Who/ What is Ethyria anyway?
Ethyria was started by me, Anna Bjornsdotter in 2003. Back then I was freelancing as a costume designer for small opera companies around San Francisco Bay Area and selling “stuff I made” to make ends meet. I was using a lot of recycled and cut up clothes; mostly because I couldn’t afford fabric by the yard, thrift store clothing is inexpensive by comparison and even though you may not want to wear old suit pants from the 50’s, that wool is nice!
Since then I have been extremely fortunate to work with some of the greatest opera venues in the U.S.; San Fransisco Opera, Los Angels Opera, Seattle Opera as well as smaller but equally amazing opera companies and a few films. However, as most of us remember, the 2008 financial crisis arrived and about 1/3 of opera companies in the U.S. disappeared. Ethyria full time became a reality.
When I think about what I envisioned that Ethyria would be back then, I can see that it is very similar to what I want Ethyria to be now; an inspiration for us to choose to wear clothes that make us feel our most magical, irresistible selves. Regardless of whether that is wearing a remade, mended, altered, favorite hand-me-down dress or a new coat, my hope is for it to add to who you are; show who you are, subtly or loudly. I also wish for us all to really use our clothes, acquire them for the long run.
Yes, I now use new materials at times, but when I do, I still want to create something lasting; something beautiful, something you will love for a long time; and when the time comes, pass it on because it was made to be fixed when loved to pieces… not thrown out.
My thought has always been to have a place were inspiration is readily available (some might say that is Pinterest or Instagram, and I would agree) but also here; with different tutorials, which will be added as time goes on, and perspectives on techniques, ideas, schools of thought, alternative ways of looking at what we wear…... and how we wear it.