|Angela, Sheila, Myself and Nichelle at Bridal Savoir Fair 2013|
I would like to introduce you to another young designer that I met as a result of knowing Sheila James-Scott and Meredith Corning (who have previously been showcased). I love her spirit and energy. We met and it was as if we had been friends previously. I was a stranger in Littlerock, Arkansas but was made to feel right at home.
This designer loves fashion and does not mind standing in the background as long as she gets a close-up view. This view enabled her to see what and what not to do when it is her turn to rise and shine. This is what happened when we met at Bridal Savior Faire 2013. She was behind the scenes helping dress the models but 2014 year was her chance to strut her stuff. And that is exactly what she did! Please take a minute to read her interview and then take a look at her designs. I'm sure you'll be as impressed with her work and determination as I am.
1. Tell me about yourself and how we came to meet.....
My name is Angela McKenzie-Smith. I was born, raised and currently residing in Little Rock, Arkansas. I recently got married this past April to a very handsome man by the name of Marcus Smith and we are also expecting twin boys in February 2015. Tracy and I met last year at the Bridal Savoir Faire in Howell, Arkansas; created by Meredith Corning of Compassion Fashion. I am very involved with Compassion Fashion so last year I was just the designer helping with the coordination of the show. Ms.Smith was showcasing her crochet beachwear and we exchanged information and kept in touch via social media.
2. What are your gifts and talents? We're they taught or GOD given?
I have a couple of gifts and talents that I display, including but not limited to, cooking and designing women clothing. The cooking was most definitely taught! I come from a family of 15 siblings (same parents!) and my mom cooked practically everyday! She always experimented in the kitchen which trickled down to me. And designing was a mix of both, being taught and God given. I say that because when I was growing up, I always wanted my clothes to stand out. I remember cutting up jeans, taking out hems, removing pockets to show off the darker shade underneath and adding paint or patches down the legs. I always wanted to do more but didn't know how to sew on a machine and barely by hand. In 2010, I attended Jamileh Kamran's School of Fashion Design (now known as the Little Rock School of Fashion) and she taught me how to not only use a sewing machine but how to properly measure the body, create patterns, drape, alter, and much more.
3. What is your brand and what was your inspiration for starting it?
The name of my brand is AnJaNell. I wanted to create a name that was as unique as my design aesthetic. The name itself is just a miixture of my first and middle name (Angela JaNell) but that is exactly what it represents...ME. My style. My personality.
4. Where can the brand be seen? Right now the brand is exclusive to online. You can find AnJaNell on Facebook (Angela McKenzie-Smith linked to AnJaNell fashion) and Instagram (search AnJaNell or @designerangelam)
5. How can customers shop and/or place an order? My website is currently under construction but will be up very soon! (AnJaNell.com) For now, orders can be placed by simply inboxing me on either of my social networking sites. Payment methods depend on where you are located but of course PayPal is one of them.
6. Has your line been showcased in any shows this year?
Yes! I designed four wedding gowns and a flower girl dress for this year's Bridal Savoir Faire 2014. Other than that, I haven't been involved in many shows because I have been more focused on custom orders for clients and building my brand far beyond on a local scale. With that being said, One of my bridal gowns will be featured on the front page of a local magazine next year, I designed a dress for a Bar Louie "All Gold" calendar and I participated in the Divas Dressing Darlings event presented by Compassion Fashion in which i had over 15 dresses sent to Africa for little girls to wear.
|Wedding Gown presented at|
Bridal Savoir Fair 2014
8. Do you run your business fill time or are you bi-vocational? I just started running my business full time, Thanks to my husband. I am super excited and very grateful! There is sooo much that I am in the process of doing, you should definitely stay tuned because AnJaNell is just getting started!!
Angela reminds us to wait out turn and not be too anxious to shine. It is through helping others and taking a step back to enjoy the process that we are actually giving ourselves a chance to move forward. So "let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we dot give up." Galatians 6:9
Angela is definately reaping her harvest! I look forward to seeing the continued benefits as her fashion line continues tp grow, her marriage grows stronger and her new babies come into the world. I hope she gives me a chance to introduce them to you. (smile!) God bless you Angela and thanks for sharing with us today.