Thursday, December 30, 2010

Here's to You 2011!


When I sat down with Amy Gibbons of Bags of Blessing two years ago and said, "here's what I want to do and you would be my very first designer BUT I'm not sure how I'm going to do it", I can only be filled with joy and relief that she believed in my vision as much as I did.  That was the beginning and we keep learning and reaching each and everyday.

I started Aesthetic Design Style to help people.  That was it.  That was my vision.  I thought I could combine my love of fashion with my love of people and hopefully help someone realize their dream along the way.  I cannot tell you the ups and downs I've encountered during the past two years; as many people have experienced when starting something from the ground up.  Each and every up or down has been a learning experience I have taken to heart and taken personally to help our designers and our boutique owners get where they want to be.  Not only have I learned so much about business in general, but I've learned a TON about myself.

The most important thing I've learned is that this is what I want to do in life.  How lucky am I to have found the passion I have always carried with me but hadn't known what it was.  On the worst day the thought never ever crossed my mind to quit.  There were a lot of things in my life that I've started but never finished (not that I'm proud of that), but my business was not one of those things and it never will be. 

This past year has also brought the answers to my prayers in the way of Janelle and Alyssa.  There is so much to be said for good people.  To have such talented individuals who can see my vision and genuinely care about the business as much as I do is truly hard to find and I found it TWICE!  Each brings their own specialty and talents to Aesthetic Design and 2011 is sure to be our best year ever.  To have clarity and focus and know what needs to be done AND have help doing it - there's nothing to stop us. 

We hope you stay tuned to all we have "up our sleeves" and keep supporting our wonderful designers and independent fashion as a whole.  Buying local here in Indiana or anywhere you are is important to each economy and if we all a conscious effort to do so the industry and our cities will thrive. 

Until Then:  "2011 is THE year of an independent fashion revolution" - me :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

From All of Us to All of You

Our focus all year long is to get our designers into boutiques and into the hands of shoppers around the world.  That's our goal. We've achieved, we've met halfway, and we've fallen short - it happens and we've learned from it all. 

We could not do what we do without you and all you do for Aesthetic Design Style all year long.  From the referrals to the facebook "likes" to the retweets we appreciate each and every acknowledgment that we are on the right path with what we are most passionate about.  We work so hard behind the scenes and to see things coming to fruition is simply the best gift we could ever hope to get.

This time of year it's so easy to get caught up in what someone else has or thinking we NEED so many things to make us happy.  The holidays are a nice time to sit back and re-evaluate where we are in our lives and what is most important to us.  Take the time to just STOP and realize what you have and appreciate each and every moment with the special people in your lives. 

Know how much we appreciate you and your support of us and all of our designers.  We look forward to working with many of you and bringing you the best and brightest in 2011.

Warm Holiday Wishes,
Julia, Janelle, and Alyssa

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hurrah for Indianapolis: Number Five in the Top 25 Shopping Cities

Forbes Magazine released an article featuring it's top 25 best shopping cities last week. Indianapolis ranked fifth on the list, beating major metropolitan areas like New York and Chicago. Perhaps the rest of the country sees the prize us fellow Hoosiers ignore. According to Forbes, Indianapolis houses 5,955 retail locations and 18 shopping centers. Add on the seven percent sales tax, and Indianapolis is considered a major jewel in the retail economy.

But what makes Indianapolis so great? Is it our big box retailing or our independent and local shopping finds? There are many local retailers, within the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, that offer better selection, price and quality than its mainstream counterparts. We couldn't feature all of them, but here are a few gems that can't go unoticed.

Fountain Square: IndySwank (photo pulled from IndySwank FB page) Journey down Virginia Avenue and you find the Fountain Square district. In the heart of Fountain Square you can find one of the creme de la creme of  vintage boutiques, IndySwank. IndySwank features vintage items and handcrafted works from many of Indianapolis' fashion designers. IndySwank's address is 1043 Virginia Ave #4 here in Indianapolis.

