Left: Trish Mears / Right: Ariana Clare
AM: Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your background.
AC: I got my BFA in photography from ECU and shortly after I graduated I started my own freelance business. It's been tough starting from nothing but I'm so thankful all of my hard work is paying off and I'm now working the jobs I want to work. Everyone always implies it's impossible to get a job with an art degree but it's not. Hard work ethic, persistence and a positive mind set are what will get you there no matter what degree you have.
TM: I grew up in a small town in Custer, South Dakota. I attended college at BHSU in South Dakota to play collegiate basketball while studying physical therapy and minoring in Biology. After college I decided to go to nursing school in Arizona and graduated and I'm still practice being an RN today.
I have always had a drive to work hard, care for others and treat people kindly; that's where my passion came to be a nurse. I think life is about finding your happiness, drive, passion and spreading positiveness to others. One person can change the world, I truly believe that.
AM: Trish, what inspired you to start Capella, and what keeps you going?
TM: Fashion has always been an obsession of mine. I found myself always on Pinterest late at night pinning outfit inspiration. On the side I always would help my friends and family style outfits and do hair and makeup for fun so I decided then to start it into a small business.
But more than just starting another retail business I sought out to find items that inspired me or had meaning. And will always continue to work to do that.
Capella is a place where I want every woman to feel comfortable. I started it not only to sell what I have but also start a lifestyle vision.
What drives me and keeps me going is when I get that email, text or call that says thank you for making me feel beautiful and comfortable... I love everything. That truly makes my day.
Retail should be welcoming, never judging. Every woman should feel confident and beautiful surrounded around Capella. I also help woman source items we do not have and suggest makeup and hair. I constantly want to be an inspiration for woman to be the most confident versions of themselves.
AM: Ariana, you have an impressive background, working with Madewell, Anthropologie and Topshop. What inspired you to venture off on your own as a Stylist, Photographer, and Blogger?
AC: I did right away after I graduated from art school. I always knew I wasn't the 8-5 office type and I knew I wanted to be my own boss. So I took a leap of faith and just went for it. There were days I thought I was crazy and I was tempted to stop because I was working so many side jobs as well but I'm finally to a point where I can just focus on my business and of course Capella. I love everything fashion so those three things (photographing, styling, and blogging) go hand in hand.
AM: What fashion trend(s) are you all about right now?
TM: Suede is having its moment, off the shoulder tops, and yes don't tell grandma but ripped jeans (the really ripped jeans) are having their moment.
AC: I'm loving all things orange and off the shoulder. Orange such a 70's color but I'm obsessed. The athlesuire trend is also my go-to because why not be comfy and look on trend.
AM: What are 3 great things everyone should know about Charlotte, NC?
TM: Charlotte has really grown since Moving here. New restaurants, small business owners, cute cafes and art galleries. I feel like more than ever people are getting more and more creative here and that inspires me. My good friend Chandra Johnson launched SOCO gallery a year ago and when I visit the gallery I feel like I'm in a cool district in NYC. I agree with Ariana its the people that make this place so wonderful and the values of southern charm.
AC: It's not as lame as you would think. It's filled with tons of great restaurants, parks, and the best part is it's growing nonstop. I also love the network of clients I have here who have become some of my good friends such as Becky of The Pumpkin Spot, Kate and Kendra of Dress Your Guests, and Emily of Noteworthy Mag. One of the best parts of being in the creative industry in Charlotte is the people.
AM: Trish, what was your favorite bi-coastal adventure thus far?
TM: Mexico. I'm always inspired by Mexico especially Tulum and San Jose. And Capri and Positano. That was a trip I will never forget.
AM: Ariana, what would you rather shoot all day? Weddings or babies?
AC: Definitely babies. I rarely shoot weddings because of the high stress that comes along with it. I love the laid back environment of photographing a family and spending time getting to know them. And after having my own baby I've realized how important family photos are because they grow so fast!
AM: What’s next for Shop Capella and Ariana Clare?
TM: I just read Ariana's answer and that made me smile. I have so many designers that I absolutely love from Paris and the inspiration we can get from there will only motivate and grow us even more. Our goal is to keep spreading love, inspiring woman to feel beautiful, confident and yes the best version of themselves. With our help and inspiration we really hope we can make this experience really special for each person. And yes I want Ariana soon full time by my side with hopes of traveling together with our families. That would be ultimate goal. I am so happy I have met Ariana, her drive to work hard for Capella clearly shows and that has made such a difference for the company.
AC: I'm hoping to continue my freelance photography business by doing more editorial work, bloggers and families. I also want Shop Capella to blow up so we can travel with our families and make Capella a lifestyle brand that's not just about clothes but an uplifting place for women to shop, connect and be inspired. And Paris fashion week would be plus... Just saying. I also have to add Trish and I connected right away because we have the same priorities of God, our families, and then our businesses. There is no doubt in my mind that Capella is going to make it far and I'm so grateful I'm a part of it.