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Featured Shop: Luva Huva

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Joanna Ketterer, and I make women’s lingerie and loungewear for my shop, Luva Huva. I live in Herne Hill, London, England and work with one full-time designer and seamstress named Kat.

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I have been making lingerie and loungewear for over six years now. I always knew I wanted to do something creative — I studied textiles at university, and afterwards I wanted to try and start my own clothing business. I felt there was a niche in the market for pretty, feminine lingerie. When I stumbled across some great fabric at a market back in 2007, I thought to myself, “That would make a great pair of knickers.” That was the day I made my first pair of Luva Huva panties and my business was born.

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All of my collections begin as an inspirational mood board, and from there I choose a colo­r palette and select fabrics. I try to experiment with different blends each season and introduce new silhouettes into every collection. All of my items are made to order, so often the day begins with work at the pattern-cutting table. Next, we elasticize each piece on our sewing machines. Finally, we hand sew fishing details – like bows and cords – to the garments, and add size and care labels. We carefully package each order using tissue paper, ribbon, and gift boxes when requested. The last step is handing the finished parcels over to our lovely post lady! I have sewn literally thousands of panties, but I still get satisfaction with each new pair.

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I have a passion for using sustainable and environmentally-friendly fabrics wherever possible. Running my own small business enables me to source wonderful natural and organic fabrics. These fabrics make beautiful clothing, and also help promote a more sustainable approach to garment manufacturing.

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I appreciate craftsmanship because I understand the process and care that goes into producing something by hand. Handcrafted items hold personality and personal stories that mass-produced items simply can’t, and that makes them feel more special. I hope that when I customer receives a Luva Huva item it always has consistent and unique qualities.

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Over the years I’ve learned that running a business means you have to do a bit of everything, and sometimes things you’re not very good at. My business has taught me that with persistence, determination and passion all obstacles can be overcome. Each one teaches you something new about yourself and makes you a more competent person.

Maker photo by James Robinson, product shots by Claire Harrison and Rachel Manns.

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