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For my birthday a few years back my friend Wednesday gave me a !BF! tee (pictured above, right) and it was love at first sight. I wear this tee all the time. I wasn’t really familiar with !BF! but apparently even Alan knew of it’s greatness and dragged me there. These clothes had to have been something great if my hobo lover was willing to spend time creating a female shape just to prance around in them! I was curious… and for good reason cause Elka Lehane’s shop was overflowing with hand drawn goodness.
Elka on her brand, interviewed by Linden Lifestyles:
LL: How did you get started designing and how did you name your business?
elka Lehane: I actually started designing right away, the second I logged into SL. 15 minutes after opening my account I was all over the forums to teach myself with tutorials about how to do make-ups (skins – I just didn’t know that then!) and clothes. I came here because I’d been in another online world called Dreamscape (by VZones) since 1996 and although I really loved that place, you couldn’t really design over there. So some friends dragged me to SL by saying you could make every single thing you ever dreamed of, so that’s what I did! I downloaded Chip Midnight’s templates and my (second) life started. Then came the prims. I owe it all to Fa Nyak, who taught me about 95% of all the really cool tricks I know in SL. He also told me about posting your new products in the forums and listing them on SLexchange so I guess that is how my business started.
I posted what I was offering and slowly the demand grew bigger and bigger. My store was called elka:random (because it wasn’t anything precise at that point) and I sold Gothic Lolita outfits as well as my Spray Paint Cans offered with custom buckles. And that’s actually how I met many of the cool kids/veterans like Barnes or Garbage who bought them from me. Hanging with them lead me to meeting many other wonderful people that are still my friends to this day and that helped me a lot with learning (like Indie Rainbow, the tablet God!).
Seeing Toast and Nylon’s work also drastically changed my view of SL. They were making exactly what I had in my mind, what I wanted to do, and I was suprised because I was actually restraining myself from doing it because I thought it would not be well recieved. So a few months later I was really doing my thing, hand drawing clothes; I got a tablet, and got a boutique near them in Deimos. “boing” and “fromage” (which means cheese in French, and I am a huge cheese-eater ) were just the two words that popped in my head so !BF! was born. Ah, Deimos… I am still extremely thankful for these days. I think that’s where it all *really* started.
Recently while trying to style a pair of pants Lili informed me that !BF! was still alive in SL and I immediately had her take me there. I was so happy because before this trip I only owned that one tee that was given to me and occasionally would get an itch to log onto Alan’s alt just so I could wear the very coveted !BF! MaryJane Flats (pictured above, right) which I snatched up now. If you are looking to buy a pair of mary janes these ones should be appraised, they’re scripted so can spend hours just choosing what bits you want to color <3 Even if you're not looking for a pair of mary janes come check out !BF! everything is very reasonably priced and really well made. Hopefully someday Elka will create again but for now you can follow her on Flickr where she showcases some of her favorite finds on SL.
(credits for above snapshots)
eyes: FNKY! #W01 Eyes 06 Brown
hair: .:[ Tiny Bird ]:. Girl Anachronism – Cafe Au Lait
accessories: [PF] Bottle Charm Necklace (Rd Heart/ Yw Bow)
jacket layer: !BF! Grandpa’s Autumn Vests (Original With Pockets)
shirt layer: !BF! Je t’aime Tee
under shirt layer: (ami) tres blah bunny sweater
pant layer: GLAM Lowrise Clean Edge Jeans (no belt)
dress: !BF! Folklore Dress (rayon)
socks: corduroy puji knee highs (plum)
shoes: TOSL *Quilted Wellies* v2.1 Gooseberry
jacket layer: !BF! Tintable Add-On – Shirt
shirt layer: !BF! Je t’aime Tee
pant layer: Action Punk Gray Tartan Capris
jacket layer: !BF! Grandpa’s Autumn Vests (Plum & Cream)
shirt layer: !BF! Folklore Dress – Frisson – Top – Shortsleeves
pant layer: Rummage – Caffe Mocha shorts
accessories: .:*December*:. glasses No.26 F
jacket layer: !BF! Tintable Add-On – Polo
shirt layer: Free usagiT 3
03. + 04.
socks: Rummage – tube socks
shoes: !BF! MaryJane Flats (Patent – Urban)
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