A B O U T

Hello! Thanks for stopping by, I always hate skimpy "about" sections and since I don't post a lot of personal things on my blog I thought I'd give you plenty of info here...

I am an independent fashion designer and sell my custom clothing on my website, www.BreeLena.com. This blog is a mix of personal fashion posts as well as photoshoots of my designs. 

I started my design company in 2006 and named it aBree Original. In 2014 I decided to re-brand my company. It is now called Bree Lena - after my first and middle name. Subsequently, this blog was originally named, aBree Fashion and it is now called B.Lena

Click here to view my design portfolio.

Q&A

How old are you? Currently 26 years old 

What's your love story? I met and started dating my sweet husband Taylor when we were both sophomores in high school. While he was serving his two-year LDS mission I went to school in NYC. We both returned in 2011 and dated while attending BYU together. He proposed in fall 2012 and we were married in the Manti, Utah Temple on May 4, 2013. For more on our love story (including lots of photos), and links to posts about our wedding - click here

How did you get started in fashion design? 

When I was in high school I was always extremely excited to dress up for the formal dances, there was one problem though - I hated every dress I found in the stores. That is when my creativity chimed in and I told my mom we'd make me a dress! Both of us do sew, so we weren't completely in over our heads. The trick was that what I wanted did not come with a pattern. That is when I discovered that my brain luckily made sense of constructing a garment and we completed my first aBree Original gown when I was 16. 

What education/training do you have? 

1) AAS in Fashion Design from Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City: May 2010
2) BS in Business Management Marketing from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah: December 2014

 After graduating high school, I knew I wanted to go to fashion design school in NYC. It was my dream. So my mom took me out to New York City (always been an East Coast girl) to check out FIT and Parsons. I fell in love with Fashion Institute of Technology so much that they were the only school I applied for. The application process was strenuous and difficult, and the fashion design program has less than a 10% acceptance rate, so when my acceptance came in the mail I was thrilled. That summer I developed my first business plan to make money to pay for FIT; make and sell headbands (it was 2009 = gossip girl era = everyone loved headbands).

School was really an amazing experience. I learned so many skills such as draping, patterning, sketching, Photoshop and Illustrator. I would never trade the sleepless nights and 10 hour class days for anything! I finished my time at FIT with a study abroad to Milan and Paris where I studied and compared design trends in the wedding industry among the major fashion capitals of the world. Traveling to Europe was a dream come true!

It was always my intention to get an AAS degree in fashion design from FIT and then a BS in business management marketing from BYU. I knew that if I wanted to be successful as a designer I needed a business degree as well.

What are your plans for the future?
My husband and I moved from Provo Utah to New York City in June 2015 and have plans to stay here for the next few years. I will continue to design and create clothing for Bree Lena while I work in the fashion design industry and my amazing husband will be working as an Investment Banker on Wall Street. I am also currently working toward my Pilates certification at Core Pilates NYC. 

What other interests do you have?
Dancing: I am trained in jazz, contemporary, and ballet and have taught jazz dance at BYU every semester during the four years I was getting my bachelor degree.

Pilates: I am completing my Pilates training and will start teaching in the Spring of 2017.

Reading: I was a complete book worm in high school.

Event Planning: I planned and designed my entire wedding and was one of the co-producers for Utah Fashion Week while I was living in Utah.

How long did it take you to make your wedding dress? I had spent years designing my dream gown in my head so I knew exactly what I wanted when the time came. I spent well over 250 hours making my dress which included: patterning, draping, sewing, and hand embellishing. The majority of the time (over 200 hours) was spent hand-beading the bodice of my gown and designing/creating/sewing/beading the fabric flowers on the skirt. 

Do you run Bree Lena all on your own? I do everything that goes into the design process - idea, sketch, pattern, fabric selection, embellishing, and all of the bead-work. I do have a seamstress (my sweet mother) who helps me sew. I also do all the marketing, blogging, website building, finances, etc. that go into running a business.

Why did you get a business degree along with your fashion design degree? I love learning and I love being able to do everything on my own. I knew that in order to be successful I needed to not only have a solid design background, but I needed to understand business marketing and strategy. I wouldn't trade my education for anything and believe that my business degree is just as essential as my fashion design degree. 

Why did you move from Utah to NYC? Both my husband and I love the city. I went to FIT there, and my husband served his two-year LDS mission there. Since being married we have spent both of our summers in NYC for various internships. My husband has a job in finance, and luckily for me there are SO many opportunities for fashion in the city. It is the perfect fit for both of us. 

Do you make custom original clothing for clients? I take custom orders on a case-by-case basis depending on what other projects I have going on. 

Favorites
Designer: Elie Saab, Ralph Lauren
Store: J.Crew
Singer: Gavin DeGraw and Taylor Swift (ever since Tim McGraw)
Clothing Item: Grey sweatshirts... and anything with sequins! 
Dessert: Creme Brulee
Food: Mexican 
TV Show: One Tree Hill
Color: Grey and Gold 




5 comments:

  1. Just found your blog!! You are so dang cute!! I am a fellow mormon blogger too! Would love to team up sometime!!

    www.in-love-in-europe.blogspot.com

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  2. Okay, so I am pretty sure we need to hang out and become best friends! :) We have so much in common and you are adorable.

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  3. Just found your blog via our Link-up! You're absolutely gorgeous, and so unbelievably inspiring!
    xo, Elle

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  4. You are living my dream ;)
    I went to school for Sales and Fashion Merchandising, because I too realized that to be a successful fashion designer and have my own company, some business knowledge would be helpful. I would love to attend a fashion school… don't have the funds. I love your creations, gold sparkles are like, my dream! Gorgeous!
    I recently started a fashion blog. www.stripesinbloom.com :)

    xo, Jensyn

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  5. I am so glad I found your blog (it was through Pinterest). My husband and I live in Iowa and we have a farm and raise cattle. Although agriculture is my passion I still love MAC make-up, sequins and J.Crew. Can't wait to follow you adventure.
    www.crystalcattle.com

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! Your comments mean so much to me.