Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Designer Dish {Amy Tangerine}

Customers at Galeana tell me that part of what makes my store so appealing is that I carry several - what they call - "different designers." It's the "stuff that you don't see everywhere."

Personally, I take this as a compliment. I like that I take risks and push my customers to step outside of their comfort zone a bit. You can go anywhere to buy a white tshirt and jeans, and while I also carry a few of those basics, I tend to lean towards stuff that - well - you don't see everywhere. The lines I carry are more unique.

Having said that, I feel like it's my responsibility to know a little bit about these independent designers. So I thought it would be interesting to share the dish with you. It's about them and by them. If successful, perhaps this will turn into a regular series.

Today's Designer Dish is with Amy Tan. Her line, Amy Tangerine, is filled with embroidered goodness. Mostly women's and baby/children's tees (there are a few accessories), it's sweet, fresh and easy to enjoy.

Below is a bit more about Amy:

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am 30 years old and an only child. Born and raised in Chicago until I was 15, I moved to Atlanta and lived there for 10 years, and currently I have been in Los Angeles for 5 years. I enjoy traveling and being on-the-go, but can also be happy staying at home being crafty. My two Jack Russell Terriers, Buster and Bamboo, keep me on my toes at all times.

How did you start your business?
It started basically by accident 7 years ago. I asked my mom to teach me how to crochet so that I could make arm warmers for outdoor photo shoots (I was working as a fashion stylist at the time). After wearing them into a store opening party, the owners asked if I could make them some to sell in the store. I delivered them and sold a pair right out of the bag. Three hours later, they called me and said half of them had already sold. After some press and selling to a few more stores, springtime came and I decided to hand embroider some tank tops. Fred Segal picked them up and a few months later Cindy Crawford was photographed in Glamour Magazine wearing one of them. At that point I decided I might have a business and flew to NY for my first big tradeshow.

How have you kept things fresh?
I travel a lot and seek inspiration of all kinds, whether it be from daily life, nature, people or different places, I try and keep an open mind and not follow trends too closely. I just make what I like.

Who are some of your favorite designers?
I love the lines Corey Lynn Calter, Notice, Rebe and Robin's Jeans.

Where else do you get inspiration?
I love crafting, and seeing cute cards and paper products is really inspiring. I think it translates well onto positive and fun tee shirts.

What advice would you give someone looking to start a new business?
I think it's important to take things slowly and day by day. The big ideas are wonderful, but stick to what is true in your heart. Also, get advice from a couple mentors, seek wisdom from them and always be willing to learn from mistakes. I've learned new things every day, and am grateful for those lessons.

And now... for all those proud Texans (or those of you who wish you were from Texas)... check out Galeana's latest arrival:

(Eat your heart out, California.)

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