Designer Spotlight: Couffia Couture

When a Savannah designer brings their custom creations into the shop, you better believe that we spend the next few hours ohh-ing and aww-ing over how fabulous they are! This week, we're featuring Couffia Couture, unique garters created by designer Kellyé West! 

Lovey Dovey (Couffia Couture) pairs perfectly with Carrie by Rebecca Ingram!

Just when we thought she couldn't get any more charming, we asked Kellyé all about where she found inspiration to get started creating her unique designs!

A few years ago, I was living in Los Angeles where I met one of my best friends. We were downtown one night where she picked up a flapper style headband. She almost bought it, but I told her that I could make one for her and promised it would be cuter. Two weeks later for her birthday, I made her two different headbands that she loved. She would wear them all the time and we would get stopped constantly by women and men wanting to know where to buy them from.

I started a little business making what I called headdresses. One day it just hit me that I could wear my headdress style around my leg, and tried to start a casual garter trend. The casual garter didn't really take off, but eventually had an epiphany about brides. The headband trend kind of faded (except for with babies), but brides never go out of style. Even when I was busy with school and my job that paid the bills and not designing as much, I was still being contacted by brides, so I decided to really get back into what I loved!

The floral detail on Fredricka by Rebecca Ingram is a perfect complement to Meant to Be (Couffia Couture)!

Not only is each one-of-a-kind piece made with lots of love and care, but they are also made with upcycled materials. Kellyé elaborates:

When I was living in LA, I would go visit the fashion district downtown almost every week. It's a really magical place for designers who work with textiles. The fashion district is made up of a bunch of shops that sell tons of excess fabric, trim, and jewelry for super low prices. For the most part you will be hard pressed to find the same thing twice even in the same store, especially if it is a piece of lace or an embellishment, so making the same accessory twice was not an easy thing to accomplish. 

Soft and romantic, the lace on Emily by Maggie Sottero matches Garden of Ardor (Couffia Couture) almost perfectly! 

Once I left LA, I wasn't sure how I would continue to design with limited resources, but I got creative. I would find antique broaches, jewelry, and interesting garments at Estate sales and thrift stores, and found some unique trim at fabric and craft stores, as well as online. Bead work became more consistent in my designs to keep my accessories unique. which is cool because my style kind of changed to fit my environment, but also naturally matured as I did. Even though I have found places that can for the most part consistently supply me with some of the pieces I love to use for my garters, I still do not replicate a design, in order to maintain Couffia’s one-of-a-kind standard.

Get your bling on with Jacqueline by Rebecca Schoneveld and Couffia Couture's Enamored.

Here at Ivory & Beau, we find that our love for what we do really shines through in our work, and we've got a feeling it's just the same for Kellyé, who states:

Being an accessories designer of sorts has been a trait of mine since I was 6 years old. Once I learned how to make my own necklaces and bracelets there was no stopping me, I just never knew how far I could take it. Inspired by the Art Deco movement, I am not only concerned with the simple, symmetric, floral, and feminine aesthetic of my designs but also the construction. I hand sew each piece which is very time consuming, but incredibly rewarding. My intentions are to make something that lasts, and it is the best feeling to hear a bride say that she wants her Couffia Couture wedding garter to be passed down.

Wined and Mine (Couffia Couture) looks oh-so-lovely alongside Lu by Daughters of Simone!

Each piece you see in this blog (paired with a gown that we think suits the garter perfectly!) was handmade and designed by Kellyé--but it gets even better, you guys! Kellyé also creates custom creations using everything from a bride's color scheme to family jewelry. 

Kellyé sums up the Couffia Couture mission best:

The wedding garter has been a tradition for hundreds of years, but that doesn't mean the bride's garter should look hundreds of years old. I believe my style is what will bring the modern bride back to the tradition, while maintaining her uniqueness. 

Can't get enough Couffia? Stop by the shop to see all of these fabulous garters and more! While you're at it, be sure to visit Couffia Couture's website to check out all of Kellyé's magical designs!