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Bespoke Frocks
Elisabeth Mary Smith
Meet Lis

Born five miles from the North Sea in Norfolk, England, where her family have been, as the local joke goes "since time immoral", Lis started sewing in her teens.

Her motivation then was to have alternative clothes to her school uniform. Her parents encouraged her to make her own instead of saving up to buy them from C&A, Top Shop or Snob.

When she left school she took an Art Foundation course in Great Yarmouth for a year before going to Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham where she obtained a degree in Art and Music.

After graduating, an opportunity to work in the then-emerging personal computer industry arose and she joined a start-up in Maidenhead as only the 3rd employee, doing "everything" and enjoying it. It also proved to be a convenient location to visit the Laura Ashley remnant sales held at the time at places such as Windsor or the Kempton Park race course.  

Family reasons took her to Switzerland in the mid '80s where she learnt German and worked for two multi-national pharmaceutical companies along the way.

During this time she developed her sewing technique and keen interest in fashion by prototyping designs, improving them and refining her technique until she was satisfied her frocks would be ready to hand over to the public.

Lis is married with two teenage daughters. Her other main interest is playing the piano.

Coming next here: a video interview with Lis, where she is asked about her influences, design opinions, values and aspirations....

Meet Lis
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