Handmade Artist: Hannah of Icing 101

I love featuring handmade sellers who are passionate about their crafts, and this is one of the reasons why I created Wedding Handmade.  Today, I am excited to introduce you to our first featured Handmade Artist on this  blog.  Hannah Irlbeck is the talented artist behind Icing 101.

Handmade Artist Hannah

Based in Wisconsin, USA, Hannah designs and creates different kinds of bridal accessories such as headpieces, shoe clips, veils, sash, boutonnieres, luxe garters, masks, and other adornments.  She’s a happy stay-at-home mom because she gets to personally take care of her 4-year old son, as she  fills her shop with all sorts of prettiness.  And so, without further ado, let’s get to know more about Hannah.

floral bridal accessories 2

Could you tell us a bit of the story on how the business started?

It actually started with a fun little project on making fabric flowers. I went through a flower craze and then I started getting interesting ideas about what to do with all these flowers, so I decided to see if I could sell them and things just developed from there!

bridal accessories

Why the shop name?

A lot of my interesting ideas come to me while I lay awake at night, that’s when the name came to me…. the “icing” part is easy to understand, think of yourself as a cake and the icing is the finishing touch of course.Every girl needs a little icing, especially on special occasions.

The “101” is a reference to school…. I love the idea of studying beauty and the names of my first items were inspired by classical paintings ( like “study in grey and white” which were white and grey bobby pins) my shop combines these ideas.

icing 101 handmade with love

What are your inspirations?

I’m inspired by things I love…..nature, old movies, all things vintage, anything really can trigger a new design or idea.

Do you personally create the items in your shop?

Yes, I do! This a is one woman shop right now so I personally work with my brides, make the orders, answer all the e-mails, run the shop, do the packing/shipping, and anything else that might come up.

leaf bridal crownLeaf crown bridal halo {buy here} {first seen here}

What takes the longest time and the most difficult to create?

Right now I think the most complex item in my shop is the yellow Leaf Crown, I actually gathered real leaves to use as patterns. I made every single leaf on it by hand…..dying the different fabrics, painting the leaves with speckles to get a more realistic effect and then wiring each one and making it into the crown—super intense!

May we have a peek at the process?

Of course! This is a recent custom order I created with a bride. She needed a special flower sash to compliment her vintage gown, I love that she wanted to go bold with color. I hand dyed/painted these silk fabrics for her, then cut the fabric into petals and assembled the flowers.

icing 101 creative process1

I sewed a pretty combination of pearls and crystals for the flower centers and made a mix of feathers and vintage style velvet leaves to finish it off.

icing 101 creative process4

icing 101 creative process3

My normal designs usually start off with an idea sketch, then I start dragging out my fabrics and materials…..when I am creating it usually looks like a tornado has gone through my workspace.

icing 101 creative process

What do you love most about what you do?

I love having the flexibility of being my own boss, designing my own “collections” is pretty amazing, working with brides—I am very grateful to be doing something I love.

Is there anything you dislike about running your own shop?

There are always going to be problems when you run your own business– when things are busy finding time to get everything done can make me frazzled OR if things are really slow it can feel like I might never make another sale again. The uncertainty of things can cause extra stress!

Hannah from Icing 101

Businesswise, what was the biggest challenge you’ve encountered so far and how did you get over that?

I learn and work by a process of trial and error, there have been many different challenges (some of which I haven’t overcome yet). I guess I’d say it just takes time to figure it out, it would be great to go back in time and tell myself 4 years ago how to run my business…it would have made the transition much smoother, but since that’s impossible I just muddled through!

Over the past couple years my skills have really improved in my design ability and the way I run my business, there is always room for improvement though! Whatever challenge in business or life you just have to pick yourself up and keep trying.

Hannah of Icing 101

What are your personal favorites from your shop?

I have a lot of favorites because I only make things that I like! My top “favorite” list is always revolving as I make new designs. The really special, time consuming, dramatic designs do hold a special place in my heart.

Icing 101 bridal headpieceGatsby halo bridal headpiece crown {buy here}

It is such an amazing feeling to take a sketch or idea and actually construct something with your own hands that is just what you hoped it would be.

Icing 101 shoe clip and sashWing feather shoe clips {buy here} ; Luxe layered rhinestone and pearl bridal sash {buy here}

What are the most popular items right now?

Right now my cake arrow is really popular, a lot of my shoe clips, the “Lovely” rhinestone and pearl sash, and my leaf crown.

Icing 101 cake topper

What tip would you give for couples who are about to tie-the-knot?

Don’t wait until the last minute with any of the planning/wardrobe details, I find that the brides who are planning ahead are much less stressed, receive fewer disappointments, hassle, and added expense. Plus I sleep better if I’m not worrying if your order is going to arrive on time!

Icing 101 bridal

Did you like the interview?  You’re welcome to leave a comment for Hannah, and if you enjoyed looking at all these pretty things, visit Icing 101at Etsy, or like the shop on Facebook to stay updated.

icing 101 bridal accessories

Thank You So Much, Hannah!

3 thoughts on “Handmade Artist: Hannah of Icing 101

  1. This is awesome Hannah! Im so proud of you! Keep up the great work! We love seeing all your amazing creations.
    ~Willow + Tristan

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