Style Mogul: Ramy Brook, is Founder of Ramy Brook, a wildly popular contemporary women’s wear brand. Her designs evoke sexiness and confidence and is the necessary staple for the woman on-the-go. Ramy was a stay-at-home mom when she became intrigued by the lack of day to night solutions for the sophisticated career women. These days, celebrities including Cindy Crawford, Julianna Marguiles, Kate Beckinsale, Alyssa Milano, Constance Zimmer, and Lisa Edelstein, are head-over-heels over Ramy’s alluring chic designs. Here’s what this fashion designer attributes to the success of her company.
Tell us about how you made the move from motherhood to fashion designer and business mogul?
When I looked in my closet, I felt that I didn’t have the right top to wear. I wanted tops that were sexy and elegant that paired nicely with my jewelry and looked great with jeans. I was constantly searching for something solid and silky and it wasn’t out there. Although I had a closet full of clothes, nothing was quite right, so I decided to start my fashion line to provide women with the perfect top that was missing from their wardrobe. We first launched with 6 sexy tops and one dress. When I began selling at trunk shows, I realized that many women had sensed the void like I did.
With very limited entrepreneurial background, how were you able to stand out in such a competitive market?
The product spoke for itself. Many women sensed this white space in the contemporary market. It didn’t exist in an obvious way and customers were happy to finally find what they had been searching for.
How did you market yourself and the Ramy Brook brand?
We love social media at Ramy Brook and think that it is such a fast, interactive way to reach our consumers. We also found that word-of-mouth was incredibly helpful. Women were discovering the brand and telling their friends and so we were able to build up a loyal and excited fan base rather quickly.
Talk about your unique approach (in life and business) and how that led to your success.
In life and in business, I try to stay focused at the task at hand. Most women multi-task however, I have found what works best for me. I believe that I am most successful when I concentrate on one thing at a time. When I am at home, my family is my priority. At work, I’m all biz. 😃
Fashion is a hobby for most women. For you it’s your job. What are your hobbies and how to you stay balanced?
I enjoy working out and spin 4-5 days a week and run and train the other 2, and usually with friends so it is a nice way to see each other and catch up while also keeping healthy. I used to play tennis and mahjong but am more pressed for time now that I have Ramy Brook. In my spare time (which is limited), I love to make photo albums. It is a nice way to capture all of my amazing memories.
Fashion is a tough business – one that requires an extra set of thick skin. What were some of the challenges that you faced or continue facing being in the public eye?
I sign off on every piece that we design. We won’t produce a garment if I don’t see myself wearing it. So, when the buyers come in and don’t choose a particular item, I have to remind myself that it is not personal. As we grow, I’m sure we will face challenges but as of now, I’ve been very lucky and only feel the love.
What mistakes have you made in business?
Some hires have not been the right fit, some models have not had the right look and some designs have not been as successful as we would have liked. I would say even though I’ve made mistakes, I’ve absolutely learned from all of them, which helps me grow.
What mistakes do you see other women making in business?
The most common mistake that I have seen from other contemporary lines is that they’ve strayed too far from their brand DNA. This is not specific to women but a note that I have noticed in space. Ramy Brook has a strong DNA that we always stay true to, even as we evolve.
What was a career defining moment for you?
The day Bergdorf Goodman bought the collection. They were our first major department store.
List 3 traits you think all women entrepreneurs need in order to succeed?
Confidence, grit, strength.
What are 3 items every woman should have in their closet?
A black silk top, jeans, suede booties.
What clothing can you absolutely not live without?
Our Harriet Top. It is a stretch silk charmeuse top that we produce season after season as a part of our Classics collection. The Harriet can be worn six different ways. It is so versatile that it is like having six tops in one. Hope that isn’t cheating!
Mantra you live by?
“Do onto others as you would like done onto yourself.”
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