Welcome to the very first Small Business Interview! As part of the Small Business series, I will be showcasing accomplished females who are at various stages of their own businesses to inspire those of you out there who are interested in pursing the dream of owning your own business.
First up is the Fabulous Alexandria All, owner of F&W Style Luxury Handbags and I'm honored to have her as my first interview. Alexandria is a wife, mother and business owner - and a very successful one at that. I hope her interview inspires you.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your business. What is it called and what products do you offer?
My name is Alexandria Alli and I'm the designer and owner of F&W Style a luxury leather handbag company based in Atlanta GA. We provide well-crafted luxury handbags at an attainable price, for busy women on the go.
Can you share a bit about how you choose this line of business? What transition did you make to owning your own business?
I started my love for fashion as a young girl working with my mom in her design studio in Nigeria. When we moved to the states I started my modeling career working with top brands in the industry. I fell in love with all the luxury items I got to model, especially handbags.
After college, I stopped modeling and started my corporate career. I realized that even as a working woman most luxury brands were so expensive and unattainable for most professional career women like me. My husband and I set out to change that, and F&W Style was born in 2010.
Do you have any special training?
I am a self-taught designer. I have always loved sketching and drawing, so designing came naturally to me.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
Our ability to steadily grow our business over the years. We are currently in over forty stores including select Ritz Carlton Hotel Gift shops. Also, our feature in magazines like Modern Luxury's Jezebel Magazine, Black Enterprise, and Atlanta Magazine.
What lessons have you learned as a business owner?
My biggest lesson has been learning who my market is. When we first started out we tried to please everyone but success came when we learned who the F&W Girl was. The F&W Girl is a busy woman on the go that wants a luxury handbag at an attainable price.
What do you consider the most important elements of running a successful small business?
The most important element of running a successful business is the ability to take risks. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.
Do you have any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own businesses?
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs would be to "just start". Don't wait till you have more time or more money. If you have a dream to do something, start today!
How do you balance work and life owning a small business?
It can be hard finding a balance, especially with two young kids. But, I try to balance it all by organizing my time. Making sure that I separate my family time from work time. So, when I'm at work I stay focused on the business and when I'm at home I focus on my family.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see F&W Style being and household name brand. How amazing would that be!
Please share a fun fact about yourself.
I love red velvet cake! Red velvet cake from Lenox Cupcakes to be exact
Thank you so much for this interview Alexandria!
Be sure to stop by her website at FWStyle.com