Designer Background Summary:
How did you get started?
I was introduced to fashion as a little girl by my grandmother, the original Mamie Ruth. She would allow me to scour her jewelry box for vintage treasures and decorate myself with her jewelry. At 13, I began making jewelry and selling my wares at local craft shows and festivals. I continued making jewelry throughout high school and college and my hobby evolved into a career path. I attained a degree in Fashion Design and added clothing design to my repertoire. I debuted my first collection at Charleston Fashion Week in 2009 and I have been designing and selling clothes ever since.
Why did you join Noblivity® ?
It is such an innovative way for emerging designers to connect with the buyers. It is founded by successful entrepreneurs to help other entrepreneurs succeed. It is such a wonderful website and I am honored to be a part of it.
How would you describe your design style, design signature and who is your targeted customer?
My design style is bohemian chic mixed with Southern charm and tribal flare. My designs are inspired by pieces from the 60′s and 70′s. I love high waisted pants, bell-bottoms, crop tops, and fringe. I design clothes that make you want to dance. My target customer is outgoing, enjoys life, loves music, loves to travel, appreciates art, style, and fashion.
What inspires you?
Mamie Ruth designs are inspired by the sixties and seventies music scene, hippie era, world travel, Native American culture, African tribal traditions, imagination and nature. . Each collection showcases bright colors and bold prints that are reminiscent of the hippie era. Mamie Ruth embodies the free spirit and kind heart of a world traveler and the imagination and creativity of an artist.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are?
People often think that being a fashion designer isn’t a “real” job. I am asked often If “this is ALL I do?” or “If I actually make money?” People are not accepting of fashion designers in the South because it’s not the normal career path. I am always asked why I’m not in NY or LA. It’s also hard to make connections in the fashion industry when I’m not in a large fashion dominated city. But I think it’s beneficial starting out to be a big fish in a small pond than vice versa.
How did you overcome the obstacles along the way?
Even though I am not in the fashion capitals I don’t disconnect myself from them. I research people in the industry, I follow fashion blogs and stay connected to the latest news and trends. I maintain connections with local fashion icons and media outlets. I am continuously promoting my brand. I know if I fall seven times, I’ll stand up eight.
What has been your greatest moment on your journey so far?
I was extremely proud when Mad Men stylist Janie Bryant wore a Mamie Ruth design to Charleston Fashion Week and then tweeted that I was one of her favorite upcoming designers. I was also equally proud when I watched my very first collection strut the runway at Charleston Fashion Week. I immediately knew that fashion was my destiny.
What has been the biggest change in your designs so far?
My style is constantly evolving and maturing. Everyday I learn something new and beneficial that I can apply to my brand. My designs have evolved from simple shifts to more elaborate designs and they will continue to evolve.
What’s next for your brand?
Children’s wear, menswear, handbags, belts… the sky is the limit.
If money were no object what would you do right now to promote your brand?
I would mail free product to every celebrity, fashion magazine, stylist, blogger, etc. I could get an address for. I would launch a kids line, menswear line, swimwear line… I would host a HUGE fashion show and party to promote my brand. I would fly from artisans market to artisans market buying their handmade fabrics and goods and include them in my collections…. I could go on and on….
What are the best and worst things about bringing a product to market?
It is thrilling to bring a new product to market. It’s symbolizes the completion of an idea that you were able to execute into a reality. It’s also terrifying to know the amount of work that was put into the product and the possibility that it will not be accepted by the masses.
Describe your typical day?
There is no typical day. Emails, press, pr, post office, packaging, photo shoots, seamstress, samples, sketch, sales, design, network, marketing, and repeat.
What is your philosophy of life?
Que Sera Sera – Whatever will be, will be. I know that everything in life happens for a reason and in it’s own time. I live in the moment and appreciate what I have. I am thankful for each day I am given and I try not to worry too much about the future. I know that God has a plan for this crazy life of mine.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Absolutely Nothing. Each mistake or hardship has been a speed bump in the road to maturity.
When will you know you have made it?
Everyday I wake up and I feel like I have “made it” I am pursuing a career that I am passionate about and enjoy my work. I am appreciative for every sale, every boutique, every customer, and every fan. I think that as long as I am moving forward with my business I will consider myself a lucky girl.