Symone Gaither / Amelia Symone
How did you become a Sewist?
I started sewing at a very young age. My mother taught me how to sew and make pillows at first. I was also a dancer when I was younger and my mother volunteered to help make our dance costumes. So I was right next to her helping her make our costumes for our performances. Once she taught me the basics of sewing I started to get more interested in making clothing and began making clothes for my Barbie Dolls.
How did you become interested in the industry?
I became more interested in bridal and evening wear before I graduated High School. My Senior year I decided to make my prom dress out of my mothers wedding dress. I enjoyed hand sewing and going through the details of turning her dress into my own dress. It made me want to learn more about how to make gowns, and how to create my own custom patterns. So I attended The Art Institute of Philadelphia and received my Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been designing for over 10 years and within the last 5 years I started to focus more on bridal.
Do you have a back story about your business?
Amelia Symone was created 8 years ago with being able to provide a luxury brand for women of all sizes to make them feel beautiful on their special day. The name Amelia Symone is my actual name. Amelia is my middle name, that was given to my mother and I from my great grandmother. A friend and I were tossing names around when we decided to switch my first name with the middle name. “Amelia Symone” was born!
What was one of the most challenging/creative jobs you have ever done?
I think the most challenging creative job that I have done is when a bride requests a style or silhouette that I have never made before. I enjoy those types of challenges and it keeps me on my toes. Not only will it open up my portfolio of creating different silhouettes, it also gives me a chance to learn more about mastering that style for my bride. I always tell my peers to always be a student and to learn things you are not familiar with. Utilize your tools that will help you gain knowledge on how to construct a garment.
What do you do to keep up with the industry?
In order to keep up with this industry you must keep up with your social media platforms. I say this because without social media Amelia Symone would not exist. Being able to create content that is engaging with your viewers, using your instagram as a marketing tool, keeping up with your website maintenance, and looking into email marketing to inform your clients about any promotions or trunk shows that you will be attending is a great way to keep up in this industry. In order to put my brand in front of my target audience I must market myself in a way that grabs their attention. I also make sure I am researching bridal and evening wear trends that keeps my brand relevant to my viewers. I still collect magazines, rip them apart and create my inspiration board that hangs in my bridal shop which inspires me daily to design and create.
What is new and exciting for 2021?
I look forward to launching a mini bridal & evening collection in 2021-2022. Amelia Symone is known to make custom gowns, so I am excited to create a collection that will give my customers a chance to now shop off of the rack for their special day.
What do you like best about WAWAK?
I love how WAWAK is able to supply many things that can help build your brand. I can rely that the quality of my supplies are good and that I can receive them so quickly. If I ever run out of sewing supplies, garment bags, threads etc I know that I can trust WAWAK to get me what I need in a short amount of time and I love that!
When it comes to your company, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my journey as a designer into becoming a business owner. I am beyond grateful to have clients that believed in my work while I worked out of my second bedroom in my apartment to now working out of my bridal shop. Having people cheering you on because they see the value in you and your business is what I am proud of. I have come a long way and it is just amazing to see how I never gave up on myself as a designer.
What advice do you give to the next generation of Designers?
My advice would be to always educate yourself by learning new drawing applications, sewing techniques, tools that will help you succeed by making a garment. My teachers used to tell me, if you can not wear that garment inside out then start over. Make the inside of your garment as beautiful as the outside. This method still sticks with me till this day, so it is important that you understand the construction of making a garment inside and out.
Lastly, I will advise once you start to grow a business where you sell your product to the consumer, not everyone will be your customer. And that's okay! Focus on your consumers that embrace your style, your culture, and your vision that encourages you to keep on designing what you want for your target audience.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop?
In order for my business to continue to grow I am currently learning more and more each day what it takes to become a successful business owner. I attend specific webinars that entrepreneurs in the fashion industry set up for creatives like myself to learn more about what it takes to run a business. In order for me to grow as a designer I research different sewing techniques, learning to source my fabrics and trims overseas so that I can always provide the best quality fabrics to my clients.
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