Interview with Aimee Fuller Designs
TV News Anchor Turned Hat and Jewelry Designer Dishes on Her Success
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Your hats are very bold and unique. Where do you get the inspiration to create one-of-a-kind pieces?
I just like "pretty." I love fashion, I love hats, I love the material that goes into them. I find the best quality materials and gather them before I have any idea what I'm going to do. Then, most of the time, they just seem to make themselves. Often I get inspiration from the event for which it will be worn [at] or the outfit [itself]. I already have customers who've come back again and again, and so I draw from the very woman for whom I'm designing. The same goes for the jewelry.
What type of woman wears your pieces?
Any woman who wants to play dress up! This question makes me think about the many different age brackets who come to me. I find that both young and old are nostalgic for a time when hats were the norm. People always say to me "we should bring hats back!"
Which piece is currently your favorite in your collection?
As far as the jewelry goes, I've been working a lot with colorful, glass antique tribal beads and handmade, ornate brass beads directly from Africa. The boldness and color-play are a delight to my senses, and when I finish I feel I've done something special that I would want to keep for myself.
Thus far as a business owner, what stands out as your greatest success?
The fact that I started this business on my own, grew it, and sustained it for all of these years. It allows me to give back in many ways to organizations that are important to me. We are blessed to live in an age of e-commerce and heavy social networking, and I suggest that anybody take the chance and launch their dreams—go for whatever your passion is. You don't have to quit your day job, and you don't have to take out a single loan. You don't have to be a business genius, and you might not even need a degree. All you have to do is start. And keep on keeping on.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I'm a bit of a jewelry-holic, as I'm a collector of all kinds of pieces and styles, even if I didn't make it! I love to celebrate other artists and creators. I really do love to see what people can create with their God-given talent and with the elements of the earth He's provided. It's just cool! So I figure, if we can't enjoy and celebrate what other women do, then what's the point?
Aimee Meals has also been named Fashion Chair for the ATLANTIS Fashion Show and Luncheon benefiting the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. Catch her there on June 1st at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. Tickets are available at fashionbenefit.org.
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