Name || Alexandra Perlaki
Age || 30
Company Name || alxndra nyc
Job Title || Buyer & Founder
Years Living In New York || 8
Social Handles || @alxndranyc, @aalexandra_
Company Website || alxndra nyc
What did you want to be while growing up?
I wanted to work in fashion (shocker!). I studied art in high school and would sketch outfits and clothing in a little notebook.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?
Just go for it. A friend of mine who opened her own business told me right before I launched that I had to just take the leap of faith. If you are passionate and put your heart into it then all will work out.
How do you define success?
My happiness. If it no longer makes me happy than it is no longer successful.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned since starting out?
Everything is trial and error, you learn most from taking chances. Not everything will work but that is part of a new business and growth. A lot of things I was excited to offer on my website ended up not working out and other things are a huge success. There have definitely been a lot of ups and downs.
What is your go-to motivational quote?
When you change your thoughts on the inside, you transform your world on the outside.
What made you interested in starting your brand?
I was collecting so many great vintage t-shirts and jewelry and friends kept asking me to find them things as well. I come from a buying background and now work on the sales side and had all of the knowledge to launch my own business so I just went for it. I also saw a lot of people around me starting their own businesses and I couldn’t stand by and watch knowing that starting a business is something I have always wanted to do.
Do you have a personal motto?
Now I do! Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Which women inspire you?
My mother and sister. My boss and my fellow female business owners.
How do you overcome moments of self-doubt?
That’s a tough one, but I try to switch gears and focus on something positive. Creativity is my greatest fuel and it’s always a positive outlet for me. Sourcing new vintage items, or taking some photos, creating content - these are all ways to uplift. When you are your entire team it’s hard sometimes to shake off the negative vibes without someone there giving you motivational pushes.
Is this your full time job, if not how do you deal with balancing both workloads?
I work a full time job at Franklin St Showroom managing 4 women’s RTW brands and one accessories brand. Alxndra NYC is my ‘side hustle’ and ‘passion project.’ I am fortunate to have an amazing work environment that allows me to grow my brand and business while working full time.
What is the hardest part about being your own boss?
The workload and delegation. It is sometimes very challenging to manage everything on my own and wish there was someone to oversee and assist. For now I just do my best!
How do you handle situations where you feel overwhelmed?
Take a step back, make a list, and handle things by priority.
What has been the most rewarding thing since starting your brand?
Seeing friends and customers wearing pieces they found through me. I value the people who understand that my brand is different, each piece is unique and one of a kind. It has an entire life before it reaches its next home with my clients. That is special to me and definitely most rewarding about my brand.
What advice would you give to other women trying to enter your field?
I think doing your research is important, knowing your product, and your competition. I definitely believe ‘just going for it’ is a great motto but you have to be prepared.
What are some of your goals moving forward for your brand?
Offer more unique pieces and inventory and continue to educate my customers. That is important to me, to educate my followers or clients, on why they should be buying vintage and how this leaves a positive impact on the world. Being sustainable is a top priority for me and buying vintage is a great start. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. We need to reuse and recycle clothing and accessories. This is the future.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.