Castleton: Butterfly Consignment (photo pulled from Butterfly Consignment's Facebook page) Butterfly has been opened for a year, but has already made its mark on retail here in the Circle City. The shop sells gently used, new and handmade goods. It's your one stop shop for clothing, jewelry and body care items. Butterfly Consignment is located on 6697 E. 82nd St. in the Castleton Village Shopping Plaza.

Broad Ripple: Rain Boutique (photo pulled from Rain Boutique's FB page) Rain Boutique is a place where California and Indianapolis meet. Owned by two longtime friends, Mesha Cabbell and Brittany Manning, the store specializes in denim, handbags, standard and plus size clothing. Rain opened up a second store in California in December 2009. Rain is located at 839 E. Westfield Blvd in the heart of Broad Ripple.

Downtown: Silver in the City (photo pulled from Silver in the City's website) On Massachusetts Avenue you will find a gift store that will WOW your senses. Open since 2000, Silver in the City was voted best local gift store four times. It shares space with its sister store, Home in the City. You can't walk out of this store empty handed. Silver and Home in the City is located at 434 Massachusetts Ave in Downtown Indianapolis.

Let's try to push Indianapolis to number one on Forbes' list next year. Make sure you support your local boutiques too.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Meet the Team

We have recently acquired some new members to our Aesthetic Design Style family.  This time they aren't on the designer side (though one is an AMAZING designer and I hope she'll join us in that capacity too) but the business side of what we do.  I thought an introduction was in order and a short interview with both would give you a small view into their worlds and why they are such a good fit for us.  So without further ado please MEET ALYSSA AND JANELLE ~

Alyssa, a native of Fowler, Indiana., is a senior at the Art Institute of Indianapolis majoring in fashion design. Not only does she intern for Aesthetic Design Style, but she also works at the Pitaya boutique in Broad Ripple. Once Alyssa graduates, she wants to work for a fashion house or label while working on her own line.

Janelle, born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana is a junior at Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in public relations. She runs a plus size fashion and lifestyle blog called Ruby Leonne. After graduation, Janelle plans to work freelance in fashion public relations.

Now for a little fun ~ We asked Alyssa and Janelle the same questions and here are their answers ~

 1. Why independent fashion instead of mainstream fashion?
      Alyssa:  "I worked in retail for 3 years and I loved it at first then they started enforcing rule after rule so I  started hating the corporate world " 
Janelle:  "There are so many independent designers out there more worthy of praise then its mainstream counterparts. Independent designers are in touch with their audience. They see trends from the street first and play with those trends. Independent designers are under the radar, so they can experiment with silhouettes and fabrics. They don’t sway their aesthetic because of money. They stay true to their true love…fashion.

2. Tell us about your “aha” moment when you finally knew what you wanted to do with your life?
Alyssa:  "I worked at Joann Fabrics for three years and helped so many people pick out fabric and trims and even help them with their sewing questions.  Seeing how excited they were about there project made me excited and want to make things that made other people happy."
Janelle:  "It’s a funny story. I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer, but I can’t sew or draw. In college, my initial major was journalism. Newspapers started shifting their dailies and merging with larger corporations, and good journalists were losing their jobs. One day I was watching one of my favorite television shows, Absolutely Fabulous. The main character, Edwina, is a publicist that dealt with celebrity, music and fashion. Just like that, I knew that is what I wanted to do. I changed my major to public relations immediately.

3. City or Suburbs?
Alyssa:  "City all the way"
Janelle:  "I’m definitely a city girl. I need the police station, hospital, ethnic hair salon and soul food/dive restaurant to be no more than 10 minutes from my house."

4. Favorite ADS Designer so far?
Alyssa:  "I cant choose one. I know and see all the dedication and see beauty in everything they make."
Janelle:  "Catou by Berny Martin. His looks are classic. His tailoring is flawless. His pieces are timeless and remind me of another Indiana designer, Bill Blass."

