We had the good fortune of connecting with Keira McGee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Keira, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
What’s my end goal. Is it too cheesy to say I hope I never have an end goal? The idea of reaching a point in my career where I feel completely satisfied with what I’ve achieved seems far-fetched to me. Maybe it is something funky in my brain, but I think I will always be looking for the next best thing. The ultimate goal for my career and for this company is to simply continue to grow and learn while staying rooted in my values of sustainability and inclusivity.

Within the next ten years I plan to develop a store front / co-op space for several local artists in the San Diego area. This space would function not only as a retail space, but as a community center for activities such as sewing classes, yoga classes, and volunteer programs. It is my goal to create a space for others to discover new skills and connect with one another. I will use this company to not only promote sustainable fashion choices, but sustainable life choices. In this way I hope to create a positive impact on my community by uplifting its members and providing a sense of home within this large city.

I supposed my “end goal” is to reach as many people as possible with this company, so it feels like my work is making a difference in a small way.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am proud of my designs, because I take existing garments and give them new life, which reduces waste in an industry that is so full of waste. Each piece I create is a reminder that clothing can be eco-friendly AND beautiful. My clothing is one-of-a-kind, so each piece has a story and is handmade by me. I put a ton of love and effort into my designs, so it is incredibly satisfying when others are just as excited about my clothing as I am.

I am also excited about my small line of surf-themed clothing called Shreddy Betty! This clothing line features hand-drawn designs of women of various sizes and colors sporting their bathing suits and getting ready to hop in the ocean to surf. The goal with these designs is to promote inclusivity within surf culture and help normalize these visuals of women who do not look like the stereotypical “surf model”. I want all women to see these designs and be able to picture themselves as Shreddy Betty. I hope to continue to “Shred the Love” with this clothing line and encourage companies to consider who they are representing with their designs.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are SO MANY amazing places in this city. Whenever someone visits I always take them to Mission Trails for a short hike, The Marine Room in La Jolla for a snorkel to try and find the local sea turtles, and a surf at Tourmaline in Pacific Beach.

If we have enough time I will take them to bodysurf with the Del Mar Bodysurfing Club on the weekend and maybe pop into Ultreya Coffee Shop for a quick bite and some incredible coffee beforehand. Depending on the season I would take them to see a show at New Village Arts, San Diego Musical Theatre, or La Jolla Playhouse. We would absolutely have dinner at Wonderland Ocean Pub followed by a classy cocktail at Polite Provisions or a casual beer at Pizza Port.

Lastly, if they are interested in shopping some local goods, I would take them to Vervor Shop in OB, which features 136 local artists!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many who deserve a shoutout for their mentorship throughout my design career. First off, Jennifer Ables is the incredible Costume Shop Manager at La Jolla Playhouse who has shown me how to advocate for myself within a professional environment and manage a massive workload. Next I’d like to shoutout Govane Lohbauer, who is the Costume Shop Manager for Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts. Govane was one of the first supervisors in my career and she helped me develop my construction and design skills. I would also like to shoutout my college professors, Thomas Bosket and Jamie Kruse, from Parsons the New School for Design. Tom taught me to follow my intuition and discover my design process, and Jamie introduced me to the world of sustainability. Together they have had a strong impact on the work I create today. Lastly, I must give credit to my high school sewing instructor, Terri Wood, who encouraged me to turn my after-school “hobby” into a career.

Website: keiradesigns.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keira.designs

Linkedin: Keira McGee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keira.designs

Other: depop: @keiradesigns

Image Credits
Andy Putnam

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