My name is Katie LeBourgeois, and I am the owner of the dress line Coralie Beatrix. I make clothing for women and children, primarily out of stretch knit fabrics. I’m so thankful to call San Clemente, California, my home – both my studio and the sea are just a short bike ride away.
Before I knew about Etsy, I owned a dress line called Sophie Pearl Originals. I traveled for five years setting up my tent of handmade, vintage-inspired dresses, going to fairs, boutiques, flea markets and anywhere I could to get my name out there. After having a baby girl and learning to surf, I began to create more comfortable knit dresses conducive to life as a busy mom. Exhausted, I closed my business and threw my last batch of knit dresses on Etsy under the new name Coralie Beatrix. My customers kept me going, demanding more and more colors and fabrics. It took a lot of sleepless nights and lulling my daughter to sleep with the sound of the sewing machine, but it has been worth it and so much fun.
My process starts with a fabric shopping trip, which I take just about every month. I post my fabrics with sea-inspired names, so customers can order swatches and work with me to customize their dress from the available options. They can add layers of ruffle, chiffon, or lace to the skirt or straps, or get other special additions, like a tie-on detachable train or infinity-wrap shawl. Once an order is placed, the dress is cut, sewn, packaged and shipped. One of my favorite parts of the process is taking photos to highlight a new collection of fabrics or designs.
What keeps my business fun is that my designs and branding are inspired by my love for the beach and surfing. As a little girl, I aspired to live on an island and sell my creations. From the colors of the sea and the tumbling rocks at low tide, to foggy mornings surfing amongst the soaring pelicans, I am inspired daily by God’s hand in nature. I love being able to express that through every aspect of my shop.
I have achieved a level of success on Etsy that has outgrown my home and enabled me to employ help so I can spend more time with my young children. I work closely with my sisters, two sewers, and my dad (when needed). We work hard to make Coralie Beatrix a special place for customers to come and find unique, quality, handmade items at a great price point. I am so thankful Etsy has given me a great story and lesson to teach my children: anything is possible if you follow your passion, work hard and never give up!
Photos by Maile Roseland.