Courtesy of Kate Rose Mabel Coughlin
Looking to revamp your wardrobe without contributing to fast fashion?
Recent San Diego State graduate Kate Rose Mabel Coughlin’s new clothing line may be exactly what you need.
Coughlin started her own brand customizing thrifted clothes in late May.
She uses bleach, fabric paint and embroidery to freehand designs onto clothing items of all sizes.
It all started when she put one of her own designs onto a sweatshirt and, after posting it to her Instagram page, her friends and family loved it and asked if Coughlin could design pieces for them as well.
“I truly believe in Kate and her business,” recent Cal State Bakersfield graduate Megan Haynes said. “After graduating college in the middle of a pandemic, the future can seem pretty bleak. I’m so proud of Kate for using this time to find her true calling.”
Designs of hers include faces, flowers, mushrooms and more. She also does more designs upon request.
“I absolutely love doing custom orders because I get to make someone’s vision come true and make them something they can’t get anywhere else,” Coughlin said. “I give them options based on my inventory and we either work from there or I go and search for something special for them. It’s very collaborative.”
An old high school friend of Coughlin’s, Lauren Hill, notes how this hobby turned hustle fits Coughlin perfectly and makes so much sense.
“She’s always been super creative,” Hill said. “I remember when we did theater together in high school, she did a lot of costuming. She had a lot of insight for people and went thrift shopping with them to help them figure out their costumes. She’s always been good at finding pieces and turning them into something beautiful.”
Coughlin studied theater while at SDSU.
Hill describes Coughlin’s style as funky, colorful, vibrant and bright.
“There’s a difference between just taking clothes and printing designs on them and not a lot of heart being put into them,” Hill said. “I think Kate takes everything she does really seriously and you can feel the energy and love that went into the product.”
Coughlin currently runs her business from her Instagram, @jazzymabel, and receives orders via direct messages, but she is working on starting a website soon. She posts items that she makes, but if people want custom pieces all they have to do is reach out.
“My favorite piece (from her) has to be my custom hot pink glitter cowgirl t-shirt,” Haynes said. “I also have a black denim vest with her signature faces on it and I can’t even tell you how many compliments I get when I wear it.”
So far, Coughlin has sold 73 items.
“Cost is determined based on a few things: the price and quality of a thrifted garment, the amount of time it takes me to create it and the price of the materials such as paint, embroidery thread and whether it requires tailoring,” Coughlin said.
She’s not stopping at apparel though. Coughlin plans to make accessories such as bags, shoes and earrings. She said she’s also got limited edition Halloween items in the works and will be releasing other holiday-themed pieces soon.
“I don’t follow fashion as much as you may think,” she said. “I just am really passionate about thrifting and minimizing buying new things. I customize items based on a customer’s personality and oftentimes that will birth a whole new design.”