Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in the High Desert in Southern California. Specifically, Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center then in the actual city of Twentynine Palms. I spent the kindergarten through high school in the same house on the same street in the same city. I was blessed in that way. I have a lot of fond memories (and not so fond) 😀
Oldest, youngest or middle child?
I am the second middle child. I have an older brother Ray Woods who is a singer and a musician, I have an Older sister Paulina Woods who is an Alumni of UCF and a Journalist and a Younger brother Daniel Woods who is still just discovering his calling.
Were you attracted to ‘different’ things from a young age? An example?
In all honesty I have to say I wasn’t “Different” in the gothic since when I was a child. I have and always will hate horror movies and slasher films. I’m more of a mystery and action kind of gal (but no chick flicks)
I was raised in a family that was wholesome and Christian. The church I was raised in was a part of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI). I was very much ingrained in that so I was very much focused on “getting to heaven” and “outreach”, “saving souls”. I didn’t even know the meaning or interests of the Gothic society and Culture until I was about 19 years old.
Favorite toys as a kid?
Barbie Dolls of course. I would hand sew them clothing I made from old socks and bits of old clothing found at the thrift stores in town.
Tell me about your journey to being a Goth? How did you get here, what stops along the way?
My journey to “being goth” began when I left my hometown at the age of 18 and moved to live with my sister in La Puente California. We both got jobs at Knotts Berry Farm. We were living at that time in the home of one of the ladies in the church that was a sister church to the one we were raised in. I was attending Fullerton College and My sister was attending University of California Fullerton. Somewhere along the way work and school came in the way of church and my sister and I were kicked out of the church ladies house. With nowhere to go we both lived in my sisters car from May 05 to May 06 as we did not want to go back home to the high desert and give up on college.
My life spiraled downward at this point and I became more and more depressed and embittered toward people and religion and very depressed. I remember wandering into the Virgin music store that was across the street from Knotts after work while I was waiting for my sister (in early 06) and happening upon a CD by Dead Can Dance called “Into the Labyrinth” It was in the sale bin and the cover interested me so I popped it into the cd player in the car. The first song “Yulunga (Spirit Dance)” began to play and I was HOOKED. The sound washed over me and I knew there was something in this music that calmed me, made me relax, triggered me to think about how I was living and give up on trying to live how I was raised and just live MY life without being held back by the religion I was raised in or the goals I felt I was supposed to reach because of the culture of the religion. That was the beginning.
Over the next few months I searched for things that spoke to me like this and opened my heart to new experiences. I ended up with a lot of the cure, Christian death, and sisters of mercy music in my collection as well as falling in love with the humor of Voltaire. My first goth band I saw live in concert was Crux Shadows. At the same time I found the group Orange County Gothic Meet-up many of the members I still hold as friends today.
I delved into the world of gothic culture. Terry who owned Ipso Facto at the OCGMU and spent many a spare hour from college walking to IF and shopping or just chatting with the various people who worked there. I also met Paul who re ignited my love of hearses. My Grandmother on my fathers side owned and operated a mortuary and my father did as well, I remember this from when I was young and loved the grand coaches so I would have to say I loved hearses since I was young!
Is Purple your very favorite color?
Yes. Purple to me signifies life, happiness, success, ambition and joy. Specifically Royal Purple. Which is also the bottom color of the Gay Pride flag which means spirt. All of which are a part of who I am.
How did you learn to design and sew like you do?
My mother taught me the basics of sewing that she learned from her mother. We were very poor when I was growing up due to my father leaving us in the city we were in when he got out of the military and filing for divorce. With 4 children and no help, my mother had to shop at thrift stores or community clothing banks and alter the clothing she found there to fit us as we grew. I picked up a lot of what I know now from watching her sew late at night after she got off work or before she went to school.
Tell me a little history about how Delightfully Deviant came to be?
Being a homeless college student with not a lot of cash to spare, I did not like the style of the clothing offered in Hot Topic. Nor could I afford the high fashions I found while surfing the net. So I learned to make my own by getting fabric in the Los Angeles Garment District and making clothing to wear to the Meet-ups and gothic events. Since then I have been on a mission to create clothing that people could afford and still look just as jaw dropping as anything designed by any of the “top” gothic brands.
