We had the good fortune of connecting with Anita Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anita, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind the success of Anita by Design is my decision to show up as myself. When I launched the Blog and YouTube channel in 2016, I prayed and asked God to help me be myself and allow people to see me as the person I was created to be. Social media paints a picture of perfection that many can’t relate to. This sometimes causes insecurity in those who seek to emulate a persona that doesn’t reflect the full story. I knew that if people were to come into my community and feel like I was someone they couldn’t relate to, my ability to reach their hearts would be slim to none. When I show up for my audience, I want them to feel like they’re hanging out with a good friend, literally. I want them to feel safe and appreciated. When they leave, I want them to walk away with a sense of peace, knowing that they’ve been in the presence of someone they can trust. When my people come into my space they know that they’re getting the real deal because over the years I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable, sharing my struggles and trials. They appreciate seeing that behind all the beautiful photos is a human being who isn’t perfect, but strives for excellence in serving others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I teach new beginners how to master the basics of garment construction. I serve women who don’t know how to sew at all, who have never touched a sewing machine before. I serve those who are tired of going into local department stores and boutiques and not finding clothes to fit their own bodies and personal style. I serve the women who have tried ordering online but what shows up at their front doors is nothing like what was advertised on the website. I work with those who are looking for an online experience with someone who can walk them through the process of learning to sew their own garments, step by step, with lots of detail. I like to make them feel like I’m right there in the room with them, while providing a transformational experience. What I’m most proud about is my innate ability to connect with the hearts of women I come in contact with. When they come into my space, they’re drawn in. as I allow them to feel safe. When I first started my brand, I never imagined I would be launching my own Online Sewing Course in 2021. There have been challenges getting to this place where I feel confident enough to launch a course. My late husband and I had planned on launching the Course in 2017, but he became ill and died in 2018. I didn’t know anything about operating the cameras. He was my photographer and videographer. I didn’t know how to create studio lighting or work with sound. Therefore, I didn’t think I would be able to create a course on my own. But while he was ill, I practiced recording a few videos and posted them to my YouTube channel. They weren’t perfect but also not horrible. I kept practicing with video and photos. It was a struggle but I learned by watching lots of videos and asking questions of friends. Eventually, my product started to improve and today my videos, photos and sound are a lot better. I’ve learned that when life comes around and punches you in the face, it’s okay to get knocked down. But at some point you have to get back up. Losing my husband was a heavy blow, but my faith in God helped me to get up and put one foot in front of the other. I engaged myself in the process of healing, step by step. I didn’t give up on Anita by Design. Instead, I did the necessary work to learn how to build my brand on my own. I launched my new course, Learn to Sew, Mastering the Basics in March, 2021, and it was a great success with 100 women enrolled.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my friend were visiting L.A., the first place I would take her is Moon Shadows on Pacific Coast Highway. It was the restaurant my husband took me to our first date. It’s right on the water and the food and service are amazing. We would have to catch a musical at the Pantages Theater because everyone needs to experience the magic that happens on that stage. Of course, I’d take her to The Grove LA, because you just can’t come to Los Angeles and not experience the fun and excitement of shopping at such an amazing location. I would take her to an old school jazz concert at the Hollywood Bowl because the vibe there is so chill, and there’s nothing like grooving to the smooth and funky sounds of old school music. A tour of Universal Studios Hollywood would have to be part of her trip to Los Angeles because who wouldn’t want to see some of the old movie sets in person. Finally, I’d take her to one of our popular beaches to soak up some sun and fun, while chilling in the sand with umbrellas. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I first learned to sew in the early 1990’s, there was no internet. I found a lady in Los Angeles, named Regina, who had a private sewing studio where she taught sewing lessons. I took a few lessons from her, where she taught me the basics of garment construction. I learned how to read a pattern, cut fabric and sew a garment together. After learning the bare basics from her, I went out on my own and purchased all the books I needed to improve my craft. The books that were most instrumental in helping me were from the Singer Sewing Series. I loved those books because they were all topical. I just purchased the books that related to what I wanted to learn. I picked up on the skills quickly and was soon making beautiful garments. Then in 2014, I was introduced to the Mimi G Style Blog. I had never read a blog before but when my friend sent the link I checked it out and that was the beginning of my journey into launching Anita by Design. I started diving into the online sewing community, sharing my work and being inspired by all the amazing women who were doing the same. In 2016 I launched my Blog and YouTube channel to a community of women who quickly gravitated to my teaching style and personality.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/AnitabyDesign/_created/
All photos were taken by myself and my late husband.