Blog

Dreaming, designing and delivering.

I’ve dreamt for forever about filling my retail store Hayley Joy, and my online store hayleyjoy.com with fabric prints, that have beautiful vertical ob art lines, that would draw the eye down, creating dramatic skimming illusions. As a Plus size Fashion designer, and a Plus size woman myself, those are the lines that make perfect sense for Plus size styles.

Cerise and a Black Raindrops, Miracle Shape top.

Nobody ever listened and it was always one of my great frustrations…until I took genuine control of my entire process, and started designing my own fabric prints. Now I’m buried in the most incredible design journey, and I have to remember to enter the real world occasionally. My whole way of designing and planning has shifted, and I love that with access to all the incredible technology that we’re surrounded by, I can realise my need, want and passion.

Cerise and Black Raindrops fabric designed and printed by Hayley Joy.


Being able to create a picture with different shapes, on an iPhone, and then take it on an editing journey through a bunch of smart apps, and come out with these results, really cements for me how privileged I am. 

Random shapes manipulated into the Coral and Navy Raindrops print, designed and printed exclusively for Hayley Joy.


I’ve completed a collection of fabrics called Abstract Raindrops whereby I created these long ob art line illusions in all the colours that you my wonderful clients have asked for. From pretty Pinks and Mints, to Corals and Navy, and finally to dramatic Cerise and Black, this collection is a very important one for me. Firstly because you have all reacted and responded with so much love for what I’m producing, and secondly because it proves that absolutely EVERYTHING is possible.

Abstract Raindrops print for Miracle Shape tops, designed and printed exclusively for Hayley Joy.


Always feel free to send me suggestions, you are all very, very much a part of this incredible journey.

You can email me at info@hayleyjoy.co.za

❤️ Hayley

Now you can challenge me, as I climb out of my dark colour, comfort zone.

In the 10 years that I’ve been operating Hayley Joy retail, there is nothing that I’ve dreaded hearing more, than the words, “My daughter is getting married, and I need something in Champagne colours”. Those shades are never forgiving for Plus sizes, and because I work primarily in stretch fabrics, I really struggle to perform an illusion Miracle with Champagne shades…until now of course.

Candles, my colour inspiration.


Being in complete control of my fabric design journey, has enabled me to start experimenting with creating my own colours and prints, so when my first challenge for those colours walked through the door, I felt no dread. The client needs an outfit in Champagnes, pink, beiges, creams etc. Usually I would have declined the order, and apologised saying that I don’t make anything in those shades, but now that I can take a photo on my iPhone, and create any design I can dream of, no request is too daunting for me.

iPhone art on my phone.

Using her as my first ‘those colours’ challenge, I designed a print for her, printed a sample and had Hayley Joy production make me the first Champagne colours samples. I am sooooo incredibly excited to be able to step up to this challlenge. The relief that I saw on the clients face, was enough to inspire me to start creating more fabrics in lighter colours.

Exclusive Champagne Pink fabric print created and printed by Hayley Joy.

Hayley Joy, Plus size, Miracle Bon Bon camisole and Stretch Mesh jacket.


Colours that were once taboo for me, now inspire me on a whole new level, and open up many new possibilities for my fabric design journey, as well as for Hayley Joy retail and Hayley Joy online. I took a photo of some candles at my favourite gift shop, Firehouse, in the centre where my store is. I created the colours, then manipulated the print on my iPhone, using many of my favourite apps. I printed this print called Champagne Pink, on Bon Bon, which is a wonderful stretch fabric, as well as on beautiful soft mesh. The result is inspiring for me, these colours and a cleverly designed print, work perfectly on all shapes and sizes, which is always my number one priority.

Plus size, Miracle Bon Bon dress and matching Stretch Mesh jacket, designed, printed and manufactured by Hayley Joy.

❤️ Hayley

I dreamed it, I designed it, and now you can wear it.

I created a Plus size collection, from a simple photo that I took of a Double Delight Rose.

A beautiful Double Delight rose in a vase at Glendas restaurant.
One the highlights of my fabric design journey has been learning how to manipulate my iPhone photos into prints that are purposefully designed with Plus size shapes in mind. Having been frustrated for so long at the lack of appropriate prints, this is like finding the pot of gold. Being able to create interesting vertical lines that are a kind of a stripe, but not really a stripe, means that I’m now not only creating flattering lines, but I’m also creating illusions. 