I fell in love with Victorian clothing but did not like the complicated cuts and styles of the original designs so I strive to simplify them and bring a more modern feel to the designs I make but still a touch of the era gone by.
The company Delightfully Deviant was created when I met and married my husband and moved to San Diego. (He is in the Navy)
How did you meet?
Our first date was at Bats Day 2007. We accidentally wore matching outfits in red and black. He loved what I made so much that year he asked me if I wanted to start selling my clothing. I gave him a resounding yes.
It was not until 2008 when I came home crying after being let go from a belly dancing group I was in, that he said “why are you worried what they think of you? Go create your own thing.” That night he came up with the name “Delightfully Deviant”. We purchased the website but I am not a web designer so it sat for a few years. I made custom clothing for friends and acquaintances but kept my various day jobs.
When 2009 came and he was at the point of getting out of the navy I asked him to give me 1 more enlistment to get the business really going. Through a series of errors and mix ups, the move to our next duty station in Washington state was underfunded so I ended up getting a job locally, contracted swine flue and ended up in a coma in the hospital.
After I recovered, I took a job at a local casino and met my current cheer team of Jessica Lord and Liz Sharratt. They both had encouraged me for the 10 months I was at the casino to quit and start my own business. In February of 2011 I did just that. I opened my etsy and everything else has just come together.
You do take custom orders, what is the most challenging item you have created?To date the hardest order was an order I made for an amazing lady to wear to Bats day 2012. It was a Victorian piece and even though I used a commercially available pattern for some of it it was seriously a challenge! It came out so well that I am glad I got the chance to try it.
Do you make your own patterns?
I do not. My designs are patterned by my husband. He is pretty handy to have around!
I can draw what I want to create, give him the size chart for a model or client and he will create the pattern for me to then cut out and sew so we are a working team when it comes to creating the things I make and sell.
Where would you like to see Delightfully Deviant in a few years?
one day I plan to be somewhere on the level of Retroscope fashions. I absolutely LOVE Laura Jones (the owner) and consider her to be my idol and mentor in what I am trying to accomplish. She has guided me to to where I am today and I have been able to ask her so many questions and learn from her experience without judgment.
As you are aware, there seem not to be an abundance of African American Goths. Why do you think that is?
I really don’t know for sure but I can just only imagine that it is because of culture. Black culture looks at all goths as demonic or evil. Black people tend to be more spiritual in a Christian sense. It is very hard as a black goth to find others in the scene and as such you feel as if you are singled out by some goths because you ARE rare.
I want to make a mention of your Facebook page called Black and African American Goths. The page can be found HERE
Give me a list of things that you Love!
1. Bunnies! (and San Diego House Rabbit Society)
2. Cookies!!!!!! (I will do anything for cookies. I have been known to jump out of bed when offered cookies)
3. The color Purple
4. Wigs. Lots and Lots of wigs 99.999999% of the people I know have never seen my natural hair. I live for wigs
5. Gay Pride (I am bisexual)
6. Yaoi Manga ( I admit, I have an addiction)
SNOBBY. I have no clue why but people assume I am snobby or stuck up before they get to know me. I think it may be misconceptions based on the clothing I make for myself or maybe I carry myself in a way that makes me seem uppity? I am not sure. I am actually very shy. When people think I am judging them, I am, but 99% of the time I judge THEM to be better than ME.
Are you actually a trained Mortician?
2010. I just felt like a princess in that Royal purple/blue velvet.
Kaylee. ( her head is sideways). She is a 5 lb mixed breed bunny We adopted from the Bunny Bunch Rabbit Rescue in Orange County, Ca. She was rescued from a park and suffers from head-tilt caused by E. cuniculi. She’s a quiet sweetie who would rather spend her time grooming Lucifer or munching on hay in her litter box. She doesn’t like to go out much.
Being called fat. I found a photo of myself floating around the internet being blogged by fat/bbw groups. It made me feel so depressed. I know they were trying to make large girls feel good about themselves but I have always felt horrible about my weight and that made me feel worse.
“Ambition: No matter the challenge, just keep pushing forward. If the next door won’t open…BREAK A WINDOW.” – Me
You drive a hearse. Does she have a name?
Yes. My Hearse is a 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Scotts & Seville conversion. Her name is Victoria Susan and she was an engagement gift from my husband when we married in ’08.