Written by DY
At Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Sakura Matsuri, I had the pleasure of meeting Terryann Harding and her wonderful family. Terryann is the founder of Un-Re Designs: For the Un-written Re-write of fashion, which features J-Fashion (Japanese fashion) accessories and more.
At this spring’s Sakura Matsuri booth, with the help of her mother, sisters, niece, and friends, she sold unique accessories including rings, necklaces, hair pieces, top hats and more. Most notable were her carefully detailed tea set rings which are decorated with miniature tea cups and tea pots, and delicious looking desserts displayed on a mini tray. She got the ring inspiration after watching Kerli’s Tea Party music video.
Terryann’s passion for J-Fashion began with her alternative sense of style and fashion as a child. She dressed in black, listened to rock and watched CardCaptors. She’d been sewing and making things her whole life, so starting a fashion line came naturally. One of her earliest memories of making an outfit included old, black dress that was being thrown out by one of her family members; while in junior high, she altered the dress and hand sewed pearls to it to wear for her birthday.
After hand-making outfits and accessories for some time, Terryann started cosplaying around 2008. She also made outfits for her family and friends for special occasions, including cosplay costumes, comic book inspired work skirts for her niece and a Princess Serenity-inspired wedding dress for her sister; she also taught them how to sew and make cosplays on their own.
Eventually, she felt it made sense to start selling products.
“I just saw that people could sell at these events. And I was like, well, I make things and I like making things and I’m going to make these things whether I sell them. And at a certain point when you have twelve of the same ring, you are trying to sell them to people.”
Spring Fest was the first festival Un-Re Designs participated in, about four years ago. Ever since then Terryann have been working on expanding her festival and con presence in the Tri-State area.
Her collection is all inclusive, however, she particularly focuses on plus size at events carrying sizes from 30-inch waist to a30-inch bust upwards. Most conventions have a very small percentage, if any, that cater to plus sizes.
“Rather than giving the majority of people who are catered to more catering. I cater, at events, to those who don’t have that opportunity. That niche market. Big girls wanna look cute, too. But anything I make for a big girl, I am more than happy to make for smaller sizes.”
Terryann has been overweight since puberty and fully understands the frustration that can come with being plus size such as not being able to find cute things in your size and constantly being picked on at school.
Unfortunately, after constantly being told the weight gain was her fault and she needed to stop eating (even by doctors), Terryann learned her inability to lose weight was linked to PCOS or Polycistic Ovary Syndrome. After noticing suspiciously long periods, last year, thankfully, she visited an OBGYN who gave her the diagnosis so she can start taking care of the issue.
“For years we were like I’m an active person. I was very, very active, swimming, running, rock climbing, doing all these things, and the weight would not budge. And we didn’t know what was going on. And it was disheartening and upsetting and a lot of nights, weekends and days spent crying, not understanding what was wrong with me.”
PCOS is a common disorder which causes enlarged ovaries in women of reproductive age. Symptoms can include irregular or prolonged periods, thinning hair on the scalp, extra hair on face and body, and weight gain and trouble losing weight. If you or someone you know have these symptoms, please consult a doctor.
Terryann, however, didn’t let the diagnosis get her down. “So for me, it’s more than just you’re fat. It’s I’m fat but I have this situation that makes it harder to not be fat. And of course, even though I’m fat why shouldn’t I be fabulous.”
Terryann’s vision for the future is to one day have a brick and mortar boutique where there’s a regular assortment of amazing unique alternative plus size apparel and accessories.
Right now, Un-Re Designs is first offered at conventions. You can find a schedule at Un-Re.com for which events Un-Re will appear at next. The product can also be found at Terryann’s Etsy shop, UnResAttic. She is in the process of getting a more diverse set of fabrics that are cute and comfortable and work for everybody to expand the Etsy shop assortment.
Please check out Un-Re Designs at the following:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DY is an aspiring filmmaker and writer; she loves all genres but is increasingly becoming interested in writing fantasy and sci-fi. She’s also a martial arts practitioner; not a black belt yet, but getting there. When she’s not fighting, she’s spending all her time watching anime, movies, and reading comic books. Follow her on twitter @dyprinzess.
I am speaking on behalf of myself and my views do not necessarily reflect those of anyone else.