Double Delight masked Rose and manipulated print.

Double Delight rose and fabric print designed from it.


So to the journey of the Rose. There is a wonderful eatery that has opened up across the road from where my store is, called Glendas’s. It’s owned and run by Glenda herself, and the food and ambience are just perfect. She has a long table in a quiet corner, that is my favourite place to sit. I go to meetings there, I do social there and I do lots of designing there to. On a visit there she had a huge glass case filled with an assortment of beautiful roses, but it was the beauty of the Double Delight Rose, that really caught my eye. It wasn’t the greatest photo, because the lighting isn’t great for photos, the restaurant was very full, and the vase stands in a high traffic area. One of the things I love most about iPhone photography is that it really doesn’t matter how bad the photo is, because there is always an app that can be used to resurrect it into something beautiful.

Glendas Double Delight rose masked in an iPhone app.

Masked Double Delight rose.


Designing a dress with a matching jacket, and a mix and match twinset, that can be worn casually as well as smart/casual is something that was paramount in my mind for this coming Summer ’17 season. So many of my Plus size clients need a dress for a day wedding which is in lighter colours. The aim with this print was to create something that was dark enough to flatter, and light enough to fill the continuous brief of no black to a day wedding. I put tiny bits of black in the initial build and they provided exactly what I saw in my mind. I really took this print to fabulous creative and technical levels, and the hugest advantage is, that I now know I can. 

Summer Miracle Shape long dress with matching Mesh Miracle point jacket.

Glendas Rose print Miracle Shape long dress with matching Miracle Mesh jacket.

 
Glendas Rose, Hayley Joy Miracle thick strap camisole, and Miracle Mesh jacket

Glendas Rose Miracle thick strap Camisole with matching Miracle Mesh point jacket.


I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to put into words that feeling of being in total control of the design process. I have taken huge design steps in the last six weeks and am gaining more and more confidence, as I see my life long dream all starting to come together.
❤️ Hayley

Glendas Rose print.

Hayley Joy Print Journey

When you dream about something for so long, and it comes true…that feeling!

Sewing thread in my four chosen colours.

Being able to design exclusive fabric prints for my Hayley Joy ladies clothing collections is a true dream come true, but the bigger dream is now starting to become a reality, and that’s the dream of being able to take a photo with a specific end goal in mind. The end goal in this case is to create a print in specific colours to compliment a jacket that I’ve designed so that it creates a complimentary mix and match. I wanted to use something that is fashion related so settled on the thread that we use in the factory all the time.

Thread photo ready to be manipulated.

 

The colours are the four colours that I want in the print, so let me take you on the journey to the final print. I took the photo into an iPhone app that creates old fashioned kaleidoscope type images. This would enable me to have a good spread of the colours.

iPhone App edit to create a kaleidoscope effect.

I then went into my favourite fractal app, took the kaleidoscope image and converted it to a fractal image. I created three fractals to see which one would convert to the final print. Creating fractals has become a real passion of mine. I love the results and I especially love how many different versions are achievable.

Fabulous Fractals.

 

Feather Fractal with end design becoming obvious.

The end result of this feather design is exactly what I set out to achieve, and I cannot wait to print it to see the final result. The best part about my chosen journey is that I get to design it and print it, so I can plan the whole process from start to finish, and achieve instant results. That is the ultimate dream come true!

A Hayley Joy exclusive fabric print.

Hope you enjoyed the journey ❤️ Hayley

 

Hayley Joy Blog Print Journey

Not because I’m clever, but because I’m soooooo damn determined!

Being able to share this print journey with you, from a photo taken by me on my iPhone, to a complete garment, is indeed a very special moment.

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Ordinary to Extraordinary.

This is a print journey that starts with an out of focus orange Gazania Daisy taken in my garden, and ends in a fabric print that I’m so incredibly proud of. I spent days figuring out a way to get to the final result, and I do think that I went to the moon and back…probably unnecessarily…but it was sooooo worth the result, considering I don’t really know very much about fabric design. What I do know though, is that you don’t have to be clever, you just have to be determined!

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Out of focus, Gazania daisy, about to embark on a very exciting editing journey.

So what to do with an out of focus photo? I’ve been incredibly lucky to be part of the iPhone Photography School, and have been introduced to so many amazing apps, that are available to us all via the App Store. As I was about to delete the photo, I changed my mind and converted the ‘bad photo’ to black and white. Violá, totally blown away, I loved that the sprinklings of pollen looked like glitter.

