What inspired you to create your own brand?
It started as another outlet for creativity and when people started asking me about the pieces and how could they could buy them, I decided to start a business.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? Why or Why not?
Actually, I didn’t. My previous career was as a professional singer/model and my formative years were filled with ballet, theater and music. I’ve always had a strong passion and love for fashion, so when I reached an inflection point in my life it was a natural transition.
"I love the process from the first design to the finished product."
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
Seeing the vision come together. I love the process from the first design to the finished product.
What was your previous work experience before launching your brand?
I previously worked as a fit model in NYC where I worked with designers and pattern makers developing their collections. I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people and learn the process of creating collections in the industry.
If you could do something different before starting your business what would it be?
Ask more questions, set up systems and cut my losses faster.
What was the toughest circumstance you overcame when just starting out your business?
Quality control. I was working with manufacturers overseas developing new pieces and they kept breaking. Diamonds popping out, clasps falling apart — it was a real challenge and heartbreaking because the quality of my product means so much to me. It taught me a lot.
What was your biggest fear when starting your brand?
That no one would like it or buy it. You put your heart and soul into it and hope people love it as much as you do.
How do you want your buyer to feel when wearing your clothes/accessories?
Empowered, beautiful, and pulled together.
What other designers/brands inspire you? Why?
I really like Everlane — their brand values and transparency are inspiring. I also love Sierra Winter, who I met at a jewelry competition years ago when we both were starting out and reconnected lately. She’s a bad ass designer/mom and I can’t wait to see what else she’s going to do. I just heard Jo Malone’s story on How I Built This and was blown away. What a journey and inspiration.
Do you see your brand ever expanding into a different avenue? Why or why not?
I would love to create a men’s line. My male musician friends are always asking me to make something for them.
How important is social media to your brand?
It’s very important! I love the interaction with people, the story telling and relationship building. I think it’s pretty amazing.
What direction do you believe the fashion industry is headed to?
Definitely towards more online sales and I really appreciate the trend towards lines that are produced consciously and sustainably. People are looking for a story they can connect with and values that resonate with them.
"Spend time developing your voice, know yourself, take some business courses, and let the rejections fuel you."
What advice would you give to young designers just starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?
Spend time developing your voice, know yourself, take some business courses, and let the rejections fuel you.
What is the vision for your brand in the next 5 years?
To keep expanding, incorporating more sustainable practices and systems. That is huge for me!
Has your city or culture had an impact on how you design?
Definitely! NYC is my home and I’m inspired daily by its imperfect perfection. Also, having access to the best artisans in the world is a gift. I’m always learning something new from this city every day or meeting someone who opens up my world.
What has been your biggest accomplishment as a designer to date?
Transitioning my brand to one that represents my core values and creating a whole new company in the process.
How do you define fashion?
Fashion to me is self-expression; an extension of yourself that can change a mood and make you more alive. Fashion can make you confident on your not so confident days.
How would you describe your personal style?
Casual, accessible with a little sophistication.
What does the word “success” mean to you?
Freedom and the ability to do what I love to do every day.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
My greatest strength is that I’ll try anything — I jump in first and figure it out later. That also can be a weakness!
Are you passionate about something other than fashion?
I’m still very passionate about the arts, which is great because my daughter has the same passion. We love seeing workshops of new plays, the ballet, and our new obsession is watching the tiny desk concerts.