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Picture a forest scene and a beautiful woman dressed in silk and glistening jewels. Gliding gracefully through the moonlit wood she reaches an opening just in time to catch a glimpse of a handsome stranger dressed in….well, you get the story, girl meets boy and all that shabang. Well, guess what, it doesn’t have to be a fairy story, that girl can be YOU… with a little imagination and a large helping from Andromeda Raine.

Harriet Gausman: For those who do not know, how long have you been in SL and when did your business begin?

Andromeda Raine: I came to Second Life 4th January 2005, and started creating February. Tattoos are where I began.

Harriet Gausman: Butterfly Island is an incredibly beautiful place. What has been your inspiration behind its development?

Andromeda Raine: Thank you! It has grown over a period of time, lots of changes and designing to get to where it is today. I am a fan of Carrie Grant’s work, so you’ll find a lot of the landscaping came from her.

Inspiration? Lord of the rings, The Secret Garden, you know… those movies and books with the beautiful magical forgotten forests. This is as close as I’ll get to living in one hehe!

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Harriet Gausman: How do you cope with the conflicting demands of Second and Real Life?

Andromeda Raine: Much much conflict! I am happily married and have three children aged 8, 6 and 2. My youngest is very demanding, and definitely in her terrible twos! As the store grew, so did the demand here, so over a year ago I put some staff members on. I cannot express how wonderful they are! Love them all.

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Harriet Gausman: You have several trusted staff members that you put in charge of handling your affairs. What do you expect from those working with you? Are you a hard task master?

Andromeda Raine: Oh I’d love to say yes! *grins* No not at all. Wyntarra is my Store Manager, she is my rock. Brevin keeps a close watch on our visitors, making sure they don’t cause discomfort for others. Xaryn, Yala, Sasha, Roxy and Mirage direct customers to what they’re looking for, help with skirt fittings, answer any questions and play on dancing cows when I’m not looking. This gives me my precious little time here for designing.

Harriet Gausman: Do you have a recipe for your design success?

Andromeda Raine: I try not to be hard on myself, and try to challenge myself into doing more in depth, complicated work. Does it work? Not always. I’m constantly hard on myself *grins*.

Harriet Gausman: Which RL fashion designer do you aspire to?

Andromeda Raine: I’m a fan of many, particularly the red carpet designers. But I think (Australian) Collette Dinnigan has a nice flare.

Harriet Gausman: Do you have a particular way of working when you design, like a particular formula that you follow each time?

Andromeda Raine: Definitely! If I can make the chest area work, My inspiration and work dominoes from there. My designs don’t necessarily start with an outcome in mind, things fall into place gradually. I also constantly cast a new eye over work. Sometimes when I’ve been mentally blocked, an idea strikes me at the weirdest hour, but I know crystal clear what to do hehe.

Harriet Gausman: How would you describe your brand values?

Andromeda Raine: Ever since I started designing, I’ve tried to create clothes that not only look pretty but make you feel good… today’s society pressures us so much by various trends and fashions that we can’t always dress how we feel we want to. I hope that Coconut Ice gives my customers the chance to live their dreams a little and have fun with their clothes – instead of being dictated to.

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Harriet Gausman: Do you have a favourite of your own designs?

Andromeda Raine: Belle Reve is definitely up there, Angelic Tops too… and you’ll find I live in my CI Signature Jeans hehe.

I have just released ‘Fae-Jewel Gown’ today. Love the way it makes me feel.

Harriet Gausman: Would you consider branching out into RL fashion?

Andromeda Raine: Yes, but my family come first and I am not unhappy with the way things are. If that happens, it happens.

Harriet Gausman: Where do you see your business headed?

Andromeda Raine: I don’t like to predict it’s future. I am happy just ‘being’ for now. I adore creating when I find the time, and Coconut Ice has allowed me to do that.

Harriet Gausman: Any advice for those starting out?

Andromeda Raine: Start simple, don’t be ‘the best designer’ immediately or you’ll let yourself down. Take time, learn and grow.

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Visit Coconut Ice today and awaken the princess within.

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