Ruffles with Love (http://www.ruffleswithlove.com) is a new fashion brand that has been taking the industry by storm!
Behind the humorous, cute and very witty collection slogans is Vanessa Hermanson. Between being a loving wife, launching her own company just for fun so she would have some cool workout shirts, to having her shirts seen on countless celebrities including Jersey Shore’s Snooki, to being sold across North America from New York to Texas to California, Vanessa has been a busy woman.
The Levity Ball sat down with the passionate and inspiring entrepreneur to learn more about her unique designs…
When did you first “know” that you wanted to get into the fashion industry?
Fashion has always been something that has interested me… I have always enjoyed colors and items that stand out. I love when a piece of clothing can tell you so much about a person just by what it says or the way it’s worn.
Who were some of your role models growing up?
From a business stand point I have always looked up to Oprah! I love her generosity and how she is very involved with children’s rights. I love to hear about people with her success that make it a priority to be involved with programs that help other people. It’s refreshing. Another role model I have is Venus Williams, I grew up playing sports and then went on to coach soccer for 5 years so I have a lot of respect for athletes, especially Venus Williams, I love that she is humble and hard working and against all odds has made some amazing comebacks. I love her perseverance!
Your shirts are set to inspire… What inspires you most?
My customers inspire me everyday! I get emails and thank you cards mailed to me pretty frequently and it always amazes me to see how something I made them helped them get through a tough time or helped them reach a goal or cross a finish line. I never in a million years thought that I could be the person that could impact peoples lives in their special moments or in a time when they just needed a sign or something to get them through a tough time. I always wished to be a person capable of that but to see it coming to life is surreal and I love it and it always makes my day when I open my mailbox or email to a letter like that!
What has been the hardest thing you’ve gone through since opening up your clothing line?
The hardest thing I have gone through since starting my clothing line is loyalty hands down! I have lost so many people in my life in the last 2 and half years that it’s sad really! People really started to show their true colors and instead of being genuinely happy for me they started to show who they really were. I used to get really sad when I thought about it but I decided that people come and go and I now know who my true friends are and I am happy to say that the toxic people are no longer in my life and I have a great group of friends that are supportive and encouraging. I am truly happy now with everyone in my life but it was definitely a challenging time for me for months!
Which shirt of yours is your personal favorite?
My personal favorite is Break a Sweat! It was the very first shirt I ever made and the very first shirt I ever sold it will always be special to me! I actually have it framed in my office so I see it everyday and it is a reminder of how far I have come since the day I made that shirt!
What do you feel sets your brand a part from others?
The thing that sets my brand apart is the bow. I LOVE bows! I used to have a bow in my hair at all times when I was growing up and it became a staple for my soccer uniform for years, when I coached soccer I always made sure the girls had bows in their hair so it seemed only natural that my clothing line would incorporate bows! Also the choice of colors and contrasts that I use, I like to use colors that you would think wouldn’t look right together but then you see them and can’t imagine them not together, that is the fun part for me!
How / where can people buy your items currently?
I have a website www.ruffleswithlove.com
What was it like to see Snooki and other celebs out wearing your shirts?
It was awesome!! I didn’t believe it at first! I checked my email and had so many emails from customers that attached the pic they saw of her wearing it, it was a good day for me for sure!
What would you like to be remembered for as a person?
I want to always be remembered as being humble. Being humble is a very attractive quality to me!
What is your advice to others looking at getting into the fashion industry?
Stay true to yourself and who you are, don’t do things to make your line fit in because it s so important for your brand to have an identity of it’s own!
How important is it to you that more and more women these days are taking charge and running their own businesses?
I feel very fortunate to live in a time where women are starting their own businesses and succeeding I don’t feel that I am a pioneer but I do believe that I am on the forefront of greater things to come. Owning my own business has given me the freedom to think outside the box and share my creativity, the only people i answer to are me and my customers and it’s a great feeling.
Where do you see yourself and company in five years from now?
Our next move is to open up a storefront, it has been a dream of mine for awhile and I think about it everyday, in 5 years from now I would love to have a couple stores opened locally!