#HERSTYLETHEORY: ALEXIS MERA DAMEN
Captured by: CORINNE LOUIE PHOTOGRAPHY
I freakin’ love this city & I freakin’ love that because I do what I do, I’ve had the opportunity and the pleasure of connecting with super talented creatives who so happen to be incredible humans as well!
Alexis e-mailed me after our girl Kim told her about TST with a super sweet compliment and notes of encouragement. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me coming from a fellow female entrepreneur.
So, when a super cool boss lady with an equally as cool activewear line reaches out to you offering you a pat on the back for your hard work when she’s been working just as hard (if not, harder!) on her fabulous line, you immediately know she’s just the lady you want to have share more of their story with the world!
Alexis embodies what I envision to be the ultimate #girlboss! She went for her passion, she’s vocal and honest about her entrepreneurial journey, she’s on a mission to help women discover and embody their greatness and values the importance of community amongst women!
Heck yes to SO much #GirlPower!
I am Alexis Mera Damen and I am a do-er (yes, that’s a thing). I am the founder and creative director of ALEXIS MERA, an active fashion line that brings you sporty, super soft, streamlined active and leisurewear designed for everyday living.
My line is proudly produced in New York City.
Alexis Mera Essential Crop Top + High Rise Legging in Black & Navy, Moon River Frayed Distressed Denim Jacket
*TAKE 20% OFF PRE-ORDERS OF THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION AT ALEXISMERA.COM WITH CODE “TST” AT CHECKOUT*
I’ve got a few side hustles too. I do all of the lifestyle photography for my line, and have recently started offering photography services as well! Why not, right? Gotta hustle in this city! In awe of all the amazing women I have met (through Instagram alone), I also organize wellness meetups and events at fitness studios in NYC. The Wellness Pop Up was created as a way to connect with people IRL, to bring all of the elements of the wellness scene together in a collaborative and supportive way, and to build community around my brand. Most fitness studios have a clothing boutique, so I’m adding the fitness and community element to my ’boutique’ through The Wellness Pop Up. I’d love to meet you at a future meetup, stay in the loop @thewellnesspopup on Instagram, there is also a link in the bio there, to sign up for the newsletter.
No spam (promise) just notifications for weekly meet ups!
Alexis Mera Distressed Stripe Crop Top & High Rise Legging, Willow White Button Up
I will be completely honest, when I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I was a little bit (ok a lot) lost.
After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology, I worked in fashion for nearly a decade. Specifically doing product development and production in the sleepwear category, most recently as the Brand Manager for DKNY sleepwear. I really just wanted out. I started working on Alexis Mera while I still had a full time job, and this lasted for about 10 months, until I was ready to launch (and until I was ready to pull my hair out). My very first collection launched February 2015, and really was a combination of my experience and a strong desire to start up on my own. Plus, I wanted comfy clothes I could pretty much wear everywhere, from sleep to street, and I was not finding them.
Shortly after launching, women started asking me if they can wear my signature printed jogger pants to yoga – the answer is of course yes! This is when Alexis Mera the brand was truly born. The line has quickly evolved into an active lifestyle brand, and I am super excited about the launch of my very first performance active collection that is now available online!
If you ask me if this is the direction I thought I was going in when I started, the answer would have probably been no, or hmm, I’m not sure? However, I am so thrilled with how the line has evolved (and how I have evolved with it). I have met so many amazing women since launching my line and continue to be inspired by those women around me. Whether you’re a yogi, executive, stay at home mom, or non stop traveler, my mission is to design versatile clothing for the active lifestyle we live today. I like clean silhouette’s that are multi-purpose, and are great to sport inside and outside the studio, allowing for a seamless transition throughout the day. Most of all, I just want women to feel happy, healthy, and beautiful in their own skin.
Alexis Mera Grey Heather Muscle Dress, The Fifth Label Denim Blue Destination T-Shirt
This journey has not been easy. It’s not glamorous. It’s hard work, long nights, being told ‘no’ A LOT, tears, lonely moments, and lots of questioning yourself and your ideas. All that being said, I am really enjoying the ride! So I thought it’d only be fitting to tell you
5 things I wish I had known before starting up
1.) Don’t start just because you don’t want to work for ‘the man’ anymore. Make sure you have a reason, an idea, and a plan. The grass is always greener. I promise.
2.) Make sure you’re asking the right person for the advice you’re seeking. I love my husband, but he doesn’t know what women want to wear when they do yoga. Learned that the hard way!
3.) Build A LOT of buzz before you even launch. As far in advance as you possibly can! This was a challenge for me, because I was still working full time, and I was afraid it would be a conflict of interest. It will also help you get the hang of navigating Social Media. I didn’t even have an Instagram account before I started, so that was a learning curve for me!
4.) Network, network, and did I say NETWORK. Your network is SO key. Get out there (in person), meet people, chat with them, learn about them, build a community. Instagram is a VERY powerful tool. I cannot believe how many amazing people and companies I have met just through Instagram, but it is also so important to build these relationships IRL. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to do wellness pop ups.
5.) Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Building a business takes time, energy, long days and in my case sometimes tears! I need to remind myself sometimes that it’s all worth it. All good things come in time. I have also learned that I am not as much as an introvert as I thought. Starting my business has forced me to ‘get out there’, meet people, network, and build new relationships – I love that that side of me has developed more.
Alexis Mera Grey Heather Muscle Dress, ASTR Devon Jacket
One last thing… There is a very motivational phrase that I have taped up in front of my desk,
‘Decide what it is you want. Write that shit down. Make a fucking plan. And… Work on it. Every. Single. Day.’
Excuse my french, but do that, and you’ll make it!
Wishing you success!