Empowering women is what we're all about.

As a central value to Nora Swimwear, the blog is used to feature and celebrate women who are doing something they are proud of. 

Dee Silkie

Dee Silkie

As a central value to Nora Swimwear, the blog is used to feature and celebrate women who are doing something they are proud of. 

This week is Dee Silkie, a surface designer who brings people together by her head-turning silk fabrics, and her creativity. 

Have you ever wondered who creates the art work that goes onto shower curtains, tissue boxes, fabric, and rugs? That's exactly what Dee Silkie does (who recently changed her name from Dee Wilkie to Dee Silkie because she works with silk so much). A surface designer is the person who creates the art work on top of fabrics or surfaces. She specializes in textile designs, and her biggest dream is to become a household name. 

 Photographer: Mag Hood, Model: Kayley Reed

Photographer: Mag Hood, Model: Kayley Reed

So you're a 26-year-old surface designer, what exactly do you make?

 Right now I have been playing a lot with silk yardage.  I hand dyed and/or screen print silk and then collaborate with other designers to make virtually anything you can imagine.  In the past two years I have helped create multiple dresses, crop tops, maxi skirts, throw pillows, scarves, high fashion pieces, and men’s silk ties.

 What products do you currently sell? And where do you sell them? 

My most current line is a line of throw pillows that were a collaboration with myself and a local Syrian refugee family.  Each pillow has a word on it such as hope, love and dream in English on one side and Arabic on the other.  We also have pillows with no Arabic writing on them, but with a really nice bohemian styled motif on the back which features a jasmine flower in the middle.  (Jasmine is Syria’s national flower.)

We sell these at the cutest little consignment store on Main street called Whimsy.  You could get lost in there with all the cool trinkets and handmade goodies they carry.

What is your day job?

Currently I work full time at Skillsoft, which is an e-learning company.

 Photographer: Stephanie Lane, Model:  Athenais Testi

Photographer: Stephanie Lane, Model: Athenais Testi

How do you balance working at your day job, and pursuing your dream?

Sometimes balancing my day job and pursuing my dream can be a struggle.  I try to stay focused by writing on my blog every week.  I write about all of the current projects I have on the go, as well as tips and tricks to help stay motivated and focused.  Writing this down helps me realize how far I have come, and helps me stay motivated to keep going.  It also helps that I have an incredibly supportive husband and a good group of friends who really support me and what I do.  Without them I think I would lose my mind.

Who inspires you the most?

Kim Kardashian.  I don’t care what anybody says, she is the ultimate girl boss.

Where do you work the best?

In my notebook.  Because I do not have a formal office space or studio, I pretty much work wherever I can find space.  I also travel a lot for shoots.  The one thing that stays consistent is my notebook.  I carry it around with me in my purse, so if I ever get an idea, or need to write down a thought it is right there at any time.

  Photographer: Stephanie Lane, Model:   Athenais Testi

Photographer: Stephanie Lane, Model: Athenais Testi

Who have you collaborated with?

I have been so fortunate to work with some really great people and brands.  In the past year I have worked with Wear Your Label, Sarah Hunt (from Lifetimes Dance Moms), Foxbrook Lipstick and Fredericton Tourism.  I also have a really cool project in the works right now that will be a secret until further notice, but keep checking my blog and hopefully it will be posted sometime in November.  

What’s your superpower?

My super power is bringing people together and using everyones strengths to benefit a project/situation. I have a talent for picking collaborative groups and making sure that other peoples super powers are highlighted.

FAVOURITES 

 Favourite fall drink:

Thanksgiving blend from Starbucks – black.

 Favourite holiday:

CHRISTMAS!!!  My family always goes all out at Christmas time.  Every year on Christmas Eve my sister and I get presents from “the elves”.  My parents still to this day deny the presents are from them, and insist it was the “elves” that brought them.

 Favourite place to relax:

On a beach, with a beer in one hand and a good book in the other.

Favourite bikini from the Nora Swimwear Peace Collection (Salem or Olivia)

This is such a hard question to answer!!  Both colours are super in this season, and I would wear both.  I would say I probably like the colour of Salem more, but would wear Olivia to go with my green eyes.

* Cover photo by Kelsey Schroeder 

Emma Chapple

Emma Chapple

Catherine Millen

Catherine Millen