Monday, April 13, 2009

Customer Conversation for April with DressReHERsal!

This month 44th Street Fabric is featuring one of our favorite customers, Lisa, owner and designer at DressReHERsal, her Etsy store! We were lucky enough to interview Lisa about her business and her fabulous designs. All of us were raving about these pics of Lisa's designs made from some of the fabrics we offer in our Etsy store and on our new website! We think the little model is adorable too!


Lisa - we just love the gorgeous clothing you make for your Etsy shop! When did you first start sewing and why?

My grandma taught me to sew when I was 8 years old. In college I made extra money by offering dorm room make-overs. I was also known as the girl who can do alterations to just about anything.

What is the inspiration for your designs?

My inspiration comes from my children. My son is 8, and he goes to private school. The school was throwing away uniforms that were missing buttons, etc, and I decided to take them home and turn them into purses, headbands and lunch totes. I ended up raising money for the school out of items that would have been thrown away. When we found our we would be having a baby girl, I started making her clothes, bibs, blankets. Once she arrived we would go out wearing her adorable outfits and people would stop us on the stree asking "where did you get that?" I got stopped so often that I decided to put a few designs on Etsy. My business took off almost immediately. Less than a year later, I have sold over 1000 items on etsy and to other stores and online boutiques.

Why did you decide to open an Etsy shop?

I decided to open an Etsy shop as an outlet to my creative ideas and to make a little extra income on the side. I had no idea the doors that would open once I put just a few designs on Etsy.

What is your favorite thing about Etsy?

I like Etsy because it is a great place for people to find that unique outfit or gift. It has also given me exposure as a designer of childrens clothing as well as a photographer. Dress ReHERSal is in over 20 stores nationwide and my daughter Emily (20 months) has been modeling for a few online boutiques as well.

As a small business owner, what have been your biggest challenges in starting a new business?

As a small business owner, my biggest challenge has been the competition. Unfortunately, there are a few women out there who want to get ahead so bad, that they will go out of their way to bring down the competition. Although I have made many friends amongst other clothing designers and Etsians, someone very close to me tried to sabatage my success for her own financial gain. Thanks to the loving support of my husband and friends, and the great shops who I had already been working with, they were not steered away by this person. This incident made me a stronger and a bit more guarded with the way I do business.

What do you have planned for the future of DressReHERsal?

I once was looking into taking my goods to the Atlanta Market to show to all stores and boutiques. But, after a bit of thought, I have decided to maintain the loyal customer base that I have and continue being a "One man Band". There is a certain sense of pride in knowing that I single handedly design and sew every item for my Dress ReHERSal clothing line. In addition to Etsy, I also do local craft shows in the Summer and Home Shows in the Winter. My line is pretty well known in Raleigh, NC.
In addition to Dress ReHERSal, I also work part time as an Account Executive. With the economy being in the current state that it's in, I find it rather interresting that my sales continue to be steady. I suppose kids are always growing and they always need new clothes. I like keeping my prices low, but providing the same quality piece that one would get from a high end shop. We live in a fairly large city, Raleigh, NC. It is amazing how many times I have run into children wearing my clothes. At the local pumpkin patch, my son pointed out "look mom, that little girl is wearing one of your skirts!" At the Easter Egg hunt, my husband said he felt like he was with a celebrity because so many mommies asked me if they could get my card - several girls were wearing some of my Spring Line and the moms were quick to point to me as the Designer. Another friends emailed me pictures of her daughter in Disney, wearing one of my custom capri sets, standing between Mickey and Minnie Mouse - she said she could have sold 50 of the capri sets, if she had my cards with her. It is so rewarding and gratifying to know that there are women out there who go just as bazerk about buying my clothing as I do about making it!

Tell us one fun thing about you personally.

Something about me personally. I am married to my high school sweatheart and we have two wonderful children. Michael 8 and Emily 20 months. I get so much love an support from my husband and my kids.

Thanks Lisa!

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