“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
Ideas are a dime a dozen. However, it is the execution of those ideas that truly matters. Realizing the vast potential of what started off as a mere idea based upon a mutual love of fashion and respect and understanding of the importance of understanding personal style, soon became a promising business venture with endless possibilities. Da’Monique Sonnier, 24 (Howard University, BBA International Business) and Alexia Winfield, 26 (Florida A&M University, Finance)used the entrepreneurial spirit instilled from their families and HBCU experiences to provide them with the courage to pursue a dream. Through the creation of Fashion Redeem’d, (an online vintage clothing boutique which also includes a blog aimed at assisting others in finding and understanding their own styles) they have introduced an innovative way of bringing their united passion to others. The bravery and persistence that drove them to pursue their dream until it reached its fulfillment will undoubtedly ensure their current and future success.
(Interview with Da’Monique Sonnier, Co-Founder)
What motivated you to create “Fashion Redeem’d”?
A mutual love of fashion. Each of us really enjoyed shopping, especially thrifting and cosignment. We recognized the value that gently used pieces still had and believed that people were interested, just like us, in pieces that were unique, one of a kind, stylish yet economical. What started off as a “wouldn’t it be nice” idea morphed into a business plan. The end result was an online boutique that featured a curated collection of vintage, retro and eclectic apparel for men and women.
What is the biggest challenge that you had to overcome in your creative process?
As we develop our business further and add new pieces to our collection, we are constantly trying to ensure that we offer something for everyone, no matter their aesthetic. From vintage to designer, eclectic to bold, conservative to avant-garde, we want to ensure going forward that our collection features apparel for every lifestyle from young to mature, encouraging both men and women to not accept limitations to style, but to embrace their own identity.
Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality. Our styles are complete opposites, we speak completely different languages related to fashion & style. For example, my style is vintage, eclectic and bold. I love the drama, the fit, the quality and cut of clothing from past eras. Denizens of my closet include sequins, vintage and lots of bright colors.
My business partner’s style is timeless, feminine, chic. She enjoys pieces that accentuate the form and adapts trends from past and present to fit her lifestyle. Both of our styles are distinct and very reminiscent of our perspectives on life. While we are friends and business partners, our styles are completely divergent. But that’s what makes our partnership effective. Different perspectives about the creative process help ensure that our vision is not narrow and encompasses a broader vision that has the potential to reach more people.
Our brand is more than apparel. We have a blog called Fashion DNA which is very integral to our business. Our goal is to help people learn to recognize their voice and perspective in fashion. Fashion DNA is combination of tools that analyze different aspects and behaviors that influence a consumer’s approach to fashion and style. Have you ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test? The benefit of the questionnaire was to measure how people perceive the world and make decisions. For example, were you introverted or extroverted? Are you sensitive to others or judgmental? So think Myers Briggs…but the fashionable version.
Fashion DNA is an opportunity for you to understand how you make decisions related to fashion and how you perceive your style. There are various attitudes that influence you…once you understand those influences and perspectives you can understand yourself more. For example, are you cautious with your money or do you splurge? Are you brand conscious or brand insensitive? The different dichotomies combine to form your unique Fashion DNA.
Style Alias is another component. If we asked you to describe your style in three words could you do it? We have developed a quiz that helps people do just that. By answering questions and identifying with certain characteristics, we help you identify your personal style. We have recently introduced a series in our blog called “Our Vintage…Your Style!” We highlight different people on our blog in our apparel to demonstrate that no matter what your lifestyle, Fashion Redeem’d has apparel for you that fits.
What is some advice that you can offer to others who may be seeking to accomplish similar goals?
Don’t underestimate the power of a good, no GREAT, idea. When you have something you believe in, go for it. Stop procrastinating and sit down and put your pen to paper, your thoughts to action and your dreams into reality. No one else can take the first step to success but you. Move forward today!
The knowledge that people are responding well to our vision and that our work is not in vain. When anyone comes up with an idea, a brand, they really want to feel like it resonates with their audience. For us, people really love the collections we have put together and are really interested in our blog content.
What is your favorite cocktail? And what is a lesson that you have learned from happy hour?
Cocktails are like clothes…there are so many options. It really depends on how we feel at the moment. But it’s usually something fruity and/or tropical.
Dress for the moment that hasn’t happened yet. Who knows who you will meet at happy hour and where that moment can lead you?
Learn more about us at http://fashionredeemd.com/
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Use the coupon code FashionLessons when shopping at Fashion Redeem’d to save 15% off of your entire order.