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Life & Work with Alva Glass

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alva Glass.

Alva, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My journey started growing up around my parents versus typical childcare. I trailed my Dad in his sharp suits to his nearby office experiencing his entrepreneurship. Between watching Mr. Rogers Nieghborhood change of his fits on the 1980’s kids tv series, helping my Dad pick his ties and my mom was a jazzy lady that could improvise creating a beanie out of a pillowcase to keep my ears warm, well this fueled me into a growing designer and entrepreneur.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
With all my spirit, I’d affirm God has taken care of me in the long haul. I however have had a challenging journey as a brown young ambitious woman at one time starting off my career at only 19 years old interning and by 20 years old, I was done with my bachelor’s going out for interviews with prestigious clothing brands. At one point, I was Senior Product Developer at Forever 21 and other colleagues were sizing me up from the way I dressed, my southern accent, the car I drove and literally bullying me in the workplace with the Devil wears Prada nasty-tudes. Gossip was that I made too much salary. The department head rivaled with my department head and asked to demote me. I didn’t get a raise but my boss of 27 years experience fought for me strongly telling human resources if they demote me or my salary, she leaves. This was a huge confirmation to never give up where you belong or bullied because of the color of your skin questions your competency!

Unfortunately, as a brown woman, I had to think twice about everything and how I showed up in the workplace. I could count on one hand being the only minority every time. The same applies when I run my business now and showing up finding new factories, some have a prejudgment state of mind responding to me like an amateur. Sometimes I laughed… Out of every lesson or rough point, it’s been a stepping stone from closing my clothing store after four years and going back to fashion corporate fearing I couldn’t step back into the design world knowing Human resources would ask about a four years hiatus. My Dad would always say, “As long as your 6ft above ground, you can do it and don’t be afraid to start over”

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a clothing designer and product developer. I own and operate two companies of my own: Alvita Peron product development services and Sokka & Alumiere which is an organic cotton family lifestyle brand. As far as Product development services what this means is that I am the liaison between the client and the factory in which I design and produce clothing from A-Z. That means the labeling, packaging, trim and whatever it takes for the product to be shelf ready! I have relationships with local and overseas factories. Clients can choose from a la carte design services or they can opt-in a development contract for a season or more. I run my product development services while producing Sokka & Alumieres goods and we sell wholesale and retail in the US.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Some advice for those starting in the design and retail business is to always have a plan and stick to what you know best. My Dad would say don’t go off trying to please a whole lot of people and end up pleasing no one. Stick to a product you believe in and make it strong. There is always room for growth later once the item is performing well! Also, don’t get a lot of opinions, it’s best to be accountable for your own decisions and measure from there.

Pricing:

  • Anti Drop Masks range from $15-$36
  • Organic cotton/silk Turbans $26
  • Organic cotton headbands $15-18

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Photo credit: Timo Sumida www.tysuphotography.com

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