Each February and August, Atlanta Apparel welcomes a fresh crop of designers ready to take the next step into the wholesale marketplace. The Emerging Designer Showcase on Floor 2 is a hotspot of talent where you can be the first to discover the newest apparel and accessory lines poised to make their mark on the world.
Three years ago, designer Elena Carné started Tepuy Activewear in Miami, working in her garage. “I sensed there were deficiencies of fashionable fitness and athleisure wear,” said Carné. “I also saw a lack of American made, designed and produced activewear and I wanted to fill that void.” With previous experience working with Spandex in bathing suits, she understood the textiles and materials needed for her designs. Since then, Carné moved her family and her business to Americus, Ga., where her line is produced in a large manufacturing facility.
“My business partner and I visited AmericasMart on a couple of occasions,” said Carné. “When we discovered the Emerging Designer program, we knew that was where we needed to begin.”
Debuting at August 2016 Market, Tepuy Activewear was voted the favorite Emerging Designer. During Market they met with prospective customers from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and more. “It was a great opportunity to connect with other new designers and encourage and support one another,” said Carné.
Q & A with Emerging Designer Elena Carné
A graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Carné draws from her South American roots to create vibrant, colorful patterns constructed with high-quality, durable fabrics. The line includes leggings, sports bras, shorts and tanks, all produced in Americus, Ga.
What’s the best piece of business or design advice that you’ve received?
Keep blocking and tackling! One of my business advisors suggested I hold true to my vision even when others try to sway me, because I feel it is the correct path. Sometimes it is not easy because you have to make difficult decisions. As a designer and woman entrepreneur I have a vision and I will keep focusing on improving and growing my business by always getting the “small things right”…in other words blocking and tackling.
What’s next for you?
We plan to find experienced sales representatives to help us promote and sell our brand. We will continue to meet people, make contacts and network. I firmly believe that you must always be consistent with what you are doing and find the joy in it. Be proud of yourself and your work. Through determination, setting goals, God-given talents and personal faith you can fulfill your dreams.