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Her Company: My business is called Rukus Mob Couture and I specialize in custom clothing. I offer custom corsets, waist clinchers, dresses, tutus, shorts, doggie corsets...pretty much anything you can think of to customize. I focus mainly of custom corsets because that is what I'm know for but I like to work closely with the customers and create anything they can imagine. I will be adding tanks, tee's, shoes and accessories to my line soon and customers will have the option to customize those items as well.
Rukus Mob Couture wants each customer to have a different look that pertains to their individual style and personality, so that is why I focus on doing custom clothing and love working one on one with the customer, designing an item from scratch and involving them in the process.
Each item that I create, I want that customer to stand out from the crowd while being comfortable in their own skin. I call my style, Barbie meets Steven Tyler =)
How She Got Started: All my life, starting when I was a little girl, I've always been interested in fashion. Looking back at my pictures and what I wore throughout my life, I knew I'd end up in Fashion Design. I was always different and very creative and it showed through everything I did in life. People would always comment on my style and would tell me that I needed to do something with it one day.
When I decided to go to college, I did start as a Costume Design major. I majored in Costume Design for about a year and a half. I loved everything I had learned and being a part of each show but I was more interested in designing what I wanted to design and not designs that were catered to each show we were working on. I wanted to step out and do my own thing. That is when I ventured to Los Angeles and began majoring at the Art Institute in Fashion Design, which I did complete in 2007.
How Much Money It Took To Launch: Honestly, I don't remember how much it took to launch. When I started I didn't really save or plan how much I would need to get started. I just went with the flow and just paid along the way for what I needed such as license, taxes, supplies, etc. While starting my business, I worked part time at a tanning salon, to help me get started and have money to put towards my business, which helped. I don't really believe in taking out a bunch of loans to get you started because that can get you in a lot of trouble down the road. I just figured, I take the money I had at the moment and just slowly get there and build from the ground up with the money I had. I think a lot of businesses that get caught up in wanting a bunch of money to start with at the beginning and take out tons of loans don't remember, you have to pay it back in the end and you cant predict if you are going to make it or not or even have the money to pay back in the end. I did find that you don't need tons of money to accomplish what you want to do in life. I mean it helps but you can do without a bunch at the beginning.
Rukus Mob Couture is my first entrepreneurial venture. I knew I always wanted to have my own fashion line and business but I made sure that I had plenty of schooling and experience before jumping into this venture. Besides majoring in Fashion Design, I was involved in many fashion shows, theater, wardrobe styling, photo shoots, modeling and collaborations with other artists. I wanted to experience everything in the Fashion Industry that I could, so I would be ready to start my own business. Once I felt like I was ready to venture into having my own business, I went and was LLC in 2009 and began my journey.
When starting Rukus Mob Couture, I started off just with a small line called “The Seven Sins” (the seven deadly sins that we all know about) and put together a big photo shoot with an amazing team of models, hairstylist, makeup artists and of course a great Photographer. I wanted to create a line that everyone could relate too but that was still different in the sense of making it my own interpretation of the sevens sins. It caught a lot of attention and different artists and people started contacting me to work together. A huge difference of the corsets I had compared to the regular corset you see everyday, is that I wanted to combine the makings of a corset with an airbrush design.
I was contacted by another fabulous fellow Designer named Missconstrued, who was an Clothing Designer and amazing airbrush artist and we started working together. I've never had my own website but Missconstrued asked me to join her website to start selling my items on her site along with other amazing Designers. I did a lot of promoting on Missconstrued's site with my items, along with Model Mayhem and my Etsy Store. I gained a lot of attention from these sites along with doing many fashion shows. I had also had the honor of collaborating with a bunch of amazing models, who in exchange for photos, I had given them the corset to get my name out there as well. That helped grow my business. Some of the challenges I had faced in the beginning when getting started is of course, not having enough money to be able to create everything you want to.
Also, this industry can be very difficult at times, when working with other artists. The biggest challenge, would be spending the money you had to create these items for free in exchange for exposure but its something that everyone has to do when they start. I probably made hundreds of items, just to be able to get my name out there and gain customers. Another challenge I had in the beginning is taking the time and money out to create these items, sending them off to be shot in and never seeing them again. It has happened to all of us and its such a disappointment but its something you have to go through and deal with. You have to take a lot of risks in this industry but its totally worth it in the end.
How She Got Her First Customer: Its funny because when I got my first customer, I wasn't officially running my business yet. When I was still going to school in Los Angeles, I was interning with a company called Devilish Gear and one of my assignments was to create a corset for a model named Alexis Skye. She needed a corset to be able to wear to the Playboy Mansion. Of course, I was very excited about this assignment because Alexis Skye was well know and I was honored to be creating this corset for her, especially since she was going to be wearing it at the Playboy Mansion. Of course, I had pictures of her on my Model Mayhem. I had moved back to Tucson, AZ after I graduated at college, which is where I am originally from. Rachel Dawkins who I had gone to high school with me and now was modeling had seen these pictures of Alexis Skye in the corset and had contacted me to order a custom corset for one of her photo shoots in Los Angeles. I remember that day clearly and was very exciting for me! I had made my first sale and to top it off, the photo shoot was with a well know LA Photographer named Josue Pena, so that was a huge moment for me and helped me get my start.
