Michele Blanchard / MB Design Gallery
How long have you been in the industry?
I made my first prom gown for my oldest sister at age 12. That was my start. However, MB Design Gallery began with the creation of actress Nicole Ari Parker’s 2010 Emmy Gown. The best move I ever made was resigning from my government fulltime job of 17 years in 2006 to pursue my fashion design business full time. That one leap of faith propelled me to national and international recognition.
How DID YOU BECOME A DESIGNER?
I came from a large family and my mother was a seamstress. I wanted my own identity, so I developed the creative ability to design and make some of my clothing at a very early age.
How did you become interested in Designing?
In my youth, I wanted to be a model, so fashion was always in my blood. Being able to create my own vision of fashion trends excited me. Bringing smiles to my customers and seeing my creation being worn and appreciated as well as name brands bring a sense of accomplishment.
What makes your business different than others?
I create only custom clothing so each garment is different. This allows me to be more creative. This also allows the customer to participate and add some of their own vision to the project.
When it comes to your company, what are you most proud of?
My ability to adapt and incorporate new product lines for example making draperies, costumes, or crochet items from infant attire to stylish dresses, pants, swimsuits, and handbags.
What was one of the most challenging jobs you have ever done?
The 2010 Emmy Gown and my daughter’s bridal gown right in the middle of prom season were very challenging. Also, a custom pageant outfit that included a headpiece was very challenging.
What do you like best about WAWAK?
Good quality products, a large inventory and great sales that make you want to purchase. The customer service department is responsive.
What advice do you give to the next generation of Designers?
Stay focused. Take in as much knowledge as you can from all sources available. Be willing to learn. Be willing to go the extra mile. The person that goes the extra mile is the designer that has what it takes to make this a success.
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