Boss Lady: Asata Maise

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we talk to Asata Maisé. Asata is a fashion designer and founder of Asata Maisé, a sustainable clothing brand with a modern approach to vintage-inspired staples.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your career!
My name is Asata Maisé. I’m from Wilmington, Delaware. I am a fashion designer whose focus is sustainability. Over the last 8 years, I’ve lived and worked in LA, London, and NYC with other designers and brands. I now have my own line of handmade items available at asatamaise.com.

2. What is it about vintage designs that draws you in?
The first thing would be the quality. Vintage clothes were typically constructed better and withstand the test of time. Fabrics and trims also draw me in!

3. We love that phrase “circular consumption,” why is sustainability in fashion (and in general) important to you?
The fashion industry is responsible for so much water waste and pollution (from dyeing and micro plastics), more carbon emission than international flights, and landfill waste (fast-fashion). All of these factors and many more contribute to climate change. I personally do what I can on a daily basis to consume mindfully and bring awareness to how our relationship with fashion affects us in the long run.

4. Congrats on your Vogue interview! How has business changed for you since it came out?
Thank you! The Vogue features have exposed my work to a larger audience which has helped my business tremendously. I used to work part-time jobs to support my business. I’m a full time designer now! In the last 4 months, I’ve had more sales and press than I’ve had throughout my career.

5. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Pretty much everything I come across! Films, books, colors, nature. Right now, I’ve been inspired by my personal growth and evolution. I intend to be as authentic as I can through my work by knowing myself better.

6. Any specific color or pattern you’re loving to work with right now?
Yes! With the seasons changing, I’ve been leaning towards greens, browns, and deep reds.

7. Share one piece of advice for someone who wants to break into the fashion industry.
Take advantage of free resources such as social media, tutorials on YouTube, and interviews of those who inspire you. Network and reach out to your local community or build one. Finding a mentor was something that also helped me understand the industry better.

8. Who is a Boss Lady who inspires you and why?
Rihanna. She’s become such a successful entrepreneur. I admire her hard work and dedication to bringing her vision to life and her focus on inclusivity.

Just for fun!
All time favorite fashion designer: (hard one) but I’d have to say Alexander McQueen for his ability to translate emotions through clothing!
Movie with the best costumes/fashion: What A Way To Go (featuring Shirley MacLaine)
Favorite local business: Hayes Sewing Machine Company on 202
How I prefer my coffee: I prefer green tea 🙂
To me self-care means: listening to my own needs & naps!

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The Social Scoop

Macbook laptop, glasses, a small notebook, and rose gold pens

Welcome to The Social Scoop, a series that shares what’s happening in the marketing world each month. Here’s the latest social media marketing news…

The OG Facebook
Remember when Facebook was just for select universities? Well it looks like they haven’t forgotten where they came from. Facebook recently launched Facebook Campus, a space for college students to connect with each other, which is crucial in today’s remote learning environment.

Shop Pinterest
Dreams do come true! Bring your favorite Pins into your home (and your goods into your customer’s digs) with Pinterest’s newly released shopping tools. Their goal is to make every Pin shoppable and we’re totally on board!

Keeping it Classy
LinkedIn is increasing user protection by adding a few new features, such as warning people about inappropriate messages, and more communication when reporting unprofessional content. They’re aiming for continued respect, professionalism, and transparency.

Video Killed the Radio Star
It’s time to get in front of the camera. Videos are fast becoming the go-to tool for sharing content across social media platforms. Some perks: many people find talking easier than typing which makes creating video content ideal, and your audience will feel more connected to you since they get to see your sparkling personality in real time.

Vote!
Snapchat is making voter registration super easy. Released in August and getting more use by the day, Snapchat’s in-app voting tools are geared towards their younger base. Voters, especially first-time voters, can easily become informed on the issues and candidates, and even register to vote!

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Coffee Talk with Free Reign Founders

What personally motivated you to start the company?
Necessity is the mother of invention. Friends since childhood, we grumbled often about how hard it was to find a good bra for our small breasts. We never felt a need to wear a bra. For years, we would buy and wear clothing so you couldn’t see we were braless. This might be a shirt with two pockets, thick fabrics, or layers. Since we didn’t need the support, it felt crazy to wear an uncomfortable bra, and most bras were either too thin to provide coverage anyway or too “push-up” to be meant for us. The biggest insult of all was the underwire bra, rigid and unforgiving to body movement, an overly constructed shelf for little to hold.


