Behind the Seams: A Day in the Life of Olia Zavozina

olia-zavozina-bridal-designer 1.45.34 PMWhat’s a normal day like in the life of a fashion designer? It may sound like a glamorous job, but past all of the glitz and glam are long hours, lots of coffee and literal blood, sweat and tears. We visited Olia Zavozina‘s studio in Nashville, where the custom couture designer has a beautifully designed salon for her brides to find their dream dress, complete with chandeliers, luxe furnishings, industrial exposed ceiling and of course, racks of wedding dresses that will make every girl swoon. But it was the behind-the-scenes peek she gave us into her business — which is a full-on family affair — that made us fall more in love with her designs, as if that was possible (we’ve been longtime fans of Olia’s, so much so that her “Katie” gown was on our very first issue cover!). Behind the salon is a workshop of perfected chaos that vibrates with creativity and activity — rolls of fabric, spindles of ribbon, sketches of future designs, and lace from the finest French lace house ready to be cut. It hit home just how hands-on she is with her collections, each piece meticulously drawn out, sewn and detailed, truly creating works of art. We were lucky enough to see firsthand how the magic happens … read the full interview after the jump. 

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After waking up, what’s the first thing that you do?

Stretch a little and then head straight to the coffee pot!

Being a designer, I’m sure your daily routine varies but what is the one thing that you have to do every day?

Check in with my team and see how things are going. It’s important to me to make sure everyone is doing okay and that things are running smoothly.

What’s your go-to outfit for a typical work day? 

Depends on what I have going on for the day. If I’m at my store, I’m a little more dressy — a blazer, heels and a little lace. If I’m at my office or at production, a great pair of leggings, boots and a cozy sweater!

How would you describe your office atmosphere?

We are a family. We get things done and we work hard but at the end of the day, we know how to kick off our shoes, relax and maybe have a sip of wine every now and then!

What’s the biggest misconception about how you spend your workday?

I think most people see a designer as someone who sits around sketching awesome ideas and the next big thing. And while yes, that’s important, my job is so much more than that. I am a designer but also a CEO of a company, so there are phone calls to make, meetings with vendors, employees to take care of … there’s a lot more to it than just the pretty stuff.

What is it about designing wedding dresses that you love the most?

Making the bride happy. In the end, it’s all about the bride, her love, her marriage and how she feels on her wedding day. That’s what I love most.

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Where do you find your inspiration?

All over — my brides are a big part of it. When we do a custom gown, typically that will be used in the next collection, named after the bride and maybe tweaked a little. I also love to travel and pull a lot from that.

Any strange work habits?

Not that I can think of. My production team would probably say I’m always listening to fun music and dancing around the office.

When did you know you wanted to become a fashion designer?

I’ve always loved to design, ever since I was little. It’s just been something that I knew one day I would do.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I have two wonderful dogs that I love spending time with as well as my husband. We work together so we get to see each other a lot, but we love to travel and go to concerts.

Okay Lightning Round — name the first thing that comes to mind:

What are you currently sipping on? Almond milk latte!
Where’s your favorite place to travel? Paris!
List five adjectives that describe the Olia bride. Stunning, Independent, Creative, Genuine, Lovely
Favorite cake flavor? Chocolate!
What’s been your most memorable moment in your career thus far? Hiring my husband!

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