From late night sewing sessions to managing business operations, running a business in the fashion industry can be a lot of work.
Meet Jessica, owner and designer of Laura Faye and mompreneur, who does it all, with each leather clutch and accessory carefully designed and hand-made with care.
Jessica always had a love for fashion, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandizing and a Master of Science in Business Industry Training from Old Dominion University (ODU), which paved the way for Jessica to operate a fashion business. In March of 2013, on her birthday, Jessica launched her business – Laura Faye. For three years, she was operating her business part-time. It wasn’t until 4 months ago, when she decided it was time to run her business full-time.
Dedication and Commitment
In 2015, Jessica spent 6 months travelling to New York every week, learning how to construct garments using patterns. On the other hand, the beautiful accessories and neck-pieces – she mastered on her own. Jessica explains that running a business is a lot of work.
“It takes a lot of time and energy to keep things running. Besides being really meticulous, everything from each product shot, building my website, keeping my books, maintaining my social media presence, styling and modeling for each photo shoot, plus designing and manufacturing each item – I still do it all myself. “
With all the time and energy needed to run a business, it is not just the sewing skills that need to perfected, Jessica explains that business operations, managing social media accounts and styling for photoshoots are some skills to learn.
Jessica can do what she loves full-time — and that is managing Laura Faye. What Jessica loves even more, is being able to give back. It is important for Jessica to try and make a difference in the world. A portion of Laura Faye’s proceeds go to the Children’s Crisis and Outreach Center in Chesapeake, Virginia each month. With a smile as big as her heart, she hopes that Laura Faye will give her more opportunities for philanthropy work, and open a food and clothing shelter to give back to the community.
Motivation and Inspiration
Jessica grew up watching her father operate his business, as he is a very successful entrepreneur himself. Jessica’s mom is also a mompreneur and a huge inspiration! At 56 years old, mother of 5 adult children, her mom owns a daycare by day and is currently in school at night. In December, her mom will finish her Nursing Assistant program. Her mother, father, and son, motivate her as she moves through the journey of being a mompreneur. Her family is her biggest support system. Running a business can be exhausting but she encourages Moms to take that step and start turning business ideas into a reality.
“Do it! Being an entrepreneur isn’t pretty. Its exhausting and sometimes, very lonely – especially for a mother. But I’m doing it and so can you! My advice would be to never give up on your dreams just because you’re a mother. When your children grow up, they’ll admire that fact that you never gave up and you kept something just for yourself. Some mom’s think that because they’re responsible for their children’s future, they have to sacrifice their own. But that’s not the case! I always see the admiration in my son’s eyes for what I do. So be bold. Be brave. Be courageous. We need you!”
Get them Involved
For Jessica, it has helped her to get her son involved with her business. From participating in photoshoots with his own camera, to helping her with small task, there is always a time for them to bond. It is all about balance. Jessica saw how much work her father put into his business, but he always dedicated time for just her. The balance that her father displayed is one characteristic that she appreciates now that she is running her own business and taking care of her son.
Jessica has been a vendor at many conferences and shows. Mark your calendar! Her next event will be on November 19th, from 2-6pm at the Hugh R. Copeland Center in Norfolk, VA, where she will be hosting her pop-up shop.