SBCC student uses passion for fashion to design rave clothing

Claire Kimball applies glue on the tags for a set of choker necklaces on Thursday, Dec. 2 at Santa Barbara, Calif. Kimball sells her jewelry on her website and promotes the pieces on Instagram.

Jenna McMahon, Staff Writer

With needle and thread in hand, Claire Kimball combines two of her favorite things — making clothes and raves.

Kimball was taught to sew by her mother and grandmother when she was younger, but it wasn’t until this past year that she really took to sewing and started her own line.

“I started the line [@sugarbearz.shop] doing custom orders for people, then I realized that I had so many more ideas,” Kimball said.

Kimbal’s main goal is to grow her clothing lines into a career. Not only does she love to create, but Kimball enjoys the connections she’s made along the way.

“If I could just make this a thing, then I would do that. I really love doing the custom orders and things like that. I’ve gotten to meet some unique individuals who are involved in all different industries,” She said. “All these people are super nice, super talented and have so many great ideas. It’s really fun to work with them.”

After purchasing a sewing machine for herself, Kimball started consulting with one of her friends about the idea of expanding her line.

“She’s actually my neighbor. She came over one day with the idea of making harnesses, durability for raves and festivals basically,” City College student Jasmine Phouvathanith said. “Being able to party in it without it dismantling on you and still looking good. I worked with her on ideas and execution.”

Phouvathanith purchased some of Kimball’s items herself and is happy with how they turned out.

Claire Kimball sews seams onto a bucket hat on Thursday, Dec. 2 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Kimball learned how to sew from her mother and grandmother, but got back into the art during the pandemic. She was recently accepted into FIDM — the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.
Claire Kimball sews seams onto a bucket hat on Thursday, Dec. 2 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Kimball learned how to sew from her mother and grandmother, but got back into the art during the pandemic. She was recently accepted into FIDM — the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.
(Jenna McMahon)

“Very very proud honestly, it’s quite impressive,” Phouvathanith said. “After she got a sewing machine the quality just shot right up and she works fast. She can spit out her collars that she makes in like 40 minutes. I highly recommend buying some.”

Once the pair had tested the raver fashion on themselves they started collaborating on finding ways to market the items.

“I’m working on marketing right now, I got a website,” Kimball said. “After I get some things sorted out, I’m looking to partner up with a certain individual who wants to work with me and kind of sponsor me to be using higher-end materials.”

Kimball and Phouvathanith are looking to get into business together so they can have even more fashion and design opportunities. Kimball was also recently accepted into FIDM — the Fashion Institute of Design & Marketing. 

“We were going to do a split store of me repurposing clothes I have and then adding accents to it, chains, metals, whatever we have and have a clothing side apart of the shop,” Phouvathanith said. “Then we were also going to offer services of dressing people up as well in her things and in my things, so we’ll have accessories and shoes. We’ll have a whole store of everything you need for a rave outfit.”

Phouvathanith said they need a seller’s license to open up shop, so they need to do that before anything else. To make this dream a reality there are lots of steps they have to take in order to be successful.

“One step at a time, I want to be able to find an angel investor as well,” Phouvathanith said. “I actually have a few lined up. I just have to do it.”