Rene Geneva, the creatrix behind Faernyn’s Grove, is a goth/corset fashion designer based in Austin, Texas. She’ll be the first to tell you that the folks of Austin are not your typical Texans, but in fact have helped her business grow with their wonderful word-of-mouth response to her line.
This self-taught designer has been practicing her craft for over ten years, with the help of some wonderful mentors along the way. “I’ve taken classes here and there when I want to hone in on a specific skill, but I’ve never been interested in a degree,” she tells us.
Ms. Geneva started out as a photographer who began making clothing to use in her photography. “A friend saw the pictures and wanted me to sell my products on his website and there it all started officially as a business. It was actually hard for me to decide to let my work out there. Was it good enough, high enough quality? I have always been under the strong belief that you should do what you love and the means to live by it will follow. That’s exactly what has happened in my life.”
This evolved into the decision to start her own business and Faernyn’s Grove became a reality in 1998. She came through confidently with her talent and, as they say, the rest is history.
Faernyn’s Grove is now a full-time gig for Rene. She takes inspiration from whatever catches her fancy at a given time, including “Our place in nature” and “how we relate to the world in man made situations.” She remarks, “We have this big techno world surrounding us now and it’s only getting bigger and more inundated into everyday life. The other day I was in the store and the background noise wasn’t the karaoke version of Neil Diamond’s ‘The Bumblebee’, it was cell phones galore.”
“I like the cyber look. I also am into the technological advancement of textile: recycled, micro-pored, reflective, you name it. I’m sure they’ll have clothing that will wash itself in no time. I keep mainly the fetish styles online, so the mass public doesn’t generally get to see my true inspirations as they usually end up in a boutique some where as a one of a kind. I need to work on a gallery though to show people what else can be available.”
Her primary line is made from PVC. “I try to be conscious of the planet, but it’s a hard balance to keep. Ideally I would like to be working exclusively in earth friendly products. So, I’m currently working on a line that is made from 100% recycled, biodegradable materials and expanding into other aspects of functional clothing.”
She caters to quite a varied clientele, including serious waist training, retired executives and new moms who want to achieve the flat belly faster, the fun-loving club goers, pro-dommes, models, circus performers, and brides. She also designs men’s
Additionally, she is involved in costuming for film, which keeps her open to an entirely different creative outlet. “It mainly amounts to doing what they tell me to, but there is still creativity to making a basketball coach look like one with nothing but a Sharpie and some felt.”
Faernyn’s Grove is available via custom orders as well as in local boutiques, including Stella Rosa in San Marcos, Parts and Labour and Secret Oktober in Austin. “We also supply to several boutiques nation and worldwide, with about half of our clientele from overseas.”
She’s one of the lucky few that can earn a living doing what she loves. “I feel so blessed to be doing what I do and seeing it evolve and expand. There always seems to be too much work for me to do personally, and I have two assistants that make the whole fandango possible. I had a full-time studio going a while ago, which was nice, but I also have a two year old and bringing the studio back into my home has made incorporating my work into my momness more negotiable.”