1. Introduce yourself and profession to our readers:
Known as “The Duchess of Crochet,” Felicia Dietrich born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, I was surrounded by gifted and talented singers, dancers, and fashionable family members which lead from generation to generation. By the time I entered high school, I knew that designing was something that she wanted to do professionally. A foolish childhood decision could have ruined my dream before it got off the ground. I was a high school drop-out. Although this happened years ago, there’s still a hint of sadness in my heart for doing this. When I entered high school it wasn’t the school of my choice. I did not want to attend the high school that I was assigned to. I wanted to go to trade school for sewing. Unfortunately, there were no more seats available. I was disappointed so I dropped out of school completely. It only took a year for me to realize that she had made a mistake. I got my GED and then went to college where I received an Associate Degree of Applied Science, concentrating in Apparel Retailing.
2. What inspired you to pursue this area of interest?
My grandmother was my inspiration to crochet. I learned how to crochet by watching her. She crocheted lace doilies and afghan. I would do my crocheting at home, and then my mom would take it to my grandma to be critiqued my work. Not only did her grandmother crotchet, but my mother worked for the legendary design company London Fog. My mother would bring scraps of fabric home for me to make suits and coats out of. Also, my mother clothes we customer made and she had her own seamtress who would create anything she could imagine. I would go with her to fittings and pickup all of the left over fabric from her garments and create fashions for my dolls.
3. What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit?
Designing is something that runs through my blood. I have a strong, unbreakable love for crocheting and it shines through my work. My advice to those who are entering into the fashion business or who may have given up on their dreams is to stay true to yourself, be confident in what you do, always be open to learn new ideas and walk new paths. Let me tell you a little story. I was so determined years ago to get my crochet fashions noticed by celebrities so I called a few talk shows to get tickets to be in the audience, get a few models to wear my crochet fashions and get noticed by the host. I was in the studio audience on the Oprah Winfrey show. Oprah asked my models and I to come on stage. She did a mini interview and we showed my crochet fashions. I took that same idea and was in the studio audience at the Queen Latifah show. I did a fashion show for her studio audience.
4. Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it:
A challenge for me is getting my brand noticed. Often my budget will not allow me to hire a PR agency to help me get to levels I may not have been able to reach on my own. I have been blessed to work with Chance 436 Design Studios and Quiona J. The companies are remarkable and has strengthened my brand with creative direction with photoshoots, their team of hairstylist, makeup artist, models and photographers. Now, I have more opportunities and my company business has increased. One day I would like to open my very own mobile fashion boutique.
6. How can readers connect with you online and through social media?