Posted on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 5:59AM
This summer we’re partnering with bestselling author and Good Morning America contributor Tory Johnson to celebrate the daring women who have turned their passion into much, much more — be it a fashion label, an accessory line, or a home décor company. As Tory embarks on a 20-city tour to promote her new book, Spark & Hustle, and inspire women entrepreneurs, we've launched our Tory Shop, a series of sales curated in collaboration with Tory that feature some of our favorite finds from women-run, small businesses.
First up is designer Julie Brown! Julie was a buyer for Ralph Lauren who knew she had more to offer, so she launched Julie Brown Designs as an accessories line in 2001. Today her line ranges from apparel to accessories to home, and is known for its classic silhouettes finished with fun, feminine details.
We chatted with the New York-based designer, asking how she got started and what it’s like to run her own label. See what she had to say below!
You come from a family of artists, how did fashion become your medium?
I used to set up my closet by color . . . take my babysitters into it and show them! My mom and I used to go see all of the different styles and amazing stores in New York City. My grandfather had a men’s store right near Wall Street, and he was a very, very big inspiration to me — he was beyond talented.
What made you decide to go out on your own as a designer?
I knew it was something I just had to do. I knew that I could do it, and I followed my heart and my passion.
What do you love most about running an independent design business?
Every day is like an adventure!
What’s the biggest challenge?
Knowing that I need to have a balance and make designated times to focus on one aspect of my business at a time.
You’ve said you can create stories with clothes, what stories are you trying to tell?
The story is always a happy and bright one. Imagine yourself somewhere wearing my clothes. The wrap dresses are great wear to work, but the beach chairs and totes take you to your destination. You get to create your own story.
Do you have any tried-and-true tips for pulling an outfit together?
Always be comfortable in what you are wearing. Stick to the basics: Start with a timeless silhouette and then add a trendy piece that gives your outfit a twist and keeps it current.
Want to see more? Check out Tory’s Shop, featuring pieces by Julie Brown, on sale now through June 1 at 10AM. And to meet Tory and tell her about your small business at a Spark & Hustle conference, visit sparkandhustle.com