Where Are They Now? Follow Up with Champagne Corsets & Designs Carol Stella
In October 2016, Innovation Destination Hartford spoke with Champagne Corsets & Designs, LLC Founder Carol Stella. The Connecticut-based company specialize in creating unique, expertly tailored couture corsets. IDH caught up with Stella to find out how the startup has evolved.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: Give us an update.
CAROL STELLA: My design studio has moved! We are now located in Prospect, CT, where we meet with our clients by appointment only. You can book an appointment with us through our website or call us at 917.524.9908.
I am now the face of both my designs and brand by expanding my title to Designer, Creative Director, Corsetiere, Model, Blogger, and Style Influencer at Champagne Corsets & Designs.
About eight months ago I launched a new blog called “How to Wear Corsets in Real Life.” I feel it’s important for me to practice what I preach and to gain the trust and loyalty of my clients. I’m really trying to stop the assumptions that corsets are restrictive, difficult to breathe in, and can only be worn for special events.
Not only do I educate people about how and why to incorporate corsets into their everyday routine, but I am also able to tweak anything I may find that needs changing, whether it be in my patterns, my fabric choices, or my sewing techniques. This idea has made my brand authentic and sets me apart from other brands and businesses.
I also love to collaborate with and support other Connecticut businesses. I have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from my blog posts and I just collaborated with Aria’s Wedding & Banquet Facility in Prospect, CT, where I did a couple of beautiful photo shoots. This is also where my bridal collection will be unveiling soon.
IDH: Have you experienced any major pivots since we featured your story?
STELLA: In August 2017, I traveled to Oxford, England and attended the Oxford Conference of Corsetry. It’s a weekend residential conference where corset makers from around the world gather, share industry secrets, brainstorm ideas, inspire each other, and talk non-stop about corsets! I had the privilege to be a part of this experience and, for anyone interested. (Read my recap blog posts “Champagne Goes to Oxford” Part 1 and Part 2.)
IDH: Have you been involved with any startup resources in the region?
STELLA: I recently recorded a podcast with the CTStartup Podcast team. A special thank you to Chris DeMorro, Dave Menard, Andrea Stalf, and Jacqueline Rowe for this opportunity.
IDH: How are you building a customer base?
STELLA: Word of mouth and by educating the public about corsetry through my blog posts on social media and on my website.
IDH: Tell us about the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship in Connecticut.
STELLA: I think it’s essential that the private and governmental sectors promote and facilitate young entrepreneurs, like me, to follow their dreams.
IDH: Aside from funding, what do you need most to move your company forward?
STELLA: I would like more of an opportunity to educate the public about the beneficial effects of wearing corsets daily. Over time, I’ve already been feeling stronger and healthier and I’ve experienced additional benefits I never expected.
IDH: What’s next for Champagne Corsets?
STELLA: I’m expanding my collaborations with the fine arts and theaters. I have studied both historical and modern-day corsetry, which helps my designs to crossover into costume design.
Learn more about Champagne Corsets & Designs, LLC