Beauty maven Jessica Rae Anderson is one of those high-achieving, heavenly heights-reaching entrepreneurs who will never rest on her past accomplishments, no matter how stellar.
The Fashion Institute of Design and Miami Fashion and Merchandising (San Francisco) graduate, has worked as a stylist and fashion trend reporter. And now, ladies and gentlemen, she is into something rather different: The Miami Fashion Network, LLC. It’s unlike anything else she’s ever done, but when has Jessica Rae Anderson ever gone for the norm? Certainly not when she was hosting Fashion TV segments, or when she put her all into Jesarae, her accessories line.
What drew you to fashion and beauty entrepreneurship?
My vision for the company begun after relocating to Miami from NY in 2009. Immediately, I recognized a void in the Miami market for a true garment center. There was not one collective place where a designer could source local trims fabrics, trade events, sample rooms, cutters, industry jobs, etc. After my frustration with lack of growth in the industry, I decided to launch Miami Fashion Network in November 2013.
Do you think it’s essential for a fashion entrepreneur to have a support system?
Yes. This is why I have assembled an advisory council consisting of industry professionals that have twenty-plus years experience at top fashion firms. They are our go-to experts for clients.
Miami Fashion Network came to be as a result of your uncovering a demand for attainable information for the fashion trade industry in your area. How did you take your idea to from project to fruition?
I started with a written plan, gathered thousands of industry contacts over the past five years, met with an attorney, designed the look of the website, had the logo designed and then mapped it all out. The actual website took one year to complete, and will eventually evolve into a fashion social networking interactive platform.
You’ve worked as a wardrobe stylist, fashion writer and business owner. How have those three previous roles helped you in launching MFN?
The styling and fashion writing allowed me to build key relationships with various creative talents in Miami and to build my vast database of industry talent. Since launching MFN, I have had lots of support from those editors, factory owners, publicists, stylists, etc—–that know my work ethic and see the importance of building a true garment center in South Florida.
What advice would you give to an individual who’s perhaps a stylist or a hairdresser, and who wants to branch out to other avenues, as you’ve done?
I would say to do lots of daily research in the areas that they are passionate about, think out of the traditional box, and don’t be afraid to ask the experts questions. Also, volunteering in an area that you are interested in is a good way to be behind-the-scenes and get your feet wet.
How far do you hope to take Miami Fashion Network, LLC?
Right now we are designing our sourcing laboratory, from which designers will be able to use as a workspace, sourcing, access to trend forecasting—Pantone, WGSN, etc—design support, pop-up showroom etc. We will also acquire a local factory, which will be open to designers, where they can design, create prototypes, produce small-lots, utilize our sewers, latest technology of digitizers, cutting and marking machines, etc. The online part of MFN will support the offline part of the business and keep everyone connected and build a true garment center in Miami.
What factors have contributed to your growth as a beauty and fashion entrepreneur?
I am extremely focused, determined and very resourceful. I stay social and am well connected in the local and global industry. I truly love collaborating with creative people, which is why, MFN will always have a open-door policy especially to new and fresh ideas.
Do you have a favorite fashion movie?
Recently, I fell in love with the film Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s mostly because of the interviews of all the top designers in the industry. They are all such moguls and visionaries and that really inspires me. Also, the set was in New York which I call my fashion birthplace. It’s the city that raised me in the industry and I will always love it. Not to mention Bergdorf Goodman is my favorite store in the world—-yes you can scatter my ashes there.
Hah! Some people have the artistic talent, but have little business sense when it comes to managing the business side of the beauty and fashion industry. What are your thoughts?
I completely agree. I must have a creative outlet in all aspects of business, but I am extremely type A and like organization and have a great attention to detail. I learned a lot of these applied skills working as a designer in New York for some of the top corporate firms. Its essential for someone starting out in the industry to have this hands-on experience. The industry is so fast paced and intense and my mean, direct and crazy bosses really taught me the most.
What would you do differently if you were starting your career now?
Nothing. I love my diverse background and am so excited to keep evolving and having the best of the best in the industry surround me.
Visit the Miami Fashion Network Website!
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