{Interview} Caggie Dunlop ~ ISWAI & Made In Chelsea

If you don’t follow me on Twitter then you’re missing out you may not know that I am a huge fan of Made In Chelsea, a British reality show similar to The Hills that, rumor has it, will be airing in the US in the near future.

Catherine “Caggie” Dunlop

If you’re comparing Made In Chelsea to The Hills, then Catherine “Caggie” Dunlop is most certainly Lauren Conrad’s counterpart. The first two seasons of Made In Chelsea follow Caggie’s will-they/won’t-they relationship with Spencer, and Caggie seems to be the link connecting the various cliques of Chelsea’s social elite. 

Unfortunately, the Caggie and Spencer drama will find it’s resolution off camera, as 2 episodes into season 3, Caggie has left Made In Chelsea. Fortunately, however, she left so that she can focus on her singing career (and she’s really good), and to launch the first line in her clothing collection – It Starts With An Idea (ISWAI) – which went live online last week.

Caggie was awesome enough to take a few minutes and answer some questions I had for her about ISWAI, and she was also gracious enough to let me throw in some questions about Made In Chelsea

Click “read more” to read the interview! 
(Note: Per usual, I’ve included Caggie’s answers verbatim and in their entirety with no editing.)

{The Blogtini} When the site went live the other night, I logged in to check out the merchandise (love it, by the way!) and followed the activity on Twitter. It seems your site kept crashing! And your web manager was “in a corner crying.” How did it feel to know the interest was so high that your site couldn’t keep up with the traffic? That’s a pretty big feat in today’s technological world!

{Caggie} I know! I mean, we really tried to prepare for a lot of traffic, but it was just the sheer number of people going on it at one time, that was making it crash. But it’s great, to know that there is interest, even if there were tears, the overall experience was definitely a sign of encouragement.

{The Blogtini} Can you walk us through the process of starting your own collection? 
Obviously, It Starts With An Idea, but how did you go from “idea” to “reality?” And if you had to give aspiring entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?

{Caggie} Well I came up with the concept, lay out the themes, went through thousands of applicants, and picked my favourites based on their own individuality and style and flare. Then we all got together to discussed future plans, got to know one another. I got the t-shirts made here in the UK, firstly getting samples, which I wore regurlarly for a month to make sure the fabric and material was good. The whole thing’s been in the works for quite some time, so it’s incredibly satisfying that it’s all coming together. My advise to any entrepreneur, is have a clear vision. There’s little room for ambiguity, people won’t be inclined to get on board if there isn’t a clear message. It took me a while to work this out. Also be tough. Value yourself. There are a lot of snakes out there so be careful who you trust!  

{The Blogtini} Currently ISWAI boasts a great t-shirt line, created through the collaboration of 5 designers (yourself included) – are there any plans to expand your collection to other clothing items or accessories, or are you content with t-shirts for now? {Editorial Note: The link I included is a link to the shop, where you can view and purchase Caggie’s design!}

{Caggie} I want to expand quickly yes, not so quickly because that might dilute the brand. T-shirts are a great starting point. But I am doing jewelry, which will launch soon. And also dresses, shirts…I want to do all sorts of stuff.

With the exception of the one you designed yourself, which shirt would you say is your favorite?

{Caggie} I shouldn’t really say, but I love Michael Robinson’s – the rebellion one.{Editorial Note: The link I included is a link to the shop, where you can view and purchase Michael’s design!}

Now, for anyone who already is a fan of Made In Chelsea, here are the MIC-specific questions I posed:

{The Blogtini} MIC Question: Who was the first person approach to do the show that actually signed on? I’ve read (and always assumed) that it was you, but I read somewhere recently that it was actually Amber. And I read somewhere that Hugo is actually the person who came up with the idea for Made In Chelsea and shopped it to networks, is that true?

{Caggie} Amber was the first yes, and Francis I believe. Spencer and Hugo have wanted to do a show like this for years, so that’s also sort of true. I was in fact the last person to sign on. I started filming before I’d even signed actually! 

{The Blogtini} MIC Question: How much of what we’re seeing is actually reality, and how much of it is staged? I know that Lauren Conrad has said numerous times that The Hills was real situations that were simply filmed and staged a little (i.e.: something would happen between the cast, and the producers would ask them to re-hash the conversation on camera. Or the producers would send a text to a cast member during filming to have them ask someone else a specific question – putting the other person on the spot so the conversation was authentic.) When watching MIC it seems that it’s similar to the second scenario – you all are asked to show up somewhere and don’t know who will be there or why, and then one person launches the topic. 

{Caggie} I wouldn’t want to ruin the magic of the show by revealing its secrets! There are methods used to create certain situations, it doesn’t take a genius to work that out, but I wouldn’t want to go into the finer details…it’s probably better if you don’t know to be honest!

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