LISA Barton-Volney’s radiant personality is unforgettable. Her laughter alone can brighten a dull room and her genuine nature is a bonus. She walked into THE VOICE on Wednesday, with a smile plastered on her face and hands filled with cardboard boxes.
After saying quick hellos, our interview began; I connected with the renowned fashion designer almost instantly. Born in Trinidad, she recalls discovering her passion at an early age.
“I started at the age of nine. My sister used to sew when I was pretty young and I used to help her by running the elastic in peasant tops (stuff like that) and the interest grew,” she said to me cheerfully.
She continued: “When I went to school I chose Clothing and Textiles as opposed to typing and when I graduated I think that’s when it hit me (that I) could really do this. My graduating class wore my very first design. They (school) were accepting designs for our graduation dress so I submitted a design (after receiving encouragement from peers) and mine was chosen. I also got the award for the Most Dedicated Student for Clothing and Textiles (at Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive School).”
Although she’s “Trini to the bone” she loves Saint Lucia wholeheartedly.
“(I’ve been here for) 27 years. (Saint Lucia) reminds me so much of Tobago, I guess I always felt at home. I lived in Gros Islet first and when I woke up I got the scent of Cedar trees so that reminds me of my mother’s home in Tobago,” she said.
“I’ve done a lot of travelling under the belt of Saint Lucia. I’ve represented Saint Lucia in Trinidad, Barbados, St. Vincent, New York at Caribbean New York Fashion Week, Suriname (and more) and it has always been a joy to do that,” Lisa, Creative Director and Manager of fashion brands ‘De Kloze Line’ and ‘De Zip Code’ added.
The aforementioned brands features some of her best designs and persons can find some of the most unique pieces there.
“For the past three years I have introduced ‘De Zip Code’ at the Saint Lucia Taiwanese Trade Expo and since then I’ve been promoting (it) as an additional part of ‘De Kloze Line’ umbrella. ‘De Zip Code’ is a collection of jewellery made from zips,” the designer stated.
From “bridal to bedsheets” you can get it all at ‘De Kloze Line’.
“I started off with school uniforms because my friends’ classmates used to ask me to make their skirts to go to school and then it moved to casual wear; formal wear took off when I came to Saint Lucia,” she said.
She’s well-known in pageantry circles and has received a number of awards for her work. Amongst them, Best Wob Dwiyet (Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Pageant) Best Evening Wear (various local pageants) and Seamstress of the Year (St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association).
Lisa, who describes herself as “meticulous” commits to her job fully.
“I want (persons) to see the creativity in ‘De Kloze Line’ and ‘De Zip Code’; what goes into creating a product and the fact that most of the times especially for ‘De Zip Code’s larger pieces, you actually have a one-of-a-kind piece, you’re not going to see anybody else in it (and) that’s a selling feature for me. I want them to realize that it’s not just me that’s creating it; I have a Creator who gave me this talent and I’m willing to share it with people,” she said.
She loves the Lord and believes that all her inspiration comes from God.
“He is forefront in my life; once you lean on God and put Him first then everything else just falls in place,” Lisa revealed.
I couldn’t agree more. We spoke passionately about our love for Jesus our eternal Saviour and it truly made me smile.
“Even my pastor has asked me what can your profession do for the church—not Streams of Power Ministries but the ecclesia on a whole and I did a business card, so at the front I have ‘De Zip Code and ‘De Kloze Line’ but at the back I have Joshua 1: 8 and 9. The gist of the message is to focus on the book of God, go through (it), meditate on (it) morning and night and He will make your way prosperous because He never (leaves) us nor (forsakes) us,” she added.
Although she’s received a number of accolades, Lisa states that becoming a Christian is her “greatest accomplishment” to date. That, I believe, will never change.
Follow Lisa on Instagram: ‘De Zip Code and ‘De Kloze Line’