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Converted to black and white, now I’m sparkling.

Whilst playing around in numerous apps I tried a mosaic effect, but I realised that it’s very in your face, so I carried on experimenting, and then happened upon a grunge filter which was perfect.

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The journey to get to the mosaic print.

On my buying trips to Hong Kong, I used to see these kinds of prints, in these grunge colours, and I so yearned for somebody to import them into South Africa. I was just never able to get any of the importers to understand the need for these kinds of prints. Being able to design them myself, and print them, and then manufacture collections out of them, is down to pure determination.

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Grunge print.

I’m passionate about Roses and could quite happily put them on every future print. I took a photo of a beautiful pink rose in my garden, and put it through the same grunge process.

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Pink rose from my garden.

I then went on an editing journey that took a very long time, actually an insanely long time, because I’m such a perfectionist. I’ve come to realise though, that if I want perfection, I’m going to have to learn patience.

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From B&W to Grunge…because anything is possible.

Placing the roses perfectly in the lines of the mosaic was a mammoth undertaking, but I taught myself how to do it and this Grunge Rose print is the result.

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Dreamed by me, designed by me, printed by me…I love the sound of these words.

I’ve printed it in plain, and then I had some real fun with it in my numerous apps, and I came up with some fun prints by adding coloured hearts. Hearts and roses work really well for me, they make me happy.

Knowing that this process starts with a plain piece of white fabric, and in a couple of hours it’s printed fabric, and in another couple of hours, it’s a fabulous Plus size, Miracle shape top, makes me a very happy fabric designer, and an even happier fashion designer. I now have access to anything and everything I dream of, because if I dream it, I can now have it.

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Grunge print, Miracle shape top designed by Hayley Joy

 

❤ Hayley

Hayley Joy Blog

My year of juxtapositions…so far.

In conversation with a very dear client this week, she told me that I absolutely have to share my experiences so far in 2017, because there are so many people going through so much, and sometimes it takes somebody else’s experiences to put your own into perspective…so here goes…whew, and it’s only the middle of March!

2016 was a year of immense challenges both personally and as an entrepeneur. The world as we knew it shifted once again, and new challenges presented themselves. Personally I was dealing with watching my beloved father dying a very slow death in front of me. Watching the slow degradation really took its toll on me towards the end of 2016, and it was only my faith in focusing on the light, that enabled me to keep the darkness at bay.

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My words.

 

But then as life does, it always offers up two choices. I had embarked on a journey to realising my dream of designing and printing my own exclusive fashion fabrics, that would allow me to take my Plus size fashion collections to a whole new level, and that was my welcome diversion. I completely immersed myself in my great love which is all things fabric related. And so 2016 came to an end, and I was able to go away for 4 days and indulge my love for iPhone photography. I discovered a love for bugs and macro photography, and captured nature at it’s really ‘up close’ best.

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Totally in love with capturing the Bug World with my iPhone.

And into 2017 I came with an excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time. I went full steam into converting my iPhone photos into fabric prints, and on the 10th of February we printed our first samples of my exclusive designs. Realising my 25 year dream was a defining moment, and I came alive with a feeling that made me really excited. I rushed home after work to share my excitement, only to find that my Dad had taken a really bad turn. An hour later he died in front of us, and even though I never got to share my news with him, I knew that he had moved on, to release me to be able to go forth and give this new venture my all. It is a venture that will prove many things, because I’ve gone into it knowing very little, but am determined to take full advantage of the amazingly smart world we live in.

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A Rose captured, edited and transformed into an exclusive Hayley Joy fabric print.

On the 11th of February, 24 hours after my Dad passed on, my beloved mother tripped over a shoe and fractured her hip. At this stage you’re probably reading this going “what!!”, well I felt the same way as I stood looking at her lying on the floor. It is 5 weeks since her fall and I have been ‘nursing’ her, never having taken care of anybody on this level before. I’ve been asked so many times how I do it, and it’s a crazy thing, but there’s a side of you that kicks in and you just do it. As negative as the actual experience was, there are many positives that have come out of it, the most important one being reconnection. We had all become so disconnected whilst dealing with my Dad’s illness, and in a crazy twist, my Mom’s fall forced us all to reconnect.

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Reflections, reactions, reconnections.

