Bottern pursues passion via APB Designed
February 5, 2019
Lexi Bottern, recent SPA alumni (class of 2016) and sophomore at University of Wisconsin Madison, took her creativity and savvy technology skills to launch her new brand APB Designed. On December 16, 2018, Bottern introduced her Instagram page which features customized jackets, shoes, jeans, bags, and more through her paint, embroidery, beading, and patches. In the first month of her process, Bottern has racked up over 100 followers and has even been working on expanding her business by adding a website.
Q&A with the owner of APB Designed Lexi Bottern:
What does your process look like?
My process can start one of two ways. One way is I find an item and design it how I want to and customers can order without having to think about what designs they want to be done to the item. The other (and often more fun) way is a customer will reach out to me either with an item they already own or they are hoping to get and together we decide what would go best on it. This is easiest with school spirit or sorority items but the customer’s fun ideas are what makes the collaboration so special. Once the design has been chosen, I outline what I’m going to do and then clean the space and put down a coat of rubber cement. This seems super random, but it helps the paint adhere to the various materials. After that, I just start painting! Or embroidering, distressing, beading, etc.
What would you say to SPA students who are looking to have you design something for them but might be nervous?
Definitely reach out!! I’m currently creating a website where the ordering process won’t feel as intimidating, but for now, Direct Message on Instagram works best. Just say hello and what you’re looking to have done and we’ll go from there. There’s a lot of really talented artists who make similar things and I love trying to figure out how they made their pieces. I usually screenshot a few of my favorite posts from the week and make a mood board in Photoshop to see what sort of styles and designs I’m into at the time. If you let me know you’re from SPA, I’ll also take 15% of off your order.
What are your goals for ABP Designed?
Once the website gets started and I can tell what items are the most popular, I would love to have an inventory of products to streamline the time that it takes to personalize items.
What has been your favorite thing that you have designed?
My favorite thing that I’ve done so far actually isn’t finished yet! I have a pair of rag & bone skinny jeans that I removed the back left pocket off and replaced with an embroidered maroon star. There’s a photo of the jeans in the works on my Instagram. I love finding ways to make each object stand out and these jeans feel super unique.
Do you plan on expanding to other types of clothing other than jeans?
Yes! I currently have a few sweatshirts that I’m working on right now and there is a possibility of getting a hot press machine to customized T-shirts and other softer cotton pieces of clothing.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Instagram for sure. There’s a lot of really talented artists who make similar things and I love trying to figure out how they made their pieces. I usually screenshot a few of my favorite posts from the week and make a mood board in Photoshop to see what sort of styles and designs I’m into at the time.
Lexi hopes that where she is at will inspire many students, as customizing clothes is not something she could see herself doing as a high school student. “I definitely was not that creative in high school. I never took an art class and the most artistic things I made were posters for sporting events or decorations for SAC events. It’s fun being able to try something new and be supported along the way! If you’re thinking about trying something new, just go for it, you’ll be surprised how receptive people are!”
Bottern encourages everyone to reach out and customize whatever they want- she’s really open to anything. “Don’t see what you want on the Instagram? Direct message me and we’ll make it happen,” Bottern said. Check out APB Designed’s Instagram page to see more examples of the clothing she can produce and later for more information on her website.