rouge + whimsy

American Made Since 2011

Erika Riggs

Seattle, Washington
Handmade made modern is my mantra. Rouge + whimsy features bold colors and classic prints paired with luscious leathers in a current design.

Tell us about your business.

From a very young age, I was enamored by sewing and fabric. My mother and I would sneak off to the fabric store after dinner, where we would spend house examining fabrics and pouring over pattern books. Fast-forward to my first job out of college, where I was largely unhappy. I bought my own sewing machine off Craigslist and began experimenting with my own creations. A few patterns and tote bags later, I saw an opportunity to turn this into more than a hobby. This is just my second year and I am constantly learning about the process-- pattern design, fabric choice and manufacturing, but more than that, I'm learning about myself and what it means to be pursuing a creative business.

What makes your business stand out?

Handmade doesn't have to mean unfashionable. I'm someone who loves clothes and accessories and I channel that into each of my designs. But I'm also someone who believes in connecting with the greater world, which is why I've recently launched "Give 10" at rouge + whimsy, which means that 10 percent of each sale goes to support women's health, small-business and education reform through the non-profit World Vision.

What's the best business advice you've received?

The best business advice came from the woman who started the whole fabric and sewing obsession: my own mother. She has always told me to stick to making what I like, and follow what I believe in. Setting a business up on anything less that your own ideas, your own spark and beliefs isn't worth it.

Comments (0)


Mark Your Calendar

    Jun. 17, 2015

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Learn about American Made
    Sep. 21, 2015

    Vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.

    Discover the American Made Summit

More Nominees

  • Beehive Alchemy

    Petra Ahnert
    Beehive inspired artisan soaps, body care products and beeswax candles - straight from the bee's house to yours.
    Style, Beauty
  • Whispirit

    Sandy and Lee Liggett
    We make amazing non-woven fabric using our alpaca fibers and other natural elements. We even make them into unique apparel and products.
    Design, Textiles
  • 2015 Crafts Finalist

    Azure Violins

    Kari Azure & Channing Azure
    Our passion is to combine old school methods & modern technologies to create violins worthy & capable of being passed down with their own stories
    Crafts, Recycled, Upcycled, & Vintage Crafts
  • 2015 Food Finalist

    Old School Favorites

    Anastasia Karloutsos
    We are a small, family-owned business, committed to creating a line of wholesome, honestly good products for our customers and their families.
    Food, Sweets & Baked Goods