Name: Ary Park
Family Members: Husband – Michael, Daughter – Sophia
Previous Career: TV Producer at NBC Saturday Night Live, MTV, HBO, Lifetime, among others.
What is the name and nature of your business?
I am a fashion designer. I have my own collection called Stella industries. I design and manufacture girls clothing for 12 months through 16 years.
What inspired you to start it?
My daughter Sophia when she was born.
How did you get everything up and running?
I started small with very little capital. I hand cut animal shapes out of felt fabric and whip stitched them by hand in contrasting color threads onto baby tops and onesies. As soon as I had the samples made up, I started doing my own sales to the local children’s shops in Los Angeles. One of my first orders was from Fred Segal. It was a very big order and I knew I had a good product that people wanted to buy. My business started from there. A lot of tenacity and belief in my work got me started and I kept building my collections from then on. That was 9 years ago this month.
How does your job fit in with family life?
It is the best job in the world for my family life. I have a flexible schedule, which allows me to do my most important job of being a mom. I have a great husband that loves being a dad and pitches in a lot. We are a hard working two-income family, and my less rigid schedule makes things easier when emergencies or illness come up. And most of all, my work and my family allows me to be a fulfilled creative individual.
What has been your biggest learning curve so far?
It has to be that I learned everything about fashion designing, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and customer service on the job. Skills I had from TV producing helped, but there is nothing like learning lessons on the job.
What has been your most positive experience?
I love working with children, especially girls. I love to see them happy in my designs! Feeling great and being comfortable in one’s clothing allows girls to be free to be who they are. I believe if I can help a girl grow up with self-esteem and confidence, I have done my job well.
Where would you like to be in five years time?
I would like to see Stella Industries as a go-to brand for all the things a growing girl needs to get through her everyday life.
What advice would you give to other mothers hoping to combine motherhood with a new business idea?
Make sure you are passionate about your new business idea. When you own a business, the work never stops and challenges are huge. You need to love what you are doing in order to succeed. Make sure your strengths and talents are well suited for your new business.