We are in this together..

Hello and thanks for coming to read my blog! I have a lot to say today about business, people, business culture, and more, so bare with me this might be a bit long.

In the spirit of transparency, I want you to know that I also work full time at said “Day Job” to support my pursuit of making ASK Fashion a reality. As they say, it takes money to make money, and its true. However I am learning important lessons at my day job that will for sure have their influence on how I conduct business with ASK FASHION. Most of these “lessons” are taken as “what NOT to do”.. as opposed to “what to do”- but more on that later.

As I begin to refer to “WE” I mean- the USA as a whole. There is a bigger picture here; a picture of corporate greed, the bottom line and a total lack of apathy & empathy. The problem I see here is the lack of caring about people; about each other. Since when did things change, that all we care about is ourselves? And all people seem to care about is tearing each other down, instead of building people up? I just don’t get it. This has always bothered me and it just doesn’t make sense.

What is more interesting is the entire chain is effected; in turn we are only hurting ourselves and we don’t even know it. ” We”As a country, we have stopped investing in our people- our education system. On a grander scale, the entire problem starts there.

We are all riding the same bus of life together, we just all have different seats. We are in this together whether we like it or not. At what point did we start hurting instead of helping?

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite TV shows of all time- The Walking Dead- one of the main characters Glen says- “We can make it together.. but we can ONLY make it together”. When I heard that, that went right into my heart. More then just surviving the zombie apocalypse- but just living on this planet as people- we will need to work together to survive and to thrive. We will accomplish much more and only better ourselves and each other. By the time we realize this as a society- it will be too late.

Reflecting on the recent 20 lay offs from my day job in the last 6 months, ( but 17 being the  most recent) it really makes me wonder. Is it really always only about the money? Trying to fix your corporate mistakes by laying off people- unfortunately it’s story that is told over and over again. I don’t see any upper management reaching into their own pockets to fix the problem.

Given the opportunity, I would have gladly not taken a pay raise, and knew I would help my friend keep her job.  No apparently- its easier to just lay off part of the work force. Quite frankly-we are pretty lean as far as employees go; I just can’t see where they can continue to make cuts. It seems like the mindset has changed from quality to quantity. Get as much as you can for as little as possible- and honestly it sickens me. If you have 10 people doing the job of 20, at some point something is going to give.

Company culture comes from the TOP down. Not pointing the blame, as management would so eagerly do themselves- but waking up and coming to work each day, not sure if I will still have my job the next day- is not job security; its ruling through fear. And its a problem. Fear of losing my job won’t make me work harder as a worker- but (as studies show)- just do enough to not lose my job.

And I will be damned if I will let anyone control my fate other than me.

And that’s where ASK Fashion comes in. Starting my own company, and especially my own fashion brand put me in a position to honestly ask myself a lot of questions.

Part of my, and ASK Fashions core values is always putting people first. Always. Not just helping to re-shore American manufacturing and production, but to help invest in people. Investing in Americans, in their education and in their work. One day, helping to provide and teach sewing skills, and production management, all while maintaining ethic and moral working and living standards.

I won’t quite touch upon work ethics, as that is another topic for another post, but it is VERY important to me, and to ASK FASHION. Morals before money. People first. I want to know I am helping my company support not only themselves but each other. There is a saying, taking care of yourself, takes care of more than yourself; while I think that’s true, but helping to take care of others, will also help you take care of yourself as well. We can make it together, but we can ONLY make it together.

What are your thoughts? What would you change if you could? What would you do differently? I would LOVE to hear-

Stay Classy!

-A

Ⓒ ASK Fashion LLC & Ⓒ Rose Riot

The Story of the Pink Converses!

HAPPY SPRING!

Well not quite yet! 8 more days until spring!! I am so ready for spring. I imagine every person living in New England would have the same feeling- hating the winter, the snow and the ice and ready to move on into spring! Flowers, sunshine, ice cream, fun shoes, leather jackets, crop pants- ohh I cant wait! I am already rocking my pink converse shoes!

There is a story behind these shoes! Last summer I was honored to be invited to showcase my debut plus size collection at Full Figure Fashion Week- NYC! That was a very surreal experience. More on that later. So last summer I took the train- Amtrak- the best!- Into NYC. Only a little of 4hrs of a ride- so no tooo bad. Luckily the hotel I was staying at was basically across the street from Penn Station. I lugged my 50lbs suitcase (the biggest, most stuffed suitcase you could imagine) across the street in 80 degree weather and checked into the hotel.

The day I arrived I was scheduled to do a small press conference only a few hours after arriving- so I ditched my big bag at the check in desk- since I couldn’t check in yet since it was too early- and being prepared- I removed my smaller press kit bag and went on my way.

What I failed to realize that day was the press conference was at least 10 blocks away. It was 80 degrees and I was dying. So I strut those 10 blocks and got to the conference on time. Yay! However I could already tell the nice wedge sandals I wore (which I thought would be OK!) were already causing me problems. During the press conference we did not have seats- so I  stood another few hours on my poor feet! Ouch!

