Girl Crush: Carrie Hammer

20 March 2013

Almost every dress I own has to be tailored.  It never fails, too big in the waist, too tight at the shoulders and the top is always smaller than the bottom.  (Thank goodness for mix + match bikinis.)

I digress, enter Carrie Hammer, my Girl Crush who has solved a problem almost every woman has.

Part admiration, part adoration topped off with utmost respect, it’s a phenomenon every girl (whether they want to admit it or not) has experienced = the Girl Crush.  You’ve met her before, she’s got “it” but you can’t define what “it” is.  She’s inspiring, relatable, ambitious and kind. You want to be her friend, scratch that… you want to be her best friend. In an ongoing series here on OceanViolet we’re going to try to figure out “who” she is and “how” she got where she stands today.

I met Carrie last year through a mutual friend  when she was in the early stages of developing a made-to-measure fashion line. Carrie being the smart business woman that she is, was meeting with young female professionals and listening to their woes of finding fashionable, fitting and reasonably priced attire to wear to work.

Carrie Hammer started her career as an advertising sales executive and often heard that she should “dress for the job she wanted not the job she had.” This was tough advice to follow as she found a limited selection of fashionable professional women’s clothing that women actually wanted to wear.

“Dress for the job you want not the job you have.”

I asked Carrie a few questions about her line, how I can get my hands on her pieces + what’s next for her.

Q: Did you ever think you’d end up here after studying economics at UCLA, working in advertising sales to creating your own fashion line? 

A: I had an inkling that I would start my own company but I certainly didn’t know it was going to be a fashion line. I am so happy this is where I ended up!

Q: I noticed you held a (successful) kick-starter campaign, what made you decide to go that route, and would you consider yourself a “start-up?” 

A: I think every company when they first start is a start-up. So yes, in a sense I would consider my company a start-up. I did the Kickstarter campaign because I absolutely love the concept and it was a great way to get my message out there in a different way.

“Beauty truly lies in the fit. It doesn’t matter what style you choose; good fit is always in style.” 

Q: There are three options on your website to buy: Bespoke, Ready to Wear and Custom – what’s the difference?

#1: Bespoke is made completely tailored to every single one of your measurements and you can customize the entire dress.

#2: The Ready to Wear is just like a normal line–you just order your size.

#3: The Custom Line you can customize, color, length, and sleeve.

the red dress: elizabeth has my name all over it.

Ready to Wear: that red dress: elizabeth need it, want it. will be getting it.

newspaper skirt, so Carrie.

newspaper skirt, so Carrie Bradshaw.

’cause if your waist is small and your curves are kickin…. there’s a dress for that!

Q: I love the pin-up sexy yet take-me-serious looks of your dresses– what was the inspiration? 

A: I absolutely love classic silhouettes with a twist. You can never go wrong with classic.

Q: What workplace dress trends are you seeing right now? 

A: Peplum is continuing to be huge. Keyholes. Pockets!

A few outfit inspirations styled by Miss Hammer herself:

caution: you might look better than the bride.

*caution: you might look better than the bride. Shoes, Bag, Bracelet, Earrings

I'm going to guess with this number you'll get a 2nd date.

I’m going to guess with this number you’ll get a 2nd date. Mango Jacket,  Kotur Clutch,  House of Harlow Earrings,

“Off the rack dresses are built for an ‘average’ 5’6″ woman. But what is average? Womens’ bodies are ridiculously different! I think a lot of our bodies issues come from saying, ‘I have to be a 0, 2 or a 4.’ And at a lot of places, these sizes aren’t true, it’s just vanity sizing.” 

Q: What’s a typical day like for you? 

A: Every single day is different (which I love!) But it usually consists of a custom fittings for the bespoke line, networking with potential clients, and shipping out new orders.

Kim from eatsleepwear wears it the newspaper skirt + wears it well.

Kim from eatsleepwear wears the newspaper skirt + wears it well.

Q: Carrie, I’ve seen you on HuffPo, your apartment in TimeOut, FoxNews? Who is doing your PR?! 

A: I come from a sales background. I guess I’m still good at selling but now it’s for me!

Q: Do you have any advice for someone who and the entrepreneurial itch, but just can’t get up the nerve to scratch it?

A: Just start. The only way to start is to start and fear often gets in the way. It took a long time for me to jump the fear chasm but once I was on the other side I asked myself, “What too me so long!?”

Q: What’s next for Carrie and Carrie Hammer?

A: Besides world domination? Expansion of the ready to wear line!


Check out Carrie’s designs on her website and follow her on Twitter @CarrieHammer 

We're over here now:

Jessica Arb Danial Art Advisory