We had the good fortune of connecting with Arly Stroben and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arly, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic career because I was an extremely creative child and my mother noticed it early on. She always pushed me to do something with it but most of the time I didn’t listen. I can remember her telling me to be a designer of some sort and scoffing at her suggestion. Once I went to college and started exploring majors, none of the options seemed right for me. I took class after class and was about to give up on school but then decided to take a Fashion Design course over summer and GAME OVER. I knew within my first week of learning to sew that I was meant to be a designer and to capitalize on my creativity. As soon as that course was over, I signed up for the Fall and opened my business.
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My clothing is extremely unique. I started my business mainly off of Upcycling clothing – taking old thrifted pieces and recreating them into fabulous numbers. By taking apart old clothes, I learned a lot about the construction of many different styles and soon began Patternmaking. Patternmaking is essentially designing the blueprint and fit of garment on paper and then creating it in fabric. After years of trial and error…I now have the ability, confidence and experience to design clothes from start to finish, which many brands pay someone else to do. It was not easy to get to this point but it was definitely worth it. I mainly do custom clothing now and it is very rewarding to be able to accommodate all of my customers requests; whether it be bridal, swimwear, costumes, bottoms, tops, menswear etc.
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.
I am from Carlsbad, CA – a cute little beach town in sunny San Diego! If a friend were coming to visit, we would start out in my little hometown – hit the beach and my favorite sushi spot Blue Ocean. We would definitely take a short drive south and check out La Jolla cove, it’s so beautiful there. Then to Pacific Beach to thrift shop along Garnet and last but not least, hit one of my favorite places in San Diego – Spin Nightclub! They always have the best shows and right now during Covid they just opened their new venture – Aware Wolf, an art immersive rooftop yoga studio with a beautiful view of San Diego. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Shoutout goes to my dear friend, mentor and my first employee – Nancy Warner. She started as my assistant teacher for sewing at Palomar College and by the end of our first semester together, she was working for my new business. Considering I had just learned to sew, her ability was far more advanced than where I was at. She helped me create designs for my customers that I could not execute at the time by myself. She continued to mentor and teach me beyond our classes together and I would not have learned as much as I did in the beginning, or be where I am at today, if she did not take me under her wing! I am forever grateful for this woman!
Photographers: Stephanie Doubash Haley Busch Samuel Freeman AW Studios Christyl O’Flaherty