How did you get to where you are today?
I have been an industry schooled and trained fashion designer for 18 years. I started as a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, then I spent 10 years working corporate in Manhattan designing for Victoria’s Secret, Jones Apparel Group, Coach to name a few. When I moved to Miami in 2009, I saw a demand for ‘want to be designers’ contacting me to get help with design and manufacturing. After launching my company in 2014, I spent years building relationships with quality factories and suppliers, so that I could produce my clients product with them. Today I have over 45 clients and growing weekly.
What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
We help entrepreneurs start their own private label fashion companies. Apparel Design House takes clients from idea through design to manufacturing. A one-stop shop for ‘aspiring fashion designers’, no skill needed!
How do you define success?
Staying power and having the flexibility to modify your business to adapt to your market constantly. Success is personal for me, my business has blown up in the past year and being able to be quick to keep up with that growth by having a strong skilled team is also a big part of my success.
What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
I would say seeing my various clients fashion lines that start with a simple idea and then helping them manifest that into an actual marketable product that they can sell. Being a designer~ I love the whole process, a fashion sketch that evolves into a wearable product. Each and every design becomes a sort of mind child for me. Lastly, I am happy in what I do, that is the big reward.
What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?
Coming from an ‘industry’ corporate background was a bit of a challenge at first because our clients are not from the industry, so I had to learn to speak a language that they understand, and not use so much technical language. I also had to develop a industry process that works for all and train my clients to understand and respect this process. It hasn’t been easy managing expectations with clients that no nothing about the industry, so we try to clue them in at the start about timelines and possible delays that come up with manufacturing. They all want instant gratification, so in a lot of ways I am really teaching them very valuable knowledge that took me years to gain.
What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I want to eventually own my own fashion lines and factory both in the US and possibly overseas, so we can scale it to large quantity production 20,000 units +
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Coco Chanel, she was a pioneer in the fashion industry and built a multi-million dollar company, which is what I plan to do.
What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
I get the pleasure of doing what I love everyday. That is fashion design and being my own boss.
What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Do exactly what you did, get the hands on corporate experience and then go work for yourself.
What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
People think being a designer is that you just draw all day. They don’t understand the actual training that goes into fashion design. For example: being able to merchandise a collection, understanding textiles and what works for one design might not work for another construction. The amount of stressful grueling work that goes into managing a supply chain and all the set backs that come from the suppliers and delays in production. The only thing glamorous about this industry is what you see going down the runway.
Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
Don’t wait for your fashion dream to come true, hire Apparel Design House, and it will happen. Wink wink