Reunited pair launch Bermuda-inspired prints
Cary Butterfield and Patricia Borland were inseparable.
They met as teenagers in boarding school.
Whenever Mrs Borland was homesick for Bermuda, she would sneak down to her friend's room after lights out.
The pair lost touch after graduation, but fate had other plans.
“Sometimes you wonder when things are meant to be. I almost felt as if the only reason I went to Ethel Walker boarding school was to meet Cary,” Mrs Borland said.
They reconnected when Mrs Butterfield met her Bermudian husband Spencer.
“All of a sudden [my then boyfriend Andrew Borland] was living with Cary and Spencer in Florida,” Mrs Borland said.
“He came to me one night in town and said, ‘You know your friend Cary is here'. We hadn't seen each other in ten years.”
It wasn't long before the women fell back in sync.
Their sons were born seven weeks apart; their daughters are separated by four weeks. Both have an interior decorating background and share “a passion for design”. They talked of collaborating for years.
“We always wanted to do something together,” Mrs Borland said. “Cary actually came to me with the idea of designing a clothing line and I said, ‘Why not?' Two years later we executed it, but a lot of things happened along the way — my dad got sick and passed away; we both got pregnant with our daughters.”
They launched their line of Bermuda-inspired prints last month. Hamec is an acronym for their children: Hunter, Ava, Mia, Elle and Cruz.
“It was important to take our time,” Mrs Borland said. “We wanted to do it without taking away from our families.
“We knew we would do it, we just wanted to make sure we were doing it right and we were happy with it.
“Of course, nothing's ever perfect, but we are pretty pleased with how it's turned out.”
Work started in 2014, but they took a hiatus when Mrs Borland lost her father Ira “Chips” Outerbridge III in January of last year.
“When my dad got sick, [Cary] was such a good friend,” she said. “She was happy to stop and to be there for me. She could see that all I was trying to do was save my dad and be there for him, but at the same time wanting to do this for her. She was very respectful of that and that meant a lot to me.
“In the long run, it paid off and we still did it. That's one advantage to having your own business and doing it with a good friend. People always say you don't want to go into business with friends. Cary and I are very similar. We complement each other very well.”
The pair used a print designer based in Australia to help create four pieces: a camisole, kaftan, romper and slip dress that come in ten “eye-catching” prints.
“We wanted people to throw on our pieces and feel beautiful and comfortable and be that answer in your closet when you want that wow factor right away,” Mrs Borland said.
The clothes are made using a silk-cotton blend.
“They're not a tailored look,” Mrs Butterfield explained. “They're not constricting. Even a pregnant woman could pull off our pieces. We took a long time choosing the hand of the fabric because we wanted them to be luxurious and flow and hang very nicely on the body, but also be breathable.”
The garments range from $190-$375.
•Look for Hamec at the FH Boutique trunk show, Wednesday, October 12, 5pm-8pm. Available locally at FH Boutique, Hamilton Princess and Regali, Tucker's Point. The line will make its debut stateside this month at Grace Palm Beach.