ATLANTA — At age 10, Patricia Scanlon, owner of Veils by Patricia, entered her first fashion design contest, sponsored by the Girl Scouts. Although her yellow sundress didn’t win, it only served to inspire her desire to design.
Now, at age 38, after a stint as a lawyer, Scanlon finally entered into serious business. Her line of bridal veils makes its debut at the Atlanta Apparel Mart in April in the Alan Davidson showroom, 10N103.
Scanlon describes her handmade veils as “simple and elegant” and says they are for a bride who is looking for something understated. She loves working with silk roses and combines them with guipure lace, clear sequins and pearls in many of her designs. She currently has 28 styles in her collection, but also creates veils to order.
Scanlon says what makes her stand apart from other veil designers is that she takes hair style and length into consideration when creating veils. She has bun holder shapes, which are circular and fit around a bun, as well as a French twist holder, which is V-shaped and encases the updo. She also does small pieces that work well with short hair. “I think women are looking for more low-key looks than what’s currently available,” Scanlon explains. “That’s my niche in the market.”
She originally got her degree in graphic design/textile design from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She then went on for a law degree from Valparaiso University and pursued a law career. “I realized I wanted to have my own business. The law background helps a lot; I can combine my business sense with my creative sense,” she says.
Currently, her line sells in local Atlanta shops, including Bride Beautiful, Brittany Lee Bridal Collections and Trousseau & Co. She is planning to introduce 28 different styles at the Atlanta Market. The line ranges in price from $80 to $180 wholesale.
Scanlon says she is producing about 10 veils on average each week and is projecting sales of $100,000 for her first year in business. “Right now, I seem to get a new job every day. I just hired an assistant to help with production,” she says.
Even with competition from industry leaders such as Washington Millinery, Regalia Veils, Maria’s Veils and T&G, she isn’t worried. “I enjoy working with my hands and believe there is room for one more veil designer. The competition doesn’t scare me,” replies Scanlon.