My name is Nikole Diane Koch, and I make avant-garde masks, collars, and other accessories for my shop, Gossamer Couture. I live in Orem, Utah. In addition to running my Etsy shop, I also work full time at a custom sewing and design shop.
I decided I wanted to be a designer when I was 13 and never deviated from that course. I started by designing on paper, but quickly moved to sewing for myself. It wasn’t long before my budding fashion design skills reached beyond my own closet. Friends on tight budgets needed prom dresses, my dance company needed costumes, and I was doing my two favorite things: designing clothes and helping others.
My pieces for Gossamer Couture are exotic and mysterious. When I work on a new design, it’s all about patterns and shapes. I take inspiration from architecture, and the patterns of shadows made when light shines through the trees. I create all of my designs freehand, using a guide for size and basic shape. Although I reproduce my original designs, no two pieces are exactly alike.
I create because I love it, and that satisfies me. Having others love what I do is the icing on the cake. Not only is it a huge part of my life to be a designer and craftsman, but I decided a few years back that I really want to shop from more craftsmen. I want to own things that hands have shaped, that someone cared about, and that make my dollars count.
Having a creative business means you have to put yourself out there, and when you put your heart and soul into a design, a piece of artwork, or a craft, it leaves you vulnerable. I’ve never been afraid of standing out, but my budding business has shown me that I have something to offer on a much larger scale. I’ve sold and shipped things to a number of places around the world. That is a huge confidence boost!
Etsy has given me a way to fill the gap between what I earn at my day job and what my family needs, without taking me away from my kids. It’s great to be able to reach the world with my creations from my home studio, with my daughter in her play kitchen “cooking” for me and my 9-year-old asking for help with math homework!