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.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

    Nominate yourself
  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

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    STUDIO 24b

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    STUDIO 24b is a design and fabrication studio in Portland, ME where Matt Hutton creates custom woodworking & furniture for sale and exhibition.
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  • 2014 Design Finalist

    Hammer & Brush

    Adam Dexter & Colt Bowden
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  • As a modern day lavender farm, distillery & apothecary, our products are medicinally focused & remedy based.
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