Fashion was her dream when she made clothing for my various dolls in all shapes and sizes. With a BA in Fashion Design & Merchandising, a MBA in Marketing and more than 25 years in the Fashion and Supply Chain Industry, she started her first company in 1997 as a company providing custom sewing services. The company was known for tailored men’s pants, suits. After providing custom services for several years she realized it just wasn’t enough! She had a bigger vision. That’s when “Tra’velis” her self -titled clothing line was created!
UM: Congratulations on the success of your line! What inspired you to create it?
Thank you so much, to start, I have always had a love for fashion. I used to make clothes for my toy dolls out of old tee shirts. When I started making custom clothing for private clients, it was then that I realized I needed more. In dealing with women of all shapes and sizes over the years, we all had the one thing in common. AGE & PROBLEM AREAS!!!! Those were our biggest enemies. As we get older what never changes regardless is how we desire to look, especially in clothing. All too often some of the most fashionable styles are made for smaller sized women. I felt that no matter how old, how big our tummy, hips, butt etc, we all deserve to still be the center of attention when we walk in a room. “SEXY, CLASSY, YET COMFY”. That is my motto, so everything I make must fit this description.
UM: Was it difficult to make the decision to start?
No not really, knowing how to sew and drape helped me a lot. Once I made it up in my mind to start, there was no stopping me. I had to learn a lot of things though but I moved forward and I make learning a key part of my everyday life. I had to find balance and ways to stay motivated when faced with obstacles.
UM: How have you dealt with obstacles?
The best way for ME to deal with obstacles is to tell myself, this is just a point in time and it won’t last forever. I have to remind myself that nothing worth having is easy. Also think about where I could be in 3, 5, or 10 years as long as I keep going. If I don’t stop, I won’t be asking myself “Hmmm how far would I have gotten if I hadn’t stopped my business 5 years ago? It has happened before and now I vow to never stop again until I retire!!!
UM: What advice would you give to others who would like to begin a fashion line, but are fearful they will fail?
I get questions all the time from people what want their own line. Unfortunately those people don’t want to learn the business. I always tell people to take time out to learn about the business. It’s not as easy as having styles and a vision, like a lot of people think. You have to know how to bring it to life. Do you have to know how to sew? NO but it sure does help. There are so many steps involved just to bring one design to market and you have to learn or you will fall, lose money and get taken advantage of easily. You have to understand majority if not all of the business. My biggest advice has always been to learn and don’t expect anyone else to do your work for you.
UM: What’s the best part about what you do?
The best part about what I do is how my clients feel and look in their garments.
UM: What’s next for your line?
Continued growth and exposure, my name in almost every woman’s closet in the US and farther. Over the years I have changed directions for my line as I learned. I thought my goals were to be in as many specialty boutiques as possible. In speaking with several and thinking about possible demands and requests I realized that is NOT what I want at all. I find so much satisfaction in seeing the joy on my clients faces that I can’t see myself giving that up totally. To be in 1 or 2 in major cities is enough for me but if not I for sure won’t be mad because I am sure SOMEONE in that city is wearing my name on their backs! ☺