We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Diaz-Alberto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It all started when I got pregnant. I was working in a NYC design office and I was used to dressing the part. I was so excited to shop for this new stage of my life and I was sure it was going to be so fabulous, until I went and saw what was at the maternity store. It was bad, it was depressing and it made me sad. What was in there, had nothing to do with what was going on in the rest of the world. There was nothing special. It was mostly basic. I thought to myself, 9 months is too long a time to be basic.
So I went on a mission to search all of my favorite stores to find clothes that would be trendy but bump-friendly. It was not an easy thing to do. Especially while pregnant. I still did it for pregnancy numbers 1 & 2. By the time I was on my 3rd pregnancy, I knew better. So I broke out the old sewing machine and started making the kind of clothes I really wanted to wear. The first thing I made was a long sleeve off-the-shoulder top and that’s when I realized I was onto something cool. So I made more. Eventually I decided to start making them for others, so I opened up an Etsy shop.
My thought process was that there may be other women who were sad to have to put their style on hold simply because they were expecting, and that I could help them. I was a professional designer and I had the machines and the skills to make my designs myself. I had also always wanted to explore my own creativity and be an independent designer. So I took the chance on my dream.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is concentrated on fashion but I really love all artistic expression. I love and am inspired by dance and song and even thought I’d be a pop star for a while there. But I fell in love with fashion and the idea of creating clothes that were beautiful to wear. I especially love the process of creating something out of seemingly nothing, out of an idea. The satisfaction of seeing, feeling and touching something that once only lived in my mind, is still inexplicable. It’s a true manifestation.
As an artist, the lesson I’ve had to learn is that entrepreneurship is not in the artistry itself but in the marketing of this art so that the rest of the world can enjoy it too. It has taken me a long time to come out of my workroom to show my work and to promote my brand. My nature is to be all wrapped up in the product and the designs. I couldn’t even tell you all the things that I’ve made, that very few people have ever seen. And that is something that I am aware of and that I work on every single day to better.
What I would like the world to know about my brand is that it is built by someone who really, really cares. Maybe one that cares even a little too much. Creating this business has been a growing experience that has put me all the way out of my comfort zone. And I’m still working on my business savvy. But the work, the art, that really comes from the heart. The work brings me the kind of joy that I would love every single person to experience. And I work to transmit that in every single one of my pieces. These aren’t just tops and dresses. They are a piece of my heart.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this shoutout to my parents who so graciously accepted the disruption of their living room when I was a fashion student. We were a family of 5 (counting my 2 younger sisters) that lived in a 1.5 bedroom apartment, and I was allowed to set up shop in the living room with all my fabrics, my sewing table and all the mess that came along with that. Because of them, and their patience, I was able to complete my projects and endeavor into entrepreneurship from an early age when I used to make prom dresses and things right there at home. Their support has been the best start for me and I will always remember it and will always be grateful for it.
Angie lmv Photography Michael Alberto