By Sarah Corley
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of
corresponding with Erika Hendrix, the founder and designer behind
a new brand name that reflects her Cherokee Indian heritage, Erika knows
fashion pieces that are instantly desired and loved by many.
Becoming a designer…
Erika Hendrix first discovered her love for design in 2002 when she learned to sew during an apprenticeship in interior design and window dressing. She started designing beautiful clothes completely unique to her and quickly realized that she wanted to share them with other people. So Erika started visiting stores with her pieces, and most snapped them up right away for consignment. This positive feedback on her designs led Erika to create a full-fledged label in July 2005.
Although Erika is completely self-taught in design, she has always had a natural creative flare and eye for detail. She explains, “Even though I did not go to design school, I have always been creative and enjoyed making things. I started sewing in 2002 and taught myself everything I know. It’s a hard way to learn, but it was the best fit for me!”
Erika now has an amazing store in Mannheim, Germany, where she moved for her husband’s military job in 2008. She loves having daily interaction with customers through her store and says, “It’s great to have customers come in because you see what people really want!”
A Look into Asuyeta…
After five years designing, Erika was ready for a fresh take on her brand, so she recently tapped into her Cherokee Indian roots for inspiration for a reinvention. As of May 2010, Asuyeta has replaced the name of her label (originally called Erika Hendrix). This word means "chosen" in Cherokee and "envious" in Sanskrit, so her label represents clothes that are chosen for the consumer, especially those of which everyone should be envious. And you will definitely get that vibe from her collections!
Her current spring/summer collection, "Baby, you're the ginchiest!", is filled with pretty floral prints and lovely silhouettes. You will find yourself wanting immediately!
Read on for a glimpse into my conversation with Erika about her label and
What was the road like to becoming a designer and creating Asuyeta?
It has been a very rocky journey, and it still has its ups and downs. But I am loving every minute of it!
Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?
I am inspired by everyday life, people, music, and art.
What garments do you enjoy making the most? Why?
I love making my collections because I pick the theme and get really inspired by it! My SS10 collection was inspired by the 50s, so I looked at a lot of Gil Elvgren paintings and watched movies like Grease and Pleasantville. My AW10/11 collection is inspired by my Native American heritage, and I am very excited about that!
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far as a designer?
Every time I get an order in or a customer comes to the store and buys something or says something nice about my pieces is an accomplishment! Also, reading articles written about my pieces is always awesome!
Do you have any advice for emerging and independent designers?
Do your thing and don’t give up!