Welcome to my first ‘Inspire Me’ post and I honestly couldn’t think of anyone better to write about. Alex and I met whilst studying an MA in Geopolitics, Territory and Security at KCL (I know right, she’s a very bright cookie). Not only is she one of the most intelligent and driven people I have ever met, she is also the most wonderful person! So this is a total pleasure.
Located just over the pond in the big ol’ U.S.A, Alex runs Ethereal Designs with her business partner alongside her day job. For those of you not in the know Ethereal Designs is a custom clothier and dressmaking company. They specialise in gowns, day dresses, and other women’s custom apparel – including creating the most beautiful wedding dresses!
Naturally, I had to ask Alex to answer some questions so do have a read. I hope she can inspire you (anyone with a successful day job and incredible business is an inspiration in my book!)
How long has the business been running for?
We’ve been doing projects since the early 2000s but we’ve officially been in business since 2013.
What has inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
I am inspired by a love of creativity and passion. The vast possibilities of fashion and fabrics inspire me to create pieces that make women and men feel powerful and strong in what they wear. Clothing is a necessity in society but the way you feel in it can change your whole outlook on the day.
What’s the best and worst part of your job on a daily or weekly basis?
The best are when a client loves the outcome of their project. Their eyes light up and they can’t stop looking at it.
The worst is when we are not on the same design level as the client. It’s really hard to create something for someone who is highly creative because they see their pieces differently than we see ours. For example, sometimes the fabric just does not sit the way they want it to and we can’t always fix that. It’s rare but we have had to cancel the project because neither party could find a middle ground.
Have you ever felt like giving up? And at what point did you ensure that you didn’t?
I do feel like giving up when I can’t make a client happy. It’s hard not to take it personally when it is usually not personal. My work is personal so it’s hard sometimes. I usually take time off to reflect on the situation and why it failed before returning to my other projects. That helps me keep things in perspective.
How did you get ahead?
That’s a tough question because we have relied on word-of-mouth thus far. If we ramped up our social media presence, I’m sure it would grow more quickly but my partner and I both have full time jobs with benefits. We’re going to keep those for a while and do this in our spare time. It’s not a jump either of us are ready to make yet.
What advice would you give to inspire someone else?
Two things are necessary: believing in yourself and working hard. I have had people close to me tell me that my ideas won’t work. But, I never took them seriously because they didn’t take my passion seriously. It’s all about believing in your passions and making them work for you. I’m happy to have my day job and my business because I won’t ruin my passion if my business doesn’t work. If my business takes off, great! Check out Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert for more information on this same aspect of passion and business.
What would you say has been your hardest moment of being a women and having your own business?
Fortunately, I haven’t had many experiences where people have issues with my business and being female. However, my business is in sewing and design which is a historically female endeavour.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years‘ time?
You know, I hope that my full time job is still going well and that I get to work on more interesting and dynamic projects in my spare time. My partner might take over full time but I think I’ll keep my balance as it is.
So there you have it! Be sure to check out their wonderful work on the link below… you wont be disappointed!
Please note, the images on this post have been taken directly from the Ethereal Designs webpage with the permission of Alex.