5. Your fashion story – how did you become obsessed?
Alyssa:  "Growing up in the country fashion didn't really matter to much. People never were seen wearing Gucci sunglasses while moving miles of grass that we called our backyard. But growing up I was always playing dress up and loved all the fabrics and colors. I never followed trends and always had my own style. No matter how much the kids made fun of me I wore what I liked and what I thought was trendy. I took a sewing class in school and found out how good I really was at sewing and life took off from there."
Janelle:  "I’m a child of the 80’s. Fashion and self expression was HUGE then. The 80’s were a period when street fashion set the guidelines for what the couture houses would construct. I remember watching Elsa Klentch’s “Style” with my mother and sister. My sister wanted to be a model and I wanted to be a designer. We would rule the fashion empire with our super fashion powers."

6. If you were a piece of vintage clothing what era would you be from and what piece of clothing would you be?
Alyssa:  "Eighties Punk! I love all the colors and the grungy leather. I would be an off the shoulder t-shirt its simple but sexy. It never goes out of style."
Janelle:  "1950’s black tea length evening dress or Audrey Hepburn’s signature black “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” dress. I look at my elder family member’s vintage photos all the time. Women dressed back then. They put on gloves to go to the store. We’re lazy now. Heck…I’m lazy."

7. Clutch or Messenger?
Alyssa:  "Messenger! I have too much stuff for a clutch. I'm always on the go."
Janelle:  "Both…depends on the outfit. If it is a formal event, I would carry a clutch. For everyday outings, I’d carry a messenger.

8. Why pursue a career in fashion in Indiana?
Alyssa:  "My family is here to support me. And I like the challenge."
Janelle:  "There was a time I hated Indianapolis and I wanted to leave. I had the option to move twice, but I never did. Just recently I was convinced that Indianapolis will be my home for good. I established a life; there is no reason for me to leave any longer. The fashion citizens of Indianapolis are making an effort in increasing fashion awareness here in Indianapolis. I want to help build the fashion community from the ground up."

9. Coco Chanel or Elsa Schiaparelli?
Alyssa:  "Coco she is classy and sophisticated."
Janelle:  "Chanel. Yes Chanel was the mother of women’s sportswear, but she was more than that. She came from nothing and grew against all odds and became one of the most revered women of all time."

10. If we polled all of your friends what would be one word they would use to describe you?
Alyssa:  "Quirky"
Janelle:  "Just one word…WOW…mmm…unconventional.

11. How long have you lived in Indianapolis?
Alyssa:  "Year and a few months"
Janelle:  "32 years…all my life."

12. Since so many of our meetings are held at Starbucks what is your favorite gourmet beverage?
Alyssa:  "Actually I hate coffee! It's just a good place for business meetings."
Janelle:   "Java Chip. Starbucks is made from holy hands; that’s why it’s addicting."

13. Where do you the Indianapolis fashion industry in 5 years?
Alyssa:  "I see it being more recognized by people. And I hope to see more designers coming out of the woodwork!"
Janelle:  "Indianapolis is a growing city. I hope within five years the city becomes a mecca of Midwest fashion. One day when someone refers to American fashion, Indianapolis will be mentioned with the main cities like New York, Los Angeles and Miami."

14. How in the world did you find us and what attracted you (besides our amazing designers, our sparkling personality, and our bright smile)?
Alyssa:  "I heard about you through school and I decided to do some research before I contacted you in the hope of a job! It all worked out according to plan."
Janelle:  "I found ADS on twitter and looked at the website to find out what the company did. I thought it would be a great experience to work with such a company. Once I met Julia, I was on board. I hope to grow with ADS and its clients."

15. How do you want to save the world?
Alyssa:  "The world cant be saved! But i can try to at least make the people living in it look good!"
Janelle:  "If everyone learns to love and take stock in themselves, I think the world would be a happier place. There are so many unhappy people out here; pulling everyone else down into their darkness. When people look in the mirror and like what they see, it builds their esteem and increases the love they have for themselves.  I want to help people like what they see when they look in the mirror. That’s kind of a Miss America answer…" (we like it :)

Believe me, we are the lucky ones - to have women who not only are empowered themselves but who also are in this world to help and empower others is simply a sight of grace.  There is nothing that stands in our way so watch for us in 2011 - we will be a force to be reckoned with! 

Until Then:  "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." - Harriet Tubman