This week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to Alyssa Hunter, producing the sickest threads out of Chicago under the name of Pretty Funk. The reasons we love Pretty Funk over here at Compose Yourself Magazine are nearly endless. Hunter is the badass grassroots type designer Compose Yourself Magazine cannot get enough of! Her creative drive matches the energy of her personality to create an intimate relationship between customers and the Pretty Funk team. Her inspiration for the line initially stemmed from designing clothing for friends, her dog Tank, and friends showing interest in her creations as gifts. Hunter made her first piece of fashion for her dog Tank, fondly recognized as the Pretty Funk mascot. Tank, you could say, was Hunter’s first inspiration in her Pretty Funk endeavors. This cute little Chihuahua takes no attitude from any living creature, and travels with the Pretty Funk crew to festivals and events. Hunter found herself walking around at Summer Camp Music festival last year with strangers walking up to her asking, “Is that Tank?!” The first piece she made for Tank was a dog bandana.
That same year at Summer Camp Music Festival 2013 she took her first batch of bandanas to trade and give away at the festival. She got a very positive response to her work, and immediately felt inspired. It wasn’t long before Pretty Funk also expanded to create clothing as well. While racking her brain to come up with a gift for her boyfriend, Nick, Hunter was inspired to make her first hood. She was looking for something that she could give him that was hand made and full of love.
Hunter believes in providing her artwork and fashion at a price everyone can afford, which is another thing that we love about Pretty Funk! The fashion is affordable without sacrificing quality. Hunter always makes sure to shop the sales for her fabric. JoAnns is one of the stores she seeks out for her fabrics; she also does a lot of shopping for fabrics online, and is also a huge fan of upcycling clothing. She created a line of vests that she sewed patches on as well as patchwork into. One of our favorites is an intricate jellyfish design she did on the back of a vest. The stitching in the tentacles is a beautiful example of the detail work that Pretty Funk achieves. Her designs have always stemmed from making something for someone as a gift, or a friend who requests custom work. Every time Hunter has tried a new design out she has found that it works for her. Thus far she has created bandanas, hoods, patches, and vests; Hunter plans on learning sizing and expanding her repertoire. We love how Hunter always works with her clients to help customize her products to their taste. It ensures her clients are always happy with the Pretty Funk item they purchase.
After her first design, Hunter’s perspective began to change. In the future Pretty Funk envisions being able to consult with customers ,and make clothing specifically custom designed to each persons body. Her favorite pieces to make are her custom fleece lined hoods. Hunter stated, “They are 100% for the person I’m making them for, and you know its never going to be something they won’t appreciate; that they would never sell or get rid of.” She enjoys when she is commissioned for works that are intended to be gifts. Hunter finds it rewarding when she picks out styles, and patterns that the recipients love without even needing their input.
One of the reasons we love Pretty Funk is because it’s a grassroots company that was founded of the love and creativity of one individual, with support of the friends and family around her. One of Pretty Funk’s best feel good moments was at Re:Vision 2014. Alex and Allyson Grey were there live painting with several musical acts, and a lot of Hunters friends attended the event as well. As soon as the event kicked off she started to receive word from friends that Alex Grey was obsessing over a hood that she’d made for a friend. There were patchwork designs of the chakras going down the back of the hood. Grey took a video of her piece, and could not stop commenting on how much he loved the clothing. Hunter stated, “It was nice to have my art recognized by an artist of that caliber.” The label Pretty Funk came up largely with support from Hunter’s friends and family. She also mentioned another feel good moment during a Boombox performance in 2014. Naturally, Hunter had everyone over to her place before the show to get the festivities started and she said nearly 20 friends who had purchased her work showed up all in their Pretty Funk gear ready to get the party started. Efforts like these are truly what has helped get Pretty Funk off the ground. Pretty Funk puts roots back into grassroots; over here at Compose Yourself Magazine we find it rare and beautiful to see an artist so heavily supported by her community, and its something we totally are digging.
The fresh styles being produced by Pretty Funk have taken the festival scene by storm. Last year at Summer Camp Music Festival, the booth sold completely out of their product. Hunter stated that, “People were even coming up to the booth on Sunday [of Summer Camp] just to double check, and see if we had any hoods left for sale.” She also had a booth set up at North Coast Music Festival in Chicago last year as well. Hunter works alongside her boyfriend Nick Skinner closely. In the last 9 months Hunter as joined the Pretty Funk team helping his lady with everything from the sale of products at events to cutting out fabric. Nick was also an inspiration to Hunter when she began Pretty Funk. He was often the source of her inspiration because most of her first models of clothing she was making for Skinner as a gift. She even made him a pocket shirt with a Tank patch on it; they call it his “tank-top.”
Hunter has found herself inspired by her line of work. Now when she travels to festivals she travels with a business-minded purpose to spread the name of Pretty Funk and share her inspiration with the world. Be on the look out for Pretty Funk at festivals near you this season. She will also be vending The Road to Sonic Bloom in Chicago next week, so if you are in the Midwest come out listen to some good music and grab yourself some fresh Pretty Funk gear.