Designer Interview

By: Fashwire
Feb 21, 2022 12:58 PM

When did you know you wanted to become a designer?

I’m not a designer by trade, but I love creating. At Bitter Grace, we started designing our own collection in 2020. We wanted to take ownership of our supply and development to honor our commitment to sustainability.


Where do you find inspiration?

My travels, memorable personalized experiences, and appreciation for quality and beautiful clothing are where I find my inspiration.


What is your favorite part about designing?

The creation process is the best part of designing.


How would you describe your personal style?

Minimalist and elegant would be my style.


“Bitter Grace is an inclusive space for everyone, a space to forge and build meaningful connections that move us forward.”


What was your previous work experience before launching your brand?

I was a Project Manager at a tech and software company.


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

Our holistic approach to elevating one’s self-image sets Bitter Grace apart.


What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

In the summer of 2018, I envisioned a curated store that fosters beauty and community; an inviting space that reminds people that anything is possible if you believe it. Bitter Grace is an inclusive space for everyone, a space to forge and build meaningful connections that move us forward.


What do you envision for the future of your brand?

We want to expand our clothing collection, adding new personalized services, and opening multiple locations.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed? 

I don’t have one favorite. I love our Magnetic T-shirt dress and sleeveless cashmere midi dress; they are effortless and wearable through all seasons.


What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?

While starting a business is never an easy task, and especially in the middle of a pandemic that added a layer of complexity and challenges, opening our flagship store was the best decision I ever made. I truly believe in attracting the right people and opportunities at the right time you need them. We opened our store in mid-October 2020 and had a lot to celebrate and be grateful for. It allowed us to create a foundation that carried us into 2021 and build an organic and authentic customer base that continues to grow and shine today. It allowed us to plant the seeds, creating the appropriate partnerships that align with our mission and values, building our team, and the opportunity to be part of the creative process of developing our very first collection, our sustainable athleisure wear capsule collection "Elevated Every Day," which launched on Sept. 7, 2021.


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

To get clear of your vision, to trust and have faith in the process, and stay true to yourself.


What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I’m very passionate and determined with a very high attention to detail. I believe anything is possible and work to always operate with integrity. My weakness is I’m a bit impatient!


“Sustainability is non-negotiable for Bitter Grace. We work to ensure our clothing and products are sustainably and ethically made.”


What made you want to design women’s clothing?

I found that it was challenging to find quality basics and staples. At Bitter Grace, we want to be more sustainable and inclusive.


Do you find it difficult to have a brand based in Washington D. C? What are the perks versus the challenges?

Definitely not. There’s a need for what we do and offer in DC. There’s a strong need for community and creating meaningful connections. We get to experience this in every personalized styling or private appointments with clients.


What inspired you to name your brand?

Bitter Grace means ‘Anne Marie’ in other languages (like Hebrew). The meaning behind Bitter Grace means more to be today as I continue this beautiful journey.


What role does sustainability play in the design process for Bitter Grace?

Sustainability is non-negotiable for Bitter Grace. We work to ensure our clothing and products are sustainably and ethically made, we select partnerships and brands that align with our mission, and we implement standards and practices in our store that help conserve energy and reduce waste.

For example, we implemented a candle jar initiative where customers return their used jars to us, we reuse and repurpose them, and customers receive 10% off their next candle purchase with us!

Our retail bags are made of 100% recycled bamboo and our tissue paper is recycled kraft paper.

We’re also committed to creating more conscious buyers/shoppers through our unique way of selling and coaching private clients. We want our customers to be more intentional before investing new pieces with us.