Born with a pair of scissors in her hand, as she claims, Lisa Barton-Volney is a star when it comes to creating basket weave-styled handbags, dress-design and jewelery… jewelery we might add that is made with zippers.
She is the Creative Director/Manager of De Kloze Line, which sadly cannot be found physically in T&T, but on the beautiful island of Saint Lucia.
However, don’t fret, everything can be sourced on the virtual front.
Barton-Volney hails from Unity Road, Rich Plain, Diego Martin, where she lived for 11 years.
After sitting the Common Entrance Exams (now known as SEA), she moved to Tobago, where she attended Scarborough Junior Secondary School and Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive before moving back to Trinidad and repeating at Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive, aka Compre’.
It was at Scarborough Sec. where she learnt Clothing & Textiles, Fashion & Fabric at Signal Hill and Dressmaking & Design at Mucurapo.
Barton-Volney said “Actually my very first design was worn by my peers at Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive as our graduation dress.”
She said “I always liked arts and craft at school, floral arranging, string art, dancing, singing, sewing & cooking etc. but my passion was in assisting my eldest sister when she made Best Village clothing. Back then, I simply ran in the elastic in peasant tops and skirt waists; but during secondary school I sewed for a couple classmates.”
Seeing that her handbags are all the rage in Saint Lucia, we had to ask, at what stage did she gravitate from clothing to handbags.
Barton-Volney said “This came very late in my career, started about 6 years ago with clutches, then totes, wristlets and side bags.
“Last year I launched the basket weave bags and this year the half circle basket weave bags….but this is only the accessory part of my company.”
“I have many inspiration sources, so once I arrive at a design, I make my pattern, cut my fabrics and I’m in a different world during the construction process.”
Barton-Volney said she thrives on perfection and creating something unique for her customers.
“I am very meticulous especially when using prints and plaid, I seek to ensure the patterns line up as perfectly as the designer intended them to be.”
“My customers are usually in awe of my meticulous craftsmanship which I’m usually complimented for.” So much so, she added, that De Kloze Line now offers sewing courses in block making, pattern drafting and construction techniques.
But, backtrack a bit… how did she end up in Saint Lucia?
Barton-Volney said “At first it was a five year plan to join my then boyfriend (presently husband) as he made the decision to move to Saint Lucia. Knowing that I have his rib I followed suit 6 months later on October 20th 1993. But 5 years turned into 10, then 15 & 20 and so on and so on…lol….we’re currently at 27!”
She admitted that life in Saint Lucia was much slower and laid back when compared to T&T but it grew on her and she is now happy to call it home, “especially as I found and now serve my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Barton-Volney said 3 years ago, she launched “de ZipCode” a jewelery collection under her De Kloze Line umbrella.
“de ZipCode is a jewelery collection for the fashionista who wants to step out of the box and be adventurous, daring and fabulous. From casual pieces to formal sophistication, our “one of a kind” collection is meticulously transformed from metal and nylon zippers into fashionable jewelery that dares you to be bold when you step into a room. We produce a variety of anklets, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings for male, female and children.
She said “the look on their faces then and now, when they realize the raw material used are zippers, is priceless.”
“Two years ago I also launched the jaw dropping cowl dress, another staple of mine. And last year, it was the basket weave bag. I’m always doing new things, I was created to worship and born to be creative.”
Barton-Volney tells us “I used to have a store front but gave it up when I moved close to the city center. So, for the last 17 years I’ve been working out of home on Park Lane in Entrepot, overlooking the Castries harbor….this is where all the magic happens.”
Mind you, the humble Barton-Volney is a big deal in Saint Lucia and repping’ TT proud.
In 2008, she made Saint Lucia’s National Wear the Wob Dwiyet” and won first place.
And, up to 2 years ago she made pageantry gowns, even copping a few titles.
“Using the islands` national fabric…madras, I also did capsule collections to be sold at one of the islands leading apparel stores…Sea Island Cotton Shop in 2015 and 2018.
That same year (2018), “I was awarded “Seamstress of the Year” by SLISBA, Saint Lucia Industrial & Small Business Association.
“From 2013 to 2019, I have showcased collections at Caribbean New York Fashion Week, Suriname Fashion Week, San Fernando Fashion Week and Grenada Fashion Week, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Union Island and of course right here in Saint Lucia where I mostly enjoyed participating in “Strut for a Cause,” a fashion show with a difference, where the proceeds went to one sector of the Health Department be it Diabetic or Hypertension etc.
My most recent showcase was at Hyatt Regency last August; for a Carifesta Signal Fashion Runway Event…. “Oui Papa Yo,” a production by Richard Young.
Barton-Volney said she does a lot of trade shows and exhibitions so her sales are mostly personal purchases and the clients ship them abroad to their family and friends; “but we do have an online presence on”:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deklozeline.99 & https://www.facebook.com/dezipcode.99
Instagram: deklozeline & dezipcode
Barton-Volney said “At one point I made corporate uniforms and serviced hotels and major business houses, as well as individuals, musicians and dancers; so I had quite the clientele. But it took a beating when online purchasing surfaced.”
Nonetheless, she loves what she does, and it shows in her pieces.