By the time I left my feet were throbbing and I had blisters the size of pancakes!! Ouch!! So I walked to the closest shoe store possible and bought a new pair of shoes! These were my new pink converses!! Paid too much for them- but I was desperate- the only problem was these shoes were new and needed to be broken in- thus now causing a new problem of ripping open the back of my foot! My feet were a hot mess. Needless to say I only wore my converses the rest of the week! (And only slipped on some heels when I walked on the runway with my collection!)

Lesson learned!! Now all broken in I LOVE my pink converse! They are the best!

What fashion lessons have you learned in the past? What item of fashion was it? I would love to hear from you!!!!  -ASK

Ⓒ ASK Fashion LLC & Ⓒ Rose Riot

Style Week North East- Fall 2015 “We are taking over!!”

Wooo!! We made it! The show is over!!

Better late then never! I hope you were able to come to the Biltmore Hotel in Providence RI- on 2/16/15 and see my fashion show presentation of Fall/Winter 2015, entitled- WE ARE TAKING OVER!! If not- don’t worry! Watch it here!

Let me start off with saying- I love London and England! I don’t know why, maybe I was a royal in my past life, but I love English history, especially from the tutor era. I also went through this punk rock phase when I was 13 (what 13 yr old doesn’t). I still have a punk rock side of me as an adult- I just think its a little more refined- no so much into the black make up any more. Ha!

I couldnt have choosen a better punk rock setting then that of London, England! Woo!! I have always loved the look of the Union jack. There is just something about it; its complicated and yet logical. I am not sure why I am so obsessed with it. But I like it. Anyway, so I took all those things and decided to combine them into my inspiration for this season.

For my color pallet, I am not going to lie- purple is my favorite color. So when I stumbled upon this brilliant purple plaid- I just couldnt get enough. And plaid was on my mind and perfectly fit into my collection theme- it was meant to be. Part of my process sometimes involve just shopping around for the right fabric and letting it speak to me. Other times, I have a binder full of sketches. It really depends on the collection- but most times ifs a happy combination of both things. Going along with the punk rock theme I wanted to keep the pallet dark- so I choose white, black and dark heathered grey.

I choose the title “We are taking Over!” because that is exactly how I feel the fashion industry is dealing with this budding and exploding plus size segment of the market. We are in deed taking over! And we are here to stay! And there is nothing wrong with that! Its about time the market started paying attention! And that is exactly why i started my brand and company- this was missing in the market. My voice was missing. But we are here and we will be heard together! Together we can succeed.

All you need to do.. is ASK! Here we are!

Most of the looks from the fall collection will be here available for purchase.

I would LOVE to hear from you!! What did you think of my show? Be Honest! Its OK, and I am not everyone’s cup of tea- that’s OK- but I wouldn’t want to be. Love it? Hate it? Let me know!

Is there something missing? What would you have liked to see? Comment below! I won’t bite- I promise!

-ASK

Ⓒ ASK Fashion LLC & Ⓒ Rose Riot

Happy New Year 2015!

Hello!

I want to wish everyone a VERY happy New Year!! I am very excited for the things in store for 2015!! I hope you are too!! I have soft launched my Etsy Shop- Located here:

www.etsy.com/shop/ASKFashionLLC

For the New Year I would like to give you below coupon code as a thank you for supporting me and helping me to pursue my dreams! Use Code: HAPPYNEWYEAR15 for $15 off your purchase of $45 or more!! Coupon expired 1/19- so don’t wait.

I will also be sending out exclusive offers through my mailing list- please go to the first page and sign up if you have not already!! It is the fastest way to stay connected with all things ASK FASHION LLC.

Now as far as new years- do you believe in resolutions?!? If yes, what resolutions have you made? Do you set goals for 2015? Let me know! I would love to hear all about it!

Thanks again for your support!!

I am gearing up for our next showcase in Providence RI- At Style Week North East. Showcase is Feb 16th- at 6pm at the Biltmore Hotel! As soon as tickets are available I will let you know! I am very excited to be showcasing my Fall 15′ Collection- which will be available for pre-order via my Etsy site on the night of the show!

I am currently casting models for this showcase!! The requirements are: Must be 5′ 8″ or taller- sizes 14-20, and must be local (Boston/RI) This is a paid event- but I cannot compensate for travel. I require at least 1 fitting before the showcase- scheduling TBD. You must e-mail askfashion90@gmail.com in order to be considered. You must submit at least 2 photos, recent full body shot and close up of your face. You must also include your Bust, waist and hip measurements (someone may need to help you with that)- Your shoe size, and a number I can reach you at. Let me know if you have any questions at all! Thanks again!

-A

Ⓒ ASK Fashion LLC & Ⓒ Rose Riot