They say that things happen in 3’s and I so hoped that it wouldn’t be true, but unfortunately we’ve been dealt another devastating blow. Three weeks ago my father in law was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer, and has been given four to six months to live. I’ve had to go from being supported to being the supporter.

I’m not one to question, so I’ve accepted that this is our journey in 2017, and our lives at the moment are filled with many juxtapositions. We live with tremendous sadness, and we live with tremendous excitement. The diversion that the excitement provides from the sadness, is one we will only truly understand in the months to come.

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Floral photography – my necessary diversions.

You’re probably asking how I’ve stayed upbeat and focused. My only advice is to find something that you can immerse yourself in when the going gets tough. I hope that your going is not as tough as mine has been, but my iPhone photography and iPhone editing, has been my absolute ‘sanity saver’.

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A Hayley Joy original fabric print inspired by all things floral.

Life as I knew it, is going to be forever changed in 2017, but I have a little toolbox in my head, filled with ‘life tools’ and I think I’m going to be calling on them a lot. Feel free to reach out if you need support.
❤ Hayley

Plain white fabric at 9am, print at 11am, Hayley Joy original at 1pm…dreams coming true.

I often used to joke that if I had my life over, I would have chosen fabric design rather than dress design, because my frustration in my line of work, has always been my inability to buy prints that I can see so clearly in my head.

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Quote I live by.

Being a Plus size myself, and designing for Plus sizes, means that I have a pretty good idea of what works in terms of prints.
My aim on my new fabric design journey, is to debunk the theory that Plus size women don’t do colour, and that they don’t do bold, because they do, and my sales statistics prove exactly that.

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Bold and colourful prints designed for a future Hayley Joy, Plus size collection.

So with my passion burning, I have realised my dream, and am designing and printing my own designs, that have been carefully thought through. I want to offer exclusive designs that have never been seen before, and I want extraordinary, because it’s time.

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Future fabric designs, designed by Hayley Joy.

It’s been a really interesting experience, because I’ve designed so many potential prints that have ended up being deleted. Having the luxury of being able to print a sample, and see the print before it physically goes into production, means that I have complete control over the quality and design of the print and the colours. I’m also able to test the market by making a sample first, and I’ve loved the response to the sample made up in this design. I’ve had to put a note on it saying “Sample only, not for sale!”

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Never ending possibilities.

I cannot even begin to explain the feeling I had two weeks ago, when I saw my fabric design dream come true.
I had plain white fabric at 9am, I had my own exclusive print at 11am and I had my first Hayley Joy original at 1pm.

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Hayley Joy shape top in Lime Green print with black mesh overlay.

This wonderful Lime Green print with so many design options makes me so proud. I spent a long time creating it, because I knew what I wanted.  I just had to teach myself how to create it.
There are no limits to dream and I’m dreaming very, very big.

❤ Hayley

Celebrating a life, rather than mourning a death.

img_1326On the 10th of February 2017 my 88 year old Dad passed away. It was not a life to be mourned, because that’s not what he would have wanted.

So how do I honour the man, who was so proud of my commitment to making a difference in the lives of Plus size women, and who had such a profound influence on my entrepreneurial journey. I spent the week after his death thinking about a lot of things, and the recurring message that kept coming through, was to celebrate his life, rather than to mourn his death.

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My Celebration of Life promotion.

 

I’m a great believer in the law of attraction, and live my life based on a simple philosophy of “do good, get good”. With this in mind, the Celebration of Life special came to be. In my Dad’s honour, I marked every piece of summer stock (old and new) down to R250, for one week, and oh my word, what a celebration it has been. This is how you honour and celebrate a life.

It’s only when you embark on a journey of giving on this scale, that you realise on a whole other level, how powerful the simple philosophy of the law of attraction, really is.

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I’m sharing with you messages from clients who are part of the Hayley Joy family, and have been a part of my Plus size journey for many years. Situations change, finances change, but what doesn’t change, is my desire to make Hayley Joy accessible to everybody, and this Celebration promotion allowed me to do just that.

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This gratitude is what inspires me, every single day.

The gratitude from my clients cannot be measured, it has been so overwhelmingly beautiful, and I know that my Dad is looking down knowing that he has truly been honoured.

❤ Hayley

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So many beautiful flowers from so many kind clients.

I’m taking full advantage of the incredibly smart world we live in.

A year ago I entered the world of online studying, and it proved to be life changing on so many levels. This week I entered that world again, and into day three I’m reflecting on how much my life has changed in a year.

