AURA AMBITION is a series of interviews on female entrepreneurs who are passionate, determined and committed to building their own version of success by living life full of intention and purpose. We are both inspired and empowered to succeed today from the wealth of wisdom Adylia Gutierrez, founder and CEO of Adees Co, shares with us in telling her story to Aura. Adees Co is a brand that exclusively designs and manufactures artisan hand-made leather products that are high-quality with affordability.
AURA: As we are all things beauty, brains and business, give us some background on who you are, what your brand is and when you made the decision to become an entrepreneur.
ADYLIA: This realization came while I was doodling in my English class. I was about 15 years old. I didn’t know exactly what field/area but I knew I wanted to express my creativity. Adees’ is actually a revamped-brand. It was my grandmother’s, my namesake, and in the beginning Adees’ was a premier clothing line that reflected my grandmother’s jetsetter/socialite lifestyle. I wanted to apply these principles to a modern, fun, & youthful rebranding.
In essence, rival the best at an attainable price.
AURA: When it comes to emerging brands, audiences only tend to see the glamorous side of doing business. Which is great, but in reality, it’s only about 2 percent of what the work actually looks like. Give us a description of a normal day operating Adees Co.
ADYLIA: Great Question! And very true actually lol. I wake up early! I’m up by 6:30 am and reading periodicals. The remainder of my day, about 90% of my time, is spent on my phone or computer. I discuss creative strategy with my team, answer and send emails, double check orders & go over samples. If I don’t review samples then I am designing.
AURA: How has social media affected your career and where do you see its importance taking a role in the development of your brand through the next year of business?
ADYLIA: Social media is an integral part of Adees! I love the fact that we are able to engage with our customers! Direct messages on Instagram is great because either potential customers can ask questions or customers just let us know the product is even better than they thought. I think engagement is key. Over the next year I just see it growing. People have a voice and I think that empowerment of the consumer is so important with growing and listening.
AURA: Offline, what hurdles have you had to overcome and what do you foresee in the future that may challenge your brand?
ADYLIA: There are various hurdles when starting a new brand. In the beginning was creating so many styles & prototypes! We didn’t use all the prototypes so that was cost that could have been avoided. These are all great learning lessons and it eventually worked itself out. For me it has been creating more styles & designs than I actually end up using. Also in the beginning our method is very traditional: made-to-order which gives the customer a custom feel and ensures top quality. Since the method hasn’t been used in a while reminding people that there is no inventory was a challenge when we first started. Once the product arrived people saw the quality etc.
AURA: How do you stay organized within your business as well as your personal daily routine?
ADYLIA: I’m old school! Ahah I write everything down and everything has its own folder. Plus I love using post-its. Personally, I’m not hyper-organized! I’ll put a reminder in my calendar and go about my day!
AURA: What are your favorite phone apps?
ADYLIA: My music app! I would be utterly lost if I wasn’t able to blast the 1975 on repeat! They get me in my zone/inspired ahah.
AURA: If theres anything you could change about your industry what would it be?
ADYLIA: Honestly, I can’t think of anything. I believe fashion is still the only industry where creativity, tenacity, and evolution are revered. I do think fashion has a more challenging time keeping up with the economy and social trends without losing the essence of the brand. I’m grateful for that because that’s how I have my business! Haha
AURA: What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
ADYLIA: The fact that I have a business people and customers are impressed with! I love when I hear the products are better than what they expected or how they can’t believe they overlooked Adees. Collaborating with Vanessa (Adess Co collaborated with Vanessa J Simmons on its “Sweet Vibes” collection!) & working with Jac Vanek are progress I love seeing as an owner. Customer engagement and loving the product means the most.
AURA: What mistake(s) have you made with your business? What did you learn from the experience/how did you bounce back?
ADYLIA: So far probably in the beginning being a “people pleaser” which means a weak brand identity because you’re being influenced by different people you love and respect. I just took ownership in my strengths and the vision I had for the company. Listening to so many views allowed me to really define what I wanted to be as a brand. Mistakes, or learning experiences, are what make the journey fun! Plus they are great funny stories to tell later.
AURA: What is your most meaningful memory since you’ve started Adees Co?
ADYLIA: My most meaningful memory was the first order! I was in line at In-n-Out when I was notified, very Californian of me, ahah. I was so excited.
AURA: What’s your next goal?
ADYLIA: Next up will be a Men’s line & Women’s leather pants!! We have been getting more request for both so the projection to launch is by the end of the year. The Men’s line will be inspired by the men I love and respect. The leather pants will be inspired by modern, functionality.
AURA: In your opinion, what are key traits every female entrepreneur should aspire to have personally and professionally?
ADYLIA: Professionally- tenacity, respect for others, and a strong sense of self. In the beginning, people will give you their generic perception of who you are and reasons how your idea could be better. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and if you are passionate about your idea you will be able to continue. Personally- No clue! Ahah. Be who you are!
AURA: What advice on personal image do you have for women when it comes to style? What is your dressing style in everyday life?
ADYLIA: Dress for the woman you are going to be and not the woman you are now! I think first impressions are important so always be confident in your outfit. I dress for my mood! I always put my best foot forward; some days I dress very sartorial and other days I feel ‘90s grunge.
AURA: Do you have any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own businesses?
ADYLIA: I would say first find what you are truly passionate about! Not a field that seems glamorous but a field or area that if you have negative days you want to continue and get better. Once you’ve found your passion, research that field! I believe we learn so much from history so regardless of the field research everything!
Thank you for taking time to read about Adylia and Adees Co. We hope you are feeling enlightened from her fresh perspective on success and are ready to achieve incredible things! Follow Adees Co and its journey as an empowering brand and check out our exclusive Adees Co collaboration:
Image Credits: All images provided by Adees Co from their archives and historical milestones!
XOXO – The Girls
Chelse K & Ivy C
The proportion of teachers with 25 years of experience or more dropped from 27 percent in 2005 to image source 17 percent in 2011.