A Typical Day In Her Life: Lets see here.....something that is very important to get my day started is of course coffee! I have to go to my favorite place, Starbucks and grab a coffee to get going and motivated for my day. This is very important to wake me up and stir my creativity. Of course, my Boston Terrier, Tulip Trigger has to come along for the ride because she is spoiled and loves going. Once I got my coffee in hand, I begin by working on the computer on emails, FB, Model Mayhem, Etsy-just making sure that everyone's emailed back and contacted and my profiles and sites are updated. After that is taking care of, is when my creative process begins-cutting fabrics, sewing, etc. I can go for hours creating and sewing. I have a studio that I work in that is in my house and I just lock myself in there and work on my projects and orders. I usually end my day by working out, which is a great way to unwind and relax at the end of the day. And my day can end at anytime since I'm on my own schedule. My favorite time to create is a night. I seemed to get the most inspired at that time and some of my best designs have been created in the middle of the night.
The Most Difficult Part Of The Design Process Is: That you can have the greatest idea in your head or on paper but that doesn't mean that once you start working on it, its going to be functional or work out, so you might not ever be able to produce that design. Some ideas just simply don't work. That can be a real disappointment, especially when you want it to work. Another thing that can be difficult in the process is working with you equipment. There are days when your sewing machine is temperamental and just does not want to work for you. This can be frustrating because it sets you back on your schedule and causes you to lose focus. I've had a lot of fights with my sewing machine throughout designing. In Fashion, deadlines are key, so anything that sets you back, whether its your equipment or not finding the right fabric, it can really throw the whole creative process off. Usually in Fashion, you are working with a team of people on projects or the pressure of creating that perfect item for that customer, so you ALWAYS have a lot of people depending on you and your skill. In the famous words of Tim Gunn on Project Runway, you just have to “make it work”.
If She Could Do One Thing Differently: Honestly, I don't think their would be anything I would do differently on my journey. The reason I say that is, I think anything that happens along that journey, whether is positive or negative happens for a reason. Its a way to learn and a way to prepare and learn. If you had everything work out perfectly all the time and never made a mistake, I don't think you would ever get to where you want to be in life. Everything I have gone through, whether bad or good has gotten me to where I am in life and I've been successful, so I have no complaints.
Her Favorite Quote: I have a few favorite quotes-
“There is no better designer than nature” -Alexander McQueen
“Fashion fades, only style remains the same”- Coco Chanel
“Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves and, of course, each other.
If girls dressed for boys they'd just walk around naked at all times”-Betsey Johnson
“You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.”-Jimi Hendrix
“We live our life in our own way, never really listened to what they say, that kind
of faith that doesn't fade way, we are the true believers.” -Bouncing Souls
Who's Her Favorite Designer (Besides Herself, of course) : You know, honestly, I wouldn't even consider myself as one of my favorites. Its because of my favorite designers inspiring me to be what I am today, that's why they would be my favorites. I have two favorite designers. Betsey Johnson and Alexander Mcqueen (May he rest in peace). The reason these two are my favorite designers, even though completely different styles, they are alike in the way of being themselves and thinking and designing outside of the box and never changing. They both work with unconventional ideas and items and that makes their designs stand out from the rest. Over time, they both have never changed and never followed the trends, which I am a lot of like. They have always been true to themselves, no matter what people said or what was in style at the time. I think this is what made them so popular besides the amazing designs they have created. Both of them are fashion genius and come up with ideas that I don't think anyone else could ever think of and their execution is always flawless and amazing. Its like walking art. I love anyone who is different and stands out from the ground and this would defiantly be Betsey Johnson and Alexander McQueen.
What Has Helped Her Most Along The Way: The biggest thing that has helped me along the way is definitley not money. Its the support I receive everyday, especially from my family, my mom, dad and brother and my boyfriend. Without them and their continued support, I wouldn't be where I am today. I've also met a lot of wonderful people in the industry that has believed in me and my designs and always pushes me to keep up good work. I think in anything in life, if you have those certain people would surround you and believe in you, you can do anything. Money and your talent of course help you get their but the people who are by your side keep you going and your head on straight.
What's Next For Her: I have some really exciting news! I am opening a boutique in September of this year! I've been working towards this goal for about 5 years now. As much as you want and dream about having your own store from the very beginning, you want to takes it slow and not rush into it right away. Word of month and online helps a lot to get to where you want to be. I had decided its time for me to move on to bigger things and of course with the help of my family, boyfriend and friends, I have decided its time. I look forward to officially being my own boss and bringing this boutique to all of you. It will also feature a bunch of other artists that I will have in my boutique to check out and support. I of course want all these people to be on a journey with me because they have always been there for me. Also, I have started my own modeling group of ladies called the Rukus Barbies, which will also be featured at the boutique and I look forward to help them gain exposure. I will also have makeover, wardrobe styling and photo shoot packages offered at my boutique which will be a lot of fun. I'm also in the process of creating my own website.
Continue HERE For Her Advice To Aspiring Designers & What She Says People Would Be Most Surprised To Know About Her!
"Always believe in yourself and don't let anyone or anything get in the way of your dreams. Its your life, so do what you want with it, your the only one that is in charge of it, so enjoy!"
Visit The Website: http://www.missconstrued.com/Misses/Corsets
Boss Chick Profile: http://bosschicks.com/profile/CandyRukusJaxon