fashion designers

Savvy & Chic Business Corner- Designs by Estell




Cherika Hart, the owner of Designs by Estell, is quietly and quickly taking over the trending craft of sewing and designing. Self taught, minus the one class she took at Joann's Fabric, Cherika's craftsmanship and attention to detail is amazing considering she has only been sewing and designing for 10 months. With designs ranging from tea skirts, monogrammed clutches, maxi dresses, and even head wraps, Designs by Estell is a brand to be on the look out for!



Cherika Hart owner of Designs by Estell



When asked what inspired her to sew, Cherika states, "I have always wanted to sew but was afraid of the actual sewing machine itself. Watching my grandmother and aunt sew until they passed away was very inspirational to me. To see a piece of fabric become my uniform for school was like magic to me. Once I got older, I was so curious about sewing that I would look inside of my clothes to figure out how everything was attached to make the actual garment. However, I was still afraid of the machine. Until one day, I left a very depressing job that I could not take another day of. I decided that I would start selling bows to gather enough funds for a sewing machine. Bows turned into tutus, monogramming and bow hangers so the money came quicker than expected. September 2015, I knew this was not something temporary. I knew this was a passion that was buried in me for years. My husband decided then, at that moment I needed a logo and a name before we moved any further. Well…. Considering nobody knew my middle name but my close family, I decided it was time to break out of the shell of embarrassment. Yes for 30 years I was embarrassed that I was named after my grandmother, Estell. I lied to several friends about it. Because my grandmother was my inspiration to sew, it was only right, I carried her legacy on with OUR name."
 






In January of 2016, Cherika realized that this was more than a hobby/ penny pincher. "I actually felt good waking up and starting on projects and orders. It was refreshing!" Cherika started sewing different items and started receiving orders immediately. "It amazes me how far I have come in this little time but I know I have a long way to go in this industry. I’m excited to learn more so that my business will expand."





Her biggest challenge to date when it comes to running a business- "My biggest challenge at this point is stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new pieces. I’m more comfortable with creating skirts and little girls pieces more than anything. However, I have created dresses, rompers and peplums as well, which I find very challenging. I’m in a sewing academy now learning how to self-draft and I’m getting comfortable with making adjustments with commercial patterns." Cherika is also looking to expand her line to include items for tall women."It is hard trying to shop for apparel that really fits tall women. Most of the time, the real issue is the length. A maxi is not considered a maxi if it stops above the ankles, right? lol. It feels and looks funny. As a tall and slim woman it is frustrating when I see beautiful pieces to only try it on and be disappointed with the length."






We asked Cherika what's next for Designs by Estell "I  also plan to teach my daughter Joi Lei the basic of sewing because she seems to be very interested and curious like I was. The only difference is, she is not afraid. Her business will “Blossom” later.

For more info on Designs by Estell

Like Designs by Estell on Facebook 
and 
Follow @Designsbyestell on IG. 








Memphis Fashion Week- Emerging Designers Application Deadline




APPLICANTS:
Memphis Fashion Week is looking for designers ages 13+ at all skill levels to submit between 1-5 complete looks for a chance to showcase their designs on the runway with professional models, hair and makeup. Looks should be created for Spring/Summer 2017. All looks must be new designs created for this specific season. Designers applying should not gross more than $50,000/year as a fashion designer. Those designers grossing more than $50,000/year should apply to be shown as a fe...atured designer.

DEADLINES:
Submit your designs Monday September 12, 2016 for S/S '17. Memphis Fashion Week will be held Spring 2017.

DESIGNER APPLICANT OPPORTUNITIES:
TEENS: Designers ages 13-16 years old may submit 1-2 looks to be a part of the EMDP Teen Showcase. Looks do not have to be a cohesive collection, but should be fashion forward designs for Spring/Summer 2017
SINGLES: Designers may submit between 1-3 looks to be a part of the EMDP Singles Showcase. Looks do not have to be a cohesive collection, but should be fashion forward designs for Spring/Summer 2017.
MINI COLLECTION: Designers should submit 5 cohesive Spring/Summer 2017 looks to be applicable for the EMDP Mini Collections Showcase.

CHOSEN DESIGNERS:
Once chosen, each designer will receive $50 per look to purchase materials and complete their garments. Through out the designing process designers will have mandatory check-ins with MFW, giving each designer one-on-one mentoring.

WINNING DESIGNER:
One designer from each category will be chosen as the Judge's and People's Choice designer. The winner will receive a VIP goodie bag from Memphis Fashion Week, a scholarship to the Memphis College of Art Continuing Education fashion program, a secured spot in next year's Memphis Fashion Week and a membership to The Lab by Memphis Fashion Design Network.

We look forward to receiving your applications!
Please email any questions to MemphisFashionWeek@gmail.com