Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Walters, Founder of Rachel Walters Collection, located in Lexington, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an accessible, sophisticated, comfortable couture that offers you stylish, wearable clothing of impeccable quality at reasonable prices. I consider the diverse women in my social network and their daily needs. Concurrently, I feed my mind with inspirational images from contemporary art, European film, mid-century modern architecture, and the nature and cityscapes of the places she's traveled. This confluence of inspirational sources mingles with my knowledge of what women enjoy wearing and need to live their lives fully expressed and comfortably.
The result is original, flattering, stylish garments in natural fibers that women are excited to wear for a variety of occasions. My designs communicate an elegant sexiness that is at once playful and sophisticated. Each piece is built to last a lifetime with a deep commitment to the finest construction quality. My Collection adamantly insists on putting people and the planet first. Therefore, all workers receive fair pay and enjoy the ethical and kind treatment. All materials are biodegradable and locally sourced. The garments are locally produced to practically eliminate carbon emissions.
Additionally, clients may customize each order to be tailored to their specs by adding a note at checkout with their measurements. A deep commitment to fine customer service is a hallmark of the brand. The brand is the culmination of my dreams since childhood and my past 15 years of experience in fashion: I have worked as a model, a retail manager, a seamstress, a pattern maker, an illustrator, and a designer.
I am a BFA in Fashion Design and graduated at the top of my class. I interned twice in Paris at couture ateliers. Then I was recruited to work in New York City, where I rose to lead designer after six years. I refined my aesthetic vision and observed the best business practices while working for others and founded my eponymous label in January 2019.
Tell us about yourself
I've loved design and sewing passionately since I was a wee tot, sketching at my drawing desk with my feet dangling well above the floor. You couldn't pry me away from my design desk then, and you can't now. It's simply who I am to make work passionately. I love doing it for myself more than working for others because I can be creatively free and enact my vision in the way I best see fit.
I have an excessive abundance of natural drive to do what I do. That spirit can't really be contained.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My collection has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Tatler, but our biggest accomplishment is receiving emails and messages from customers telling us how much they love to live in our clothes.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Maintaining high and positive energy levels while lifting the workload of about ten employees.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
It's a great idea to balance feeling ready with just jumping in. This means both methods are bad. I see people plan excessively to the point that they never launch, and I see people jump in with no plan. There's a sweet spot in the middle where you can have a loose plan but remain flexible and adaptable to the feedback the market is sending you as you respond to customers' needs.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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