Sunday, August 7, 2011

Posted

Check out my recent feature in The Atlanta Post!!

http://atlantapost.com/2011/08/05/stylish-e-commerce-black-online-fashion-entrepreneurs-to-watch/7/


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My latest creation...very true to my personal style. :-)


See how that one fits me so well? That's cause it was made for me, teehee!

This ensemble is available on Etsy customizable in size and color.

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Here's the full interview from my Atlanta Post feature mentioned above:



1.) Please list your name, age and city where you/the site are based.

Name: Tiesha Houston
Age: 28
Based in: Lafayette, LA {Originally from Grambling, LA}

2.) How and when did you start designing? Or when did you decide to launch an e-commerce site? What inspired you? Do you have a background in fashion or were you working for someone else and branched out on your own? Maybe you had a strong reputation as a tastemaker and decided to capitalize on it by starting a business.

It has officially been about 7 years since I began to seriously see myself as a clothing designer, although my interest in design goes back much farther. Designing and making garments speaks to the part of me that--ironically--likes to uncover things. I enjoy learning how things are put together and function and putting things together and making them function. It is likely that I could have enjoyed a career in house construction for this reason. However, I also have an affinity for art and style in dress, and working as one who designs and constructs clothing allows me to satisfy my curiosities in each of these areas.

I opened my first e-commerce site in September 2005 (sewfly.etsy.com) out of a desire to offer my creations--garments with an artistic flare--to a broader audience. I discovered a more prevalent appreciation for my one-of-a-kind, handmade clothing online than was
recognizable in my immediate environment. After an extended period of experimenting in wearable art, I began to create what may be described as more sophisticated garments. These new styles became the foundation for my current flyTie label and another shop, flytie.etsy.com, was launched in April 2007. The two shops were combined in 2009.

Although I have a bachelor of science degree in apparel design and merchandising, the only true work experience that I have in this field is the experience that I have created for myself. After graduating I had no desire to work for a design company, yet I knew that if I were going to work in garment design and construction where I reside, then I would have to create the opportunity for myself. The internet and e-commerce sites have been important factors in my ability to do so.

3.) Do you have any information on how much revenue your work has generated?

Yes, and I realized early on that revenue and profits from my business are directly related to the amount of energy I put into creating and promoting my work. During periods when my inspiration and motivation to create are lacking or when my energy and efforts are being put more towards community activism and education (I teach sewing, English, and reading in various settings), revenue from my work as a designer is lower. When energy put towards my designing is high and creativity is flowing, revenue increases.

4.) Is your work currently sold in freestanding stores? If not, are any plans in the works?
Not currently, but in the past flyTie Clothing was sold in stores here in Lafayette, Los Angeles, Miami, and Boston. I currently have inquiries from boutique owners and will soon begin to put energy towards getting my garments into stores again.

5.) What, if any, obstacles have you encountered? A rough economic climate? Standing out in the market among buyers and consumers? Getting coverage in the media?
My main obstacles usually come in the form of mental blockages. Aside from that, at one time I was once under the impression that it was difficult to penetrate the local market with my wears. I eventually realized, though, that my focus had to change from those who were more interested in the latest fashion trends to those who have an interest in and appreciation for original, one-of-a-kind and locally made garments. Once I came to this realization, new opportunities for me to share my work on a local level began to present themselves.

6.) Anything I haven’t asked you that you would like to mention about yourself/ the line/ the site? Any special events coming up?

While designing and making clothes is thoroughly enjoyable to me, doing so is not the complete source of my fulfillment. I am always working at creating avenues through which I can use my skills and knowledge to assist in empowering others. In addition to offering free sewing classes in communities here in Lafayette, I have worked to create a program whereby the local housing authority would fund the establishment in a government housing community of a sewing, creativity, and cultural center so that residents would have better access to engaging and progressive activities. Also, in conjunction with the local chapter of a national organization, myself and others are working to establish a garment production facility as a means to provide viable work and stimulate economics in low-income, commercially desolate communities. My work and passions extend beyond art and design. They also encompass grass-roots organizing, community, culture, history, economic and social uplift, and more. My ongoing efforts involve extending myself in each of these areas in order to affect a more pleasant life experience for myself and those who I am able to help.

An online collection of my design work from over the years can be viewed at picturetrail.com/flytieclothing.

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peace!
:-)



1 comment:

Julie said...

Very cool! It's fascinating to get a glimpse of artist's creative processes and I love that you do so much to support your community. What an inspiring post! :)