Interview with Sara Melissa Designs

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I got a chance to interview with designer Sara Melissa for some inside scoop into her world.

Sara Melissa Designs

What made you decide to start your business?

SM: Ultimately I’ve always seen it as part of my dream.    I wanted to create something that was authentic to who I am and what I stand for. Creating something that has substance and depth has always been something important for me.  I come from Nicaragua, a third world country that is scarred by 100 years of war and, as a result, is one of the poorest in the world.  That being said, there is a defining need for me to contribute something that helps others, starting my own business is a platform that gives me a chance to do that.

What is your business known for or what is unique about it?

SM: I wanted to bring forth something authentic, with lasting quality and depth, something that transcended fashion itself.  To incorporate that into my brand I came up with Yin Yang shoes.   Playing off of the Yin Yang philosophy itself.  In a nutshell; that you need darkness to see light something that you can find in most of life’s situations, a positive to balance out the negative.  I believe in this and find it powerful.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

SM: Finding inspiration is probably my favorite part because I get to travel and turn my experiences into concepts.  I really enjoy brainstorming new ideas and incorporating them into my designs.

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What has been your greatest accomplishment?

SM: This is my greatest accomplishment, having the opportunity to turn my dream into reality.

What would you say is the hardest part of growing this business is?

SM: The beginning is always hard in any business because it’s a one person circus for a long time.   You wear many hats and sometimes do things that you might not feel comfortable doing.  It’s ever changing and right now the hardest part of my job is getting people to know my work.  It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight and takes a lot of energy.

What is one thing that you would like people to know about this brand that they might not otherwise know?

SM: We donate 5% of our sales to a non- profit feminist organization that helps empower the rural women of Nicaragua.  La F.E.M. has been doing this for the past two decades by providing education, legal and moral support to the often forgotten women of the field.  It helps them become economically independent from men who, because of lack of education think that they are better than women.

How would you describe your style?

SM: Classy, fashion forward, with some quirk. It’s meant to be fun, and fresh. Fresh, meaning it’s a new point of view, my point of view. I love mixing prints colors and textures, as most designers do; however I being a fashion lover myself, I haven’t found what I’m currently working on, not with my particular swag. 🙂

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To learn more, go to: www.SaraMelissa.com

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Tosha’s LOTD: Lime Lime Lime!

My favorite color is lime green! I love it so much that my wedding was lime green, my wedding ring is lime and just about everything else I buy has to be LIME! =) It is a color that makes me smile. I first discovered my love for the color when I was in middle school. I created a sitting room in my house that had all bright colors on the walls and blow up furniture. That room made me happy and since middle school I have built such wonderful memories around this color!  Some things will never change, and my love for lime is one of them! #LimeLover =)

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Photo Credit: Patty Cole

http://www.PattyCole.com

 

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Monday Moments Inside: Alejandra G.

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Alejandra is taking over the streets of Los Angeles with her collection of shoes. Alejandra G. is a brand that seeks to empower the woman, for her to feel confident, and be the center of attention when she enters a room. The style is feminine with a sophisticated yet girlie feel. I love the attention to detail that each shoe represents, they are each a work of art. Alejandra G. has captured the attention of celebrity fans such as Raven-Symone, Taryn Manning, Tamera Mowry and Carly Rae Jepsen. I got a chance to interview Alejandra on the creation of her brand.

Owner Background Summary:

I have always been in a creative work space. I was in a music group and I also wrote music then I became a tv producer. I was a tv producer right before starting Alejandra G. I met some people who were connected in the fashion industry while being in the tv production world and decided to take a leap of faith and chase my dreams. I took everything I had and put it into Alejandra G. I wouldn’t have been able to start without my mentor Joe Ouaknine who guided me and introduced me to the shoe world.

How did you start your company?

I was connected to my mentor Joe Ouaknine, a huge shoe magnate in the shoe industry. Joe told me how to get started in the business and what was great was he actually believed in me. I first went to school in Milan Italy called Ars Suttoria. It is one of the top shoe design schools in the world. After graduating I came back to LA and went full speed ahead with creating Alejandra G. I hired a sales team, a PR firm and some assistants and it just kind of took off from there. I never looked back and just continued moving forward.

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What is your company about?

My company is all about the fashion forward woman. My customers are woman who are very confidant and strong. I love to make shoes that make a woman feel empowered, Like they are the center of attention in any room they walk into. My company itself I hope to make it an empire of different things. From clothes, to jewelry, handbags, perfume, mens sneakers. Anything I can get creative with I am doing it.

What are the best and worst things about being a business owner?

It is very stressful and time consuming. My life is all about my company. I have to overlook every aspect of my company and make sure everyone is doing their job. The perks of being a business owner is that I can lay in bed all day with my laptop and do work if I want to. I am my own boss and sometimes that’s exactly what I want to do.. Just lay in bed and do business from home.

What are the things you like most about your career?

Being able to express myself like an artist on a shoe. I love art and anything you can be creative with. I love my customers and seeing woman in my shoes. Its the most amazing feeling for people to be excited over what you created.

What are some of your top sources of inspiration?

My inspiration is always ecletic. I can’t pinpoint anything specific. When I design, I get inspired by things I am feeling at the moment. I do love following the runway fashion out of europe. I am always inspired by the runway shows.

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What is a typical day like?

Everyday I’m running my company. Returning emails, calling everyone from my Alejandra G Team making sure everyone is handling their duties on time, I do business with my factory out of the country and I basically just think a lot. I plan and map out my next moves. I want my brand to be a household name and for every woman to own a pair of my shoes so I have to work hard and stay focused.

What are some of your greatest accomplishments?

I would say starting my company. I jumped into this not knowing anything about running a company, especially a fashion company. I am very impressed with myself on how quickly I put it all together.

What’s your philosophy of life?

Do what you love and what makes you happy so you never feel like you are actually working. And once you are doing what you love, go hard or go home. The outcome of what you receive determines how much you put into it.

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To see more of the latest collection, check out www.alejandrag.com

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