Arlene Aranzamendez was a born entrepreneur. Her mother has created several businesses, and Aranzamendez has followed suit. After studying at schools in the Philippines, as well as the University of Cincinnati, Aranzamendez joined Insignia Design Associates in 1995 before moving to LPK in 2000.
Aranzamendez started her web design and branding company, Aranzamendez Design, in 2004. Now, she’s transitioning into the world of custom-made jewelry and bags with her new company, Adorn USA.
Showrooms in New York and Los Angeles are showcasing work from Adorn USA’s six designers, and Aranzamendez is slowly winding down Aranzamendez Design.
Aranzamendez, who was born in Manila and lives in Covington, recently talked with the Enquirer about the entrepreneurial roots that run through her family, and what led her into the world of fashion.
What made you start your first business, Aranzamendez Design?
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It’s in my blood. My mother’s been a serial entrepreneur in several businesses. I’ve helped small- and medium-sized businesses start from the beginning. I’ve also helped businesses that have been around for 100 years and they decide to do a facelift.
Tell me about the transition to your new business, Adorn USA.
I’ve always had this dream of pursuing a jewelry or fashion business. It ties back to the roots of my grandmother and mother, who used to sell their own jewelry. In 2009, I started to design and make jewelry. I was doing it as a hobby, and I sold a lot of pieces, but I couldn’t do both (develop a new business and run Aranzamendez Design).
So I thought instead of just being a designer, why don’t I curate? I always had an eye for finding good pieces from designers all over big cities. And I thought I could fill the gap of the mid-price market. (Adorn USA’s prices range from $60-$280).
You’re now represented in New York and Los Angeles showrooms. Why is that important?
Their focus is to sell. They already have account lists, from small boutiques to major department stores. They go to trade shows. They represent you, they promote you, they hook you up with PR or marketing. They’re connected to the industry.
Say I’m an artist designing jewelry, and you want to represent me. How does that work, and what are you looking for?
I’ll approach you, say that I’m a wholesaler distributor, and see if you’re interested in having me rep for you. It’s not just being the wholesaler; I’m your private sales agent, private promoter and marketer. A lot of designers need to focus on designing. A lot can’t grow their business because they can’t sell or promote at the same time they’re designing.
I curate the pieces I think will work for this market. They have to be unique, and be statement pieces.
Where would you like the business to be a year from now?
We’d like to be carried by a major department store, either one or two lines. And hopefully we have up to five boutiques in cities.