Artsy Attenborough was first exposed to fashion while growing up in the small country town of Bunnythorpe at a sewing class with her local primary school.
“We learnt to weave thick cotton thread through pieces of paper to start off our hand sewing skills,” she says.
After attending Freyberg High School, Artsy moved to Wellington to study hairdressing where she completed two entry level courses.
Wanting different ways to express her creativity, Artsy then moved back to Palmerston to enrol in UCOL’s Certificate in Fashion and Beauty.
Artsy enjoyed studying at UCOL because of the friendly environment and support she received. “I didn’t do so well in high school so I needed encouragement to get me back into studying full pace.”
After graduating in 2012, Artsy moved to Whanganui after hearing about Whanganui UCOL’s reputation as one of the best places in the country to study fashion. There, she continued her studies - going on to complete both a Certificate in Fashion and a fashion degree at Whanganui UCOL.
She says she enjoyed the pathway onto other UCOL programmes. “I knew that fashion was what I wanted to do after completing the Certificate in Fashion and Beauty.”
Artsy remains involved with UCOL to judge UCOL’s Fashion and Beauty Parade. “I really enjoy looking at everyone’s work and being part of the whole experience,” she says.
Since completing her degree in 2016, Artsy has begun to make her own mark on the fashion world with her small dogs clothing business, Planet Artsy Dogwear.
Her inspiration for the business came from helping a friend whose dog was suffering from a skin condition. “It all started from trialling different fabric so my friend’s dog wouldn’t be itchy. The word got out and it became quite popular!”
The skills and experience Artsy gained from studying at UCOL have given her confidence to continue to expand her business and push the limits in fashion and beauty.
Planet Artsy Dogwear, run by New Zealand animal lover Artsy Attenborough started off as a business in 2013 producing designer garments for small dogs. Since then it has expanded into animal photography also.