Snowpaws is a regular supporter of Second Life® charity and fashion events and Carrie Snowpaw’s work is instantly recognizable for its classic forms, sumptuous fabrics and elegant styling. I think most people’s first thought when they think of Snowpaws are her lush formal gowns, but that does not do her justice as she has a deep catalog of fashionable daywear as well.
It’s Only Fashion: What was your first day in Second Life like? What made you stick it out through the learning curve?
Carrie Snowplow: My first day was probably similar to others. Amazement at what I saw around me, frustration that I couldn’t get my avatar to walk correctly or to stop walking into walls, that sort of thing. After overcoming some of those basic hurdles I found my way to a freebie store and started grabbing shoes and dresses and anything else that looked interesting. That was more than enough for a first day.
IOF: What’s the craziest thing you ever did in Second Life? Most exciting? Silliest?
CS: I think the most exciting thing I ever did was enter the One in a Million Designer Challenge in 2011. My store had been open for two years at that time and I decided it was time to challenge myself against other clothing makers out there in SL. I submitted outfits and photographs and make it to the grand finale. I didn’t win, but it was a huge boost to my confidence and it was great fun.
IOF: Is there a story you can share that captures your Second Life experience?
CS: The first time someone messaged me and and told me they liked an outfit I made was unforgettable. Since then others have contacted me to tell me they admire my work or to make suggestions. And every time it happens it makes me realize what a wonderful place Second Life is. As an artist I could never reach so many people with my work . Second Life allows my work to be enjoyed all over the world. That is an astounding thing.
IOF: When did you begin creating? What was the first thing you made. Did you save it? Did it work?
CS: I started learning to make clothing in 2008. It was a very steep learning curve for me and I didnt’ make anything I would consider selling for many months. The first thing I made that I would even consider showing to anyone was a t-shirt. I gave a copy to a friend and she paid me 30L and told me how wonderful it was. It wasn’t.
IOF: How did you choose your store name? Does it have a special meaning for you? If your stores is named after yourself, how did you go about choosing your avatar name?
CS: The store is of course my last name. I wasn’t trying to be cute or clever when I made my name. In fact I didn’t even think I would be around in Second Life very long so I didn’t put any thought into my name at all. If I had realized I would still be here all these years later I would have chosen more carefully. And if I had realized my store would still be around all these years later I certainly would not have named it Snowpaws.
IOF: What is the most challenging part of being a creator in Second Life? What is most rewarding?
CS: The most rewarding aspect of being a creator is that I can make virtually anything I want. The only l limits are my imagination and lack of software knowledge. And that of course is the most challenging part of being a creator. Keeping up with changing technology. When mesh was first introduced I had no knowledge of blender or even where to start. But the drive to learn and continue creating forced me to learn and keep up. And being to make my own mesh outfits now is something I am very proud of.
IOF: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? What is your process like?
CS: I get my inspiration from fashion magazines, people watching in real life and of course watching awards shows like the Oscars!
IOF: How do your first and second life design aesthetics resemble and contrast with each other?
CS: For a long time I was known for my big fluffy gowns. I do not wear those in real life. Sometimes I dress like the mesh outfits I make now, casual elegant dresses. But for the most part in real life I dress for comfort. Jeans, leggings. Jackets. I love jackets and my collection probably takes up half of my closet.
IOF: How would you describe your design aesthetic? Who is your customer – the person you are thinking of when you design?
CS: I create for myself. When I am making a dress I make something that I want to wear, that I think is pretty. My design aesthetic is feminine, elegant and sexy but not overly so. I think the flood of clubwear and slut wear in Second Life really is what helped to make my store successful in the beginning. Back in 2009 when I opened my store sexy clothing was everywhere. And I think elegant feminine clothing was a little difficult to find. So when I started offering outfits that were different from every other mall store women noticed.
IOF: How has your second life changed your first life?
CS: Second Life has definitely changed my first life for the better. I draw, paint, model in blender or work in some creative way every day now. I feel fulfilled as an artist and am thrilled that so many people enjoy my work.