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I chose to do an Online Digital Marketing course with Getsmarter, and I became enlightened as to how smart the world is, that we live in. One of the things that really stood out for me was the constant reference to ‘images are king’. It made perfect sense, that in a world where so much information is coming at us every second, the only thing that would stop us in our scrolling tracks, would be an amazing image.

With that knowledge in hand, I decided to sign up to a random online iPhone photography course, that completely changed my life. If like me you believe in the law of attraction, then this course epitomises all that I believe. One month into the course, I started designing potential future fabric prints, with all the new apps I’d been introduced to, and the incredibly generous advice that I was given by the members in the Facebook group. A whole new world opened up, and that very distant fabric design dream, started to not look so distant. In November last year I was introduced to the world of sublimation printing, and I saw my iPhone photos, that I’ve manipulated into fabric print designs, come to life.

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This course proves how smart technology really is.

Just over a year later I’ve signed up to study again. I’m now going to learn how to put the photos that I’ve taken, and edited, into proper print ready designs, so that I can produce exclusive fashion fabrics for Hayley Joy. I’ve seen the samples, and I feel like a kid whose been gifted a new toy, that is very, very clever. This world we live in is exceptional, we should all focus a little more on that, you will be blown away by what is at your fingertips.

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Future fabric prints designed by Hayley Joy.

I dream about filling Hayley Joy Shop, and Hayley Joy online, with the most sensational prints. By designing and manufacturing my own exclusive prints, I offer my loyal clientele the next level in Plus Size fashion, and that is exclusivity. Wherever you go in your Hayley Joy designs, you will stand out, because I’m going to now design the prints that we’ve all been dreaming about. No more lamenting about what we can’t have, now we can have anything and everything we dream about. If you want pink and purple with a touch of grey, I can create that. If you want a marble print (which is one print I’ve been dreaming about, and have never seen in South Africa), I can design it. The world of design is now my playground, and I am going to prove that there really are no limits to dream.

❤ Hayley

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I figured out my passion, which led me to my purpose.

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My passion is my purpose.

I deal with weight issues in every aspect of my life, I am overweight and I design and produce clothes for overweight women. There I have said it, and I didn’t cringe. It is what it is! So when I get asked this question ‘do you not get grossed out making clothes for fat women’…quoted exactly as said, I feel the need to clarify a couple of things and to address this issue.

I like to use the words Plus Size, when referring to my speciality. It has a neutral resonance.

No I don’t get grossed out at all, in fact the exact opposite, I am 1000 percent inspired, by my need to provide ranges of clothing that give plus size women, and in fact all size women, a range of clothing that is funky, fashionable and MOST importantly comfortable. I know that because I am a plus size myself, I really understand how it works.

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www.hayleyjoy.com/size-guide

Let’s play open cards here…none of us plus size women are going to be thin today, tomorrow or at the end of the month. We all battle our weight demons for different reasons. My sole purpose is to provide ranges of clothing that enable all shapes and sizes to feel fabulous…because, yes, believe it or not, us plus size chicks can feel fab, as long as we are comfortable, and are wearing clothing that we know have been genuinely designed with us in mind.

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Respectful labeling honouring a shape not a size.

When I opened Hayley Joy I only sized up to a 3XL, within a year I had started doing a couple of the styles up to 5XL, and then I realized that, actually, there was a very, very urgent need for 6, 7 and 8XL. This is the true forgotten market, these women have minimal or no access to any kind of fashionable clothing. It is a challenge on many levels to produce fashionable clothing in these sizes, but I would not be complete and fulfilled if I was to ignore this market. I have invested many long hours in developing styles that allow me to grade up to these sizes and after years of investment it is now truly starting to pay off. It is the most awesome feeling to put a new range into production and add in those sizes, so that when those size clients come in to the store, there are ready to buy pieces in their sizes. I couldn’t ever explain the amount of gratitude I experience from these sizes, it is the most rewarding feeling in the world, to know that I am changing women’s lives by simply going the extra mile with them in mind. So no, I am not, ever grossed out making clothes for ‘fat women.’

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Beautiful affirmation from a beautiful woman who I’m so proud to dress.

This message from a client, is my ultimate reward  and makes me so grateful to be able to make a living and a difference, whilst doing what I love sooooooooo much.

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www.hayleyjoy.com

 

❤ Hayley