Young brand VeeChic aligns classy with contemporary
Finesse, coupled with stylistic tendencies, is an attribute ascribed to 23-year-old fashion-forward entrepreneur Vanessa Alexander.
The Mount Alvernia High School graduate and nursing enrollee at the University of the West Indies had ambitions from infancy of pioneering her own clothing business.
Such ambitions did not waver over subsequent years, but instead, grew from strength to strength.
"I started my business (VeeChic) in November 2013 after being inspired by my friends. It was always my dream to start my own clothing line, but my friends gave me that extra push I needed to start and do my first collection," the fashionista told The Gleaner.
She added: "I am also forever grateful to my mother, who taught me to sew from a very young age."
Alexander's brainchild, VeeChic was sparked by a desire to align opulent sophistication with contemporary modern chic. The brand comprises swimsuit pieces and cover-ups for women who may possess the confidence to 'dare to bare' but still maintain that classy chic demure.
The start-up capital, which plagues the majority of business hopefuls, was provided by Alexander's older brother, Vaughn. In addition to purchasing a brand-new sewing machine, he also took her fabric shopping and is her current business manager.
VeeChic operations take place in Mona Heights, St Andrew, where Alexander resides.
... At peace knowing that she made another woman feel beautiful
The bulk of her patrons are style-savvy university students or recent college graduates within the 20- to 30-year-old bracket.
However, she was quick to point out that plans are in motion to expand in-order to reach a wider target market and maximise profits.
"I've seen where it is a profitable business, but like all others, it has its ups and downs. Sewing and designing are my passion so I'm committed to it. It is definitely something I see myself doing for the foreseeable future," she told The Gleaner.
Designers both internationally and locally are cited as sources of inspiration for the young adult seeking to earn her stripes in the ever evolving realm of fashion.
"International designer Valentino Garavan and local designer Keenea Linton-George's work in women's fashion are simply amazing. I love their work ethic and how they brand and promote themselves."
In piecing together the most fitting sequence of words to describe the feeling derived from pursuing her heart's love on a daily basis, Alexander said: "Time spent sewing is a time where my brain is focused solely on fabric and thread, my hands are moving effortlessly and everything seems clear. I'm in my own comfort zone and I feel at peace creating something that I know will help another female feel beautiful while wearing it. I feel a sense of joy and accomplishment every time that needle and thread hits the fabric. It's therapeutic to me."
Words of wisdom from the confident 23-year-old to other young people conceptualising business models are: "My advice to aspiring designers or entrepreneurs is to be creative, be ready, trust the timing of your life and don't focus on other people's speed. Work in your time zone and be prepared to face failure in the pursuit of success."
* The launch of VeeChic's swimwear collection in June 2016. The collection helped to put my brand on the map.
* Showcasing my designs on TVJ's 'Smile Jamaica' was another accomplishment for me as it helped boost sales and opened numerous doors.
* Styling models in my swimwear for several music videos such as; coolest summa Ding Dong featuring Dexta Daps; Lia Caribe - Controller; D'Angel - Badmind Buk And I Octane - One Linky, just to name a few.
* Personally, I consider every new opportunity to work with another client/ business or event ending with a successful outcome an achievement.
Things to do as emerging entrepreneurs:
* Utilise the power of association, do your best to get the endorsement of a more successful figure in your field.
* You must always be ready to improve: learn from your mistakes and grow.
* Pay close attention to who you're hanging out with. Not everyone wants to see you be successful. Surround yourself with people who elevate you and motivate you to be better and do better.
Plans for the near future:
* The start of VeeChic's male line
* The launch of my Website and online store.
* Planning and executing my first individual fashion show.