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Meet Trailblazer Evelyn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Evelyn.

Evelyn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working on my brand Vashtieve in September 2018. A year before starting my brand, I was working toward opening my accounting/tax agency. I had been in school for accounting and had four years experience under my belt. In the process of opening my company, I ran into some roadblocks with the IRS and after many letters and months of waiting, I realized the IRS wouldn’t budge and I had to change my plans. During the next couple of months, I spent a lot of time painting. One night as I was painting, I had an epiphany! “If I can make a face out of a blank canvas, I can make clothes!” I had never sewn a garment or much less made a pattern before this but designing and making clothes had been one of my dreams since I was a child. The next day, I called my mom and told her about my idea. She said she had a sewing machine she never used and gifted it to me. That same day, I went to the fabric shop to buy swimwear fabric and began practicing. I had come up with the name Vashtieve a couple of years prior while reading the Bible so I knew this was the perfect fit. I already had an Etsy shop for my paintings at this time so after getting some practice, I began uploading some of my designs on my Etsy. A couple of months later, I got a website on Shopify and began my journey with I have been on this journey for only a year now and every single day, I learn something new. I am in love with the process of growing something from nothing and I am very grateful to have found something I am truly passionate about.

Has it been a smooth road?
There has definitely been some challenges along the way. I took several business classes in college and helped run a small business before starting my brand so certain business aspects have been easy for me but I knew nothing about the fashion industry or how to even properly construct a garment so learning my craft has had its challenges. My advice to other people starting their business is to practice patience. If you are like me starting a business with a dollar and a dream (literally), you’re not going to be an overnight success. Great things take time and the only way to make it is to be truly passionate about it and be willing to make some sacrifices. Oh, and take some accounting classes!

We’d love to hear more about Vashtieve.
I am a fashion designer. I specialize in couture clothing and my brand Vashtieve is a women’s clothing brand. All items are “hand made to order” here in Houston, TX. Swimsuits have been the main focus of my brand but I am slowly expanding into other areas as well and I have a winter collection of faux fur coats coming this year so im very excited about that. The thing that sets me apart from others is that my designs are unique and original and handmade by me not bought from a catalog, made in India or China. Fast fashion is a huge problem with its fashion waste and pollution and “made to order” fashion brands are helping to reduce that so I am proud of being in that category and I plan on remaining that way even as I expand.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
I do not have a mentor but I try to surround myself with people who I admire for different things. I follow people on Instagram who inspire me or who I view as successful and I listen to them and I take what I need and leave what I don’t. I use books and past life experiences as mentors. As far as networking goes, I am still trying to find the perfect recipe but what has worked the best for me is going out wearing my designs and giving out business cards and actually talking to anybody who compliments my outfit. I use Instagram as a portfolio of my work and to find people who I am interested in working with in the future. I recently started using Facebook, Google, and Instagram ads and I think thats a great way to market your brand, in general, and meet potential customers or partners.

Contact Info:

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