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Jaime Joseph | Boston | Rewards & Funding!!

I’ve always been into fashion since I was a Barbie girl growing up. My mother also had a big influence as she used to order our clothes from catalogs such as Spiegel and JC Penny and Sears until I was about 13. When I entered high school, the movie Clueless had a big influence on my fashion style, so I shopped at Contempo Casuals (formerly known as Wet Seal), Baker’s Shoes, The Wild Pair (another awesome shoe store). I studied Interior Design in college, so I dealt

with textiles, sketching and creating on CAD, so it just seemed right that, I would eventually end up in the fashion arena.I worked as a Textile Sales Representative at the Boston Design Centre from 2014-2016 and in 2016 when the Showroom closed, I was faced with the “now what” question. I answered that question by investing in myself with the capital funding I had saved along with a matched savings grant that I was awarded previous. With the startup capital, I created my Fashion Brand CYPRIANA. Cypriana is my mother’s middle name CYPRIANA {Pronounced: See pre-Ah Na} is the female name derivative of the Latin word Cyprian which means to be “dynamic, versatile and sense of individualism.” Starting conversations amongst women is why I created CYPRIANA. Growing up, I wasn’t outspoken verbally but my style of clothes out-shined my words because of my personal independence of clothing choices which helped to bridge the gap of awkwardness. Inspired by Annie Hall’s style, her clothes started a conversation without her ever having tospeak. Annie Hall was the inspiration for the brand because her freedom of expression and personal independence started a conversation without her ever having to speak. She was unconventional. When women give each other compliments, they let down their walls and invite you in just a little more. My idea was to create ready to wear fashion for modern women that struggle to find trendy pieces that bridge the gap between young adult and womanhood. Our apparel benefits women who are looking to fill their wardrobe with a few “break away from trend” pieces to remain individual in their freedom of expression. Some of our items benefit modern mothers, such as our ankle jogger bottoms and one-piece ankle jumpers that feature a high waist which alleviates midsection flaws and flatters shape. Another feature of our pants is the stretch ankle cuff that allows you to wear pants full length or to cuff along knee on warmer days.

What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

My biggest struggle has been staying on the path for 2 years without income because when you create your own line it’s such a process. To start you have to create your Brand and Brand story. If you already have sketches, you have to bring them to life, to do that you have to source fabrics and make sure that you are getting a good price as well as quality, so you have to find a reputable fabric sales rep. The next step is to find a patternmaker that can put the sketch together and once you have the pattern then you send the pattern to a manufacturer. Long story short, the path is arduous and tedious but if you stay on it you will eventually reap the rewards. Any dream worth doing has lots and lots of steps, so the end product has lots of little successes!

What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of online articles on Vlogging and Blogging. There are so many good articles that I don’t have just one to recommend. I can say that “A Lifestyle Blogger’s Guide” written by Marina De Giovanni is VERY GOOD!

Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?

Thankfully my family and friends have been very supportive throughout all of my entrepreneurial pursuits.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?

I think I can answer that question at a later date when I feel that my business has truly succeeded. Right now, I’m enjoying the journey and looking forward to where the ride on this journey will take me.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?

What I know today that I wish I would have known when I first got started as an entrepreneur is to start the business like the alphabet A-Z, not Z-A. I didn’t have anyone to guide me and I wasn’t given a book of instructions and how to start a clothing line and what’s needed, I just threw myself into it and started at letter F and worked as a scrambled alphabet which has cost me money and time.

What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?

My advice for other women, particularly young women who are just starting their journey is that the path is arduous and tedious but if you stay on it you will eventually reap the rewards. Any dream worth doing has lots and lots of steps, but the end product has lots of little successes! Do your research! Join CWE (Center for Women Enterprises) to learn about Business Plans and How to Finance your business and apply for grants because you will need funding.


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