Rachel & Claire started With Grace Couture when Claire got married. Well, technically after Claire got married.
Having met on a film set years before and having been best friends since, Rachel, a costume designer by trade, wound up helping with the wedding making Claire's bridal jacket and 'enjoying' the inevitable late night stresses and panics involved with planning a wedding from Claire.
Having a 6 year old niece who made it very clear she wished to be the flower girl, Claire wanted a very traditional, but also alternative, dress for her to wear. Nothing on the high street would do and Claire couldn't find anything in the style she wanted at a price she could afford.
Cue Granny Annie (who makes and designs all of our custom made knit wear), Claire's Mum. Ann made the flower girl dress and it looked lovely.
A few months went by and eureka struck one afternoon. After some careful research and a good few questionnaires, Claire and Rachel decided to launch With Grace as a business providing affordable but quality custom made flower girl dresses which could be designed by the customer and then hand made by Rachel right here in the UK.
Rachel has been working as a freelance costume designer and maker of bridal and evening wear for many years in Sydney and now in London. She has a degree in costume design and a diploma in costume making. She has worked on many productions such as 'The Taste' and 'The Butterfly Tattoo' which recently earned her a first set of laurels.
Claire started out with a BA in Classics and went on to an MA in Filmmaking from the London Film School. After working freelance for a few years she fell in love and moved to Oxfordshire. She now works for the NFWI Denman where she also tutors courses in film icons and, randomly, Downton Abbey.
Both of them like Georgette Heyer novels, costume dramas and red wine.
Neither one of them likes having their picture taken.