What did you wear to your first job interview?
Jeans, a white t-shirt and an oversized men’s plaid jacket.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?
I always wanted to be either a designer or an archeologist.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
I would advise myself to be more confident with people.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
We produced a collection of washed denim with brass beads and did not thoroughly test the garments before we went into production. They all fell off the garments after the enzyme washing process!
Tell us more about your brand. What inspired you to name it Finley?
The brand is known for its beautifully crafted shirts and shirtdresses. This evolved from a line of constructivist detailed and dramatic yet clean looking sportswear. Finley is my name and I am the principal designer. At the time we started the company, it was common to name the collection after the designer.
What is one thing you look for when interviewing a potential candidate for your company?
In addition to a strong skill set for the desired position, we look for energetic people who are problem solvers and have a positive attitude. This is a small company, so candidates must be willing to wear multiple hats.
How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out?
Technology has drastically changed the skillset and channels of distribution in the industry. Essentially, the internet has created endless possibilities.
"I believe people look to social media for fashion direction, discussion and affirmation."
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
I think it plays a huge role, as it has changed the way the fashion media influences fashion altogether. I believe people look to social media for fashion direction, discussion and affirmation.
How do you define fashion?
Fashion is reflected in the way one styles one’s self for a specific effect; the selection of garments for their perception of beauty and craftsmanship, wearing garments to evoke a feeling.
How would you describe your personal style? Is it reflected in your collections?
Clean, yet dramatic. I hope so!
"Work with what you have to create solutions for this chaotic time. It’s also a great time to collaborate with others to create new ways to be of service."
You've made some incredible efforts to assist during these troubling times of COVID-19. Can you give us more information about how you've been able to make an impact?
We have been able to pivot our production to producing much needed PPE. We are producing level 2 isolation gowns, both disposable and washable. We also did our 2020 promotion for the first month of shelter in place here in Dallas. We offered a 20% off discount from the e-commerce store and 20% of the profits were donated to a local Charity particularly hard hit by effects of the pandemic. We changed the beneficiary every week. We also have a line of cotton face masks for sale on our website.
What advice or encouragement would you give to others to make a difference during this pandemic?
Work with what you have to create solutions for this chaotic time. It’s also a great time to collaborate with others to create new ways to be of service.