What obstacles did you overcome to give you a totally unique perspective on what the market needs?
As smaller-busted women, all we asked for was a comfortable bra with a little support and coverage. Feeling completely misunderstood and underserved inspired us to create Free Reign – a line of comfortable bra tops with integrated lightly padded molded cups engineered to contour to the unique shape of smaller busts. We saw an opportunity to take what we were seeing developing in seamless activewear tops and apply that to everyday wear with soft fabrics, an innovative inner bra and a modern look. Our first product is the Everyday Tank, and we have plans to expand the line in the future. We’ve designed our apparel for the A and B cup woman. We know our customer. We are her.

What inspires you and fuels your creativity? 

We’re inspired by Guy Raz and the entrepreneurs whose stories he brings to life through his NPR podcast How I Built ThisAs with most start-ups, creating Free Reign has been a rollercoaster ride. There are moments that are thrilling and others so anxiety producing they make your stomach drop. Listening to the journey of other founders – the barriers they encountered and the pivotal steps they took on their way to success — is an ongoing source of inspiration and learning

What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs? 
Follow your dream. Don’t shy away from challenges because of fear.

Words to live by.

Do what you love!

P.S. Carroll lives in her Free Reign tank — from tennis to pilates to Zoom. The perfect everyday tank! 

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5 Marketing Tips To Prepare For The Holidays

Woman in purple pjs holding a santa mug

The holidays are upon us (kind of, almost, not quite, but they’ll be here soon!) and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to market your products and services to your current loyal customer base while also welcoming in new customers. In doing this, you’ll want to consider the mindset of consumers right now. People are looking for connection. They’re looking to connect with each other, with your team, your brand, and they’re being incredibly thoughtful about how they go about it. Today’s conscious consumers are looking for authenticity and trust when it comes to who they’re engaging with and buying from. So this holiday season, how will your company provide meaningful experiences and engagement for your customers while showcasing your brand’s sincerity?

Get Online

E-commerce continues to be a huge shopping platform (duh) and, with customers less comfortable visiting stores, you can expect a huge increase in online shopping. Don’t have an e-commerce website? Now is the time to hurry up and build one! (Contact us for a quote!) Already have a site? Start fine-tuning! Is check-out seamless? Are you offering add-ons like gift wrap and personalized notes? Is your e-commerce site connected to your social media platforms so customers can shop directly on Instagram and Facebook?

You’ll have to think outside of the box when it comes to offering virtual or social distance-approved customer-based experiences that allow customers to form those connections while keeping in mind their comfort level regarding the current atmosphere. Consider fresh solutions for getting your products to your customer base in a way that offers personal touches and a similar in-store level of attention.

Segment Your Customers

As the saying goes, ‘know your audience.’ Chances are, you’ve made the effort to get to know who is engaging with you, who is purchasing from you, and how often. Utilize that information to create smaller groups within your customer base and then consider a different marketing strategy for those who engage with you often. Discover who these customers are and put them in a separate email list, then offer them a special incentive, such as a pre-holiday deal in October, while continuing to offer your regular holiday specials to your general customer base. This small shift in direction can help boost your sales from customers who you already know are loyal and engaged with your brand, while showing them that you appreciate their participation in your company. Personalizing experiences such as this helps create the connection customers are searching for.

Add Personal Services

Houppette, one of our lovely clients, is tackling this by offering a gift-giving service. You tell them what your budget is and who you’re shopping for, they send you images of options, and when you choose your gifts, the Houppette team will beautifully wrap them up and mail them out! Their innovative and personal approach will take the work out of gift-giving for you and simultaneously makes the recipients of these gorgeous gifts feel your love and appreciation, even from afar.

Support Other Small Businesses

In displaying your authenticity to customers, if there are small businesses or organizations in need that you regularly work with, share that! Your customers care about you and there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in learning more about your partners and the people you find important. Does a small paper company down the street source your thank you notes? Do you give back to nonprofits that have a special meaning to you? Don’t keep that a secret! Share with your customers how much you love collaborating with local businesses and giving back to causes you support, and how essential it is to support one another right now and always.

Give Back

In efforts to assist unemployed members of the community who are looking for work, Houppette offers complimentary makeovers to a person on the day they’re taking a new headshot. This is their way of boosting confidence and pride, and in helping people put their best foot forward. For many years, our client Kindred Skincare Co. has donated a percentage of their sales from specific products to nonprofit partners, and this summer they added another one: Bâton de Couleur, Amour! A percentage of profits from the sale of this gorgeous, moisturizing color is donated to New Leash on Life USA, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce recidivism and save the lives of at-risk dogs. These meaningful collaborations and dedication to giving back to their local communities makes these businesses stand out and showcase their authentic nature.

Today’s consumer is thoughtful about their purchases, striving to connect with the right people, and they’re watching how brands are conducting themselves during these times of significant change. What will your brand do to help build consumer connections and confidence?

If you’re stuck on inspiration, contact our team for a personalized consultation.

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