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Alexis Mera Damen, Founder of Alexis Mera

Hey, Hello, Hi 👋

Thanks for stopping by. It's nice to meet you. I'm Alexis, the founder and chief #LadyBoss over here at Alexis Mera. Mera is my middle name, after my great grandmother on my mother's side. 

Most known for my comfy jogger pants and versatile sports bras, I'm in the midst of working on a rebrand that combines my mission to celebrate women through natural light photography and honest words with apparel design and partnerships. It's a mouthful, I know. Working on my "elevator pitch" as we speak. 🤓

I hope you'll stick around for the ride.

Alexis Mera Damen


P.S. In case you'd like to stay in touch (and figure out if I'm a real person), let's connect on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Image: @corinnelouiephoto for @thestyletheorycollective

Everything changes with time.

A Brief History of How I Got Here (Or Not So Brief)

Fall 2003: Moved from Cortlandt Manor, NY to New York City to study Interior Design at FIT. Realized it's not what I want to do, skipped classes, and got academic dismissal (we all have our skeleton's). Age 17. 

Early 2004: Told my Dad I'd get a waitress job and support myself in NYC and take taxi cabs everywhere (who needs a metro card when you're a waitress?). 

Spring 2004: Quickly realized I was crazy and enrolled in a few Fashion Merchandising Management classes that Spring at FIT while I was figuring out what I want to do with my life (at age 18!).

Fall 2004: I was enjoying my classes. In particular the more creative product based classes. I knew I didn't want to be a fashion designer, but product development was calling my name. 

Spring 2005: Continued taking classes that were part of the Fashion Merchandising Management major at FIT and applied to make FMM my major. 

Fall 2006: I was a "regular" student again and realized I could do this. 

Early 2007: Got an internship at Elizabeth Cotton. An independent sleepwear brand that is manufactured in New York City. Learned the in's and out's of running a small business. Felt inspired. 

2007 - 2008: Continued to work at Elizabeth Cotton until I graduated, when I was hired as a full-time salaried employee — score! Got my first job. 

Spring 2009: It was time for a change. Started working at D2 Brands as a Merchandising and Product Development assistant. I worked on Lucky Brand, Tommy Hilfiger, and Nicole Miller Sleepwear and Intimates. Met some awesome people who I'm still friends with today. 

Summer 2010: 1.5 years later it was time for another change. Started working at Peruvian Connection as the Production Coordinator for their woven's division that's based in NYC. The rest of the company is based in Kansas. 

Early 2012: 1.5 years later, another change. Started working at Komar Brands as the Brand Manager for DKNY Sleepwear and also managed Private Label programs for Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdale's. 

2012 - 2015: Learned A LOT. As a brand manager/product developer I was responsible for making things happen for the brands I worked on. I managed process, product, and partnered with people on various teams to get shit done. 

Summer 2014: Jumping back a little. Started to develop my first Alexis Mera collection. I was still working full-time. It was a busy and stressful time, but I couldn't wait to start something of my own. 

I always knew I wanted to have my own business. However, I wasn't really sure what it would be. So, I started with something that I knew. Loungewear. 

Early 2015: Quit my day job and launched Alexis Mera in February 2015 as a ready-to-wear loungewear brand. Essentially, comfy loungewear that was cute enough to be seen in and wear on the street. 

Later in 2015: Women started asking me if they could wear my jogger pants to yoga. I wasn't sure, but I said yes anyway. That's when my line began to evolve and I started to market my line as lounge and yoga wear. 

Got my first wholesale account, Barefoot Athleisure in Spring Lake, NJ. Business was starting to pick up. 

Asked for a professional camera for my 30th birthday because #startupbudget. Taught myself the basics and started to do all the product and lifestyle photography for my line. 

2016: I expanded on my collection to offer more printed jogger pants and more tops. Met SoulCycle at a trade show and did two private label programs for them, over 3K units combined. I was actually making money. 

Started offering photography as a service. When you're starting a business a side hustle is never a bad idea. 

Later in 2016: SoulCycle was making changes. We didn't work together anymore. There goes a huge chunk of sales revenue. However, I was excited about my first activewear collection that was in the works. 

January 2017: Launched my first activewear line. It did well. But, WOW, activewear is a saturated market. I knew this, but didn't really care at the moment. Once I get my mind set on something, there's no turning back. 

July 2017: Went out to Seattle with my husband (for his new job). Did the bicoastal thing (still doing it). After a few weeks away from NYC I realized that I didn't really have a life. All I did was WORK. 

Started to question what I was doing with my business and if I was really happy doing it? 

November 2017: Took a full-time job in NYC at Ziel as the Director of Merchandising and Product Development. Ziel is also an activewear startup that does on-demand manufacturing. Still did the bicoastal thing (sort of) and was still running Alexis Mera on the side. My husband was coming back to NYC every 2-3 weeks for the weekend. #LongDistanceMarriage

March 2018: Left Ziel, went back out to Seattle in April, still wasn't really sure about what to do with my brand. 

June 2018: Decided to take an official break from Alexis Mera and started freelancing/consulting. And writing for Shopify. Never thought I'd be a writer! 

July 2018: Needed a creative outlet, so I started All Natural Project to celebrate women through natural light photography and honest words. 

August - September 2018: Continued freelancing and brainstorming new business ideas on a regular basis. Thought I could come up with a software solution to help founders of emerging and independent consumer brands. Probably still can. The struggle is real. 

October 2018: Started to miss creating something of my own and putting it out in the world. Realized that I don't have to run Alexis Mera in the same way that I was doing it before. Also realized that I've got my hands in a variety of different projects that I love, why not combine them? 

November 2018: The NEW Alexis Mera is born. Alexis Mera is a clothing brand and platform that celebrates women through natural light photography, honest words, and custom t-shirts designed in collaboration with trailblazing ladies.

Still freelancing. One thing (of the many things) I've learned is not to put all my eggs in one basket. 

 

@2018 ALEXIS MERA