St. Matthews Resident Lacy Walters Discusses Fashion and Her Approach to Design
Who among us hasn’t experienced a time when we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do in our lives? Where we wanted to go, what kind of an impact we wanted to make – how do we make these things happen, and where might the inspiration come from?
Entrepreneur Lacy Walters has a similar story.
Born and raised in the Louisville area, Walters was a cross-country athlete at Oldham County High School for three years. Upon graduation in the early 2010s, she began studying marketing at the University of Kentucky but soon found her way to the world of merchandising, apparel and textiles.
“I have always been into clothing since I was a little girl, and I remember taking a big interest in high school as I found myself never wanting to have the same clothing as everyone else,” Walters says. “I’ve always had that way about me, to be a little different.”
While in college, Walters knew she wanted to have a business to call her own, so she changed coursework in the second semester of her freshman year to merchandising, apparel and textiles.
“While I was learning a lot about the business side of fashion, I needed to learn about the creative side of it as well,” she says.
How does one learn the creative side of business? One way is to simply start creating, and that is exactly what Walters did.
“During Thanksgiving break I took advantage of a Black Friday sale and bought a sewing machine, and I started to experiment with making bags and pillows,” she says.
With no prior training on a sewing machine, much less creating new articles of clothing, Walters practiced with material scraps before perfecting the designs for her functional wares.
“Eventually I started to create clothing,” she says. “Some friends saw what I was making for myself and expressed interest in purchasing some of my designs. It was because of this interest that I opened up an Etsy shop. This is what eventually led to my own website and the beginning of my business, Sunday Fashioner. While I was doing well with my Etsy shop, I would occasionally set up a table at the pop-up night markets on Friday and Saturday, or at Market 301 in Lexington. Fortunately and unfortunately, I have not had the time to do that as I once did, so I’ve not done many markets since college. Luckily I am kept happily busy through the orders that I receive off of my website.”
Where does the name Sunday Fashioner come from?
“I consider my fashion to be what is referred to as slow fashion, not fast,” she says. “Fast fashion is the kind of clothing that one may find at large department stores like H&M, Forever 21 or Target. It is the kind of clothing that doesn’t have a lot of quality or durability in its composition. On the other side of the coin, slow fashion, which I specialize in, is the production of apparel that is long lasting, and allows us to consume less, invest in ethically sourced material and, in a way, have attire that is timeless. That’s the nod to Sunday.”
What about the “Fashioner” part of the name?
“Fashioner means to make or give shape to something,” Walters says. “Most of the products that I currently sell are pieces I made and wore for years before ever selling them on my site.”
Where does the inspirational side of designing and making clothes come from?
“To be honest, the inspiration just pops in my head,” she says. “While I am truly drawn to minimalism and clean designs, which would be clothing without zippers and/or hardware, there’s not really a particular source from where that inspiration is derived from, other than for me to create simple and affordable attire in as quick a manner as I am able. When you look at my website you will see that my color scheme is rather muted – white, black, classic blue, beige and nude. These are all colors that are always in fashion and style, and make for a perfect base for your wardrobe.”
While the types of clothing out in the world vary, Walters focuses mostly on staples such as T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts and skirts.
“These are articles of clothing that many people use as a foundation of their attire,” she says. “I am truly a one-woman operation at this time. Orders come in on my site and the next step is to make a flat lay pattern. Once I’ve created the pattern, I start making samples and testing the fit of the product. From that point I do it all from cutting, sewing and packaging, all from my home.”
How about types of fabrics?
“I use mostly linen blends such as for the skirts and tank tops, but recently my biggest seller has been the pieces done with bamboo,” Walters says. “It offers such a beautiful and soft feel when wearing it.”
Walters says she is open to trying out additional types of material.
“Hemp is in my sights,” she says. “It is certainly a maligned product that holds a lot of promise. Currently, I get my material from around the country, having done research into the sourcing of these fabrics, but most of it comes from Pennsylvania if you can believe it.”
Walters says at this time, she is only able to offer small, medium and large sizes.
“Perhaps if one day I grow, with more employees than just myself, I may be able to expand on all of the choices,” she says. “I do wish to have that one day.”
Sunday Fashioner is certainly unique in its offerings and business model, but there is something else that sets this young business apart from others. Part of Walters’ proceeds from her clothing sales goes to organizations that work hard to fight against sex trafficking.
“I had heard of sex trafficking but didn’t think of it happening in the United States, let alone in Kentucky,” she says. “I read a book titled ‘A Harlot’s Cry: One Woman’s Thirty-Five-Year Journey Through the Sex Industry’ by Mary Frances, which told the story of a woman who was sex trafficked in Louisville for those number of years and how difficult it was for her to break free from that world. Upon reading this story it instantly opened my heart up to survivors of sex trafficking, and my want to show them love and compassion. Education is very important in the prevention of sex trafficking. We need to share with men and women what the dangers are and what to look for. I am glad that I am able to do what I can to help save those that have or may become a part of that world.”
Will we ever see a brick-and-mortar store for Sunday Fashioner?
“I love my e-commerce business,” Walters says. “I do love Crescent Hill and St. Matthews, and even the shops around NuLu, but I prefer working with my USPS mail person.”
When asked about downtime, Walters is very upfront.
“I am very strict when it comes to how I plan my days and prioritize my physical and mental health,” she says. “I do have a day job working for Limestone Financial, but I schedule time for laziness, exercise and Sunday Fashioner. I try to have a cutoff time of 10:00 to 10:30 each night. While I am grateful for the work, I do take Friday nights and Sundays off so that I may hang out with friends at a favorite restaurant or brewery, or even go water skiing or boarding.”
What is next for Walters and Sunday Fashioner?
“I’d love to take a trip to New York and Los Angeles and check out the garment and fashion districts,” she says. “A trip to Milan for fashion week sounds pretty nice too. Perhaps one day I can expand and hire workers, and attend more pop-up markets, but until then I am very happy to work from home, along with my 3-year-old cat Elsie, and provide the world with durable and sustainable fashion while helping to keep others out of harm’s way.”