
I am very fortunate to have the day job I have now. Working in visual display production for a large retailer, totally gave me the push to develop my crafting and sewing skills. I would be assigned to make giant lampshades and paper dresses and I would have to deliver and they have to look pro. That pressure to make these novelty projects was a blessing. I am especially grateful because I have developed my sewing skills so much in the last 5 years that I can now work on my own personal goal of designing handmade lingerie – all because of my day job.
When I am not making things, I am learning to genuinely relax. I used to use my free time to make more things, and it was great! But I would feel so guilty when I spent some of my time not making anything. I would stress out over nothing. My boyfriend helped me realize this about myself. It’s hard to change this habit, but I’m already feeling better about how I spend my time, even when I watch Star Trek: The Next Generation for a whole night. My goal is to find a good balance between work and rest. “Make it so!”
My perfect day off…sigh. I LOVE Cambria, CA. The day would start by waking up in a comfy bed in a quaint hotel in Cambria. I don’t know how I got there, somehow I just did. My boyfriend and I eat some awesome french toast and oatmeal for breakfast. We spend the day antiquing and visiting the chapel and cemetery. Eat more awesome food, this time pizza for lunch. We visit Moonstone Beach until the sun goes down and the amazingly bright stars come out. Then we have some wine back in the hotel, we usually can never finish a bottle in one night, and read like old people in bed until we fall asleep.
I know advice is easier said than done, but it is so important to do what makes you happy, no matter what others say or how scared and nervous you may be. If you know what direction you need to go…GO! Do it! Then you can say you did it! And that feels EXCELLENT!