We’re so excited to bring you our next Woman We Love, fashion designer Rory Beca, since we’ve been huge fans of hers for years. She’s known for the bright, printed tunics, flowing bridesmaids dresses, and California cool girl flair that’s gotten her line into retailers like Barney’s, ShopBop, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more.
Here, we’re chatting with Rory about how she got her start as a designer, the biggest lessons she’s learned as an entrepreneur, her style, and more. AND, she shared with us a few never-before-seen shots from her stunning Santa Monica home.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR LINE.
Rory Beca began nine years ago. It is a business run by people who have passion and are a close knit family. We create clothing for women who love color, prints, travel, food, and above all, women who love to have fun.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR CLOTHES?
Feminine, colorful clothing.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN FASHION?
I kind of jumped in head first. I went to fashion school for a few years but never worked under anyone. I just started designing with instinct and a sewing machine.
DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A DESIGNER?
No, but I always knew I wanted to do something creative.
DID YOU ALWAYS WORK FOR YOURSELF?
Yes, which has had its advantages and disadvantages.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO START YOUR OWN LINE IN THE BEGINNING?
It was hard. Lots of mistakes were made but I always learned from them. It was exciting though, everything was so new and fresh.
HOW DID YOU GET PRODUCTION AND SALES GOING?
Sales kind of took off right away. We were at the trade show and people started to flock to the line. They loved all the colors and silhouettes. It was before silk was oversaturated in the market.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST BIG HIT FROM YOUR LINE?
The Rizzo. It was a tunic that I offered in every color. Everyone wanted it. That’s what put us on the map.
WHERE DO YOU FIND THE INSPIRATION TO CREATE A NEW LINE EACH SEASON?
I know it is cliche, but everywhere. Even my childhood troll dolls hair inspired a color for spring. I do love old movies and travel – I think those are the consistent inspirations.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Always listen to what people have to say. There is a lot of value in their opinion.
THERE MUST BE SOME PRETTY FUN OPPORTUNITIES THAT COME WITH BEING A DESIGNER. DO YOU HAVE ANY “PINCH ME” MOMENTS THAT YOU JUST COULDN’T BELIEVE WERE HAPPENING?
Being on the Howard Stern show! That was exciting.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY A FASHION DESIGNER NEEDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
Go with your gut. If something inspires you or excites you see where it takes you.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO FOLLOW IN YOUR CAREER FOOTSTEPS?
Start creating. Now!
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Do what you do best and do it well.