We are thrilled to be connecting with Terese Brown again. Terese is the Creative Director, CEO of Terese Sydonna and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Terese below.
Terese, it’s been too long since we last connected. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with our community again. Some readers might have missed our prior conversations, so maybe you can kick things off for us with a quick intro?
I am Terese, Creative Director & CEO of Terese Sydonna, a New York-based contemporary women’s ready-to-wear and accessories brand designed for the superhero in you. I design Terese Sydonna in my Bronx studio, and am proudly supporting our community – Made in Manhattan’s Garment District, New York.
I transitioned from a career in finance, to buying & merchandising, and have worked with top designers such as Jimmy Choo and Marc Jacobs before pursuing my true passion for fashion.
I’m so happy to be celebrating ten years in business, and for the next chapter of Terese Sydonna!
Where are you from and how did your background or upbringing impact who you are today?
I am originally from the beautiful island of Jamaica, and i’ve spent most of my life in the Bronx, New York. I design Terese Sydonna right here in my Bronx studio.
I have wanted to be a fashion designer since I came to the U.S. at seven years old. Growing up in an immigrant Jamaican household in the Bronx, New York ensured that my childhood was filled with Barbie playdates, many cousins, aunts and uncles who instilled the importance of hard work from an early age.
For twenty years I dreamed of one day owning my own clothing brand that would transform the lives of women and men alike. By day I worked as a fashion designer, and by night I designed for the line that was launched in 2011, Terese Sydonna all the while with my mother’s voice in my ear telling me to dream big. And so I did.
Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/ career?
I started my business in 2011 before social media mattered, Black Lives Matter movement, with no inheritance, no connections, just $370, hard work and passion. That was the biggest risk i’ve taken. I’ve fallen many times, have had doors shut in my face and have endured rejection from the most unexpected places, but I don’t regret my journey. I think the secret to being in business for this long is to constantly take risks – constantly reinvent yourself and to let go of past mistakes. Without risks you can’t grow, and without constant growth you as well as your business will suffer too.
What’s the end goal? Where do you want to be professionally by the end of your career?
I dream of the day Terese Sydonna becomes a household name inspiring superheroes around the world to wear their power in style. I want to leave behind a legacy for my family generations to come, so that they have a better life and more access to achieving any goal. More importantly, I want to continue designing pieces that add value to the lives of our Terese Sydonna superheroes.
What is the most important factor behind your success/ the success of your brand?
I was once a girl from Jamaica 🇯🇲 who dreamed from my Bronx living room of being a designer. Now i’m living my dream, selling my designs to superheroes worldwide. I don’t want to give the impression this has been easy. I’ve spent years perfecting my craft and figuring out what my clients need. That is why I present collections that are designed for the superhero in you. Stylish, yet maintenance free, 95% of the collection is machine washable, quick drying, and wrinkle-free.
What resonates with Terese Sydonna Superheroes is my story, my heart, and customer service. The fact that i’m not just designing clothes for likes, I am adding value to the lives of everyone who buys from me. I genuinely want all of my clients to win, and they see me cheering them on. They are invested in seeing my success as much as I do theirs.
What value or principle matters to you the most? Why?
Being true to myself and positively evolving are most important to me. I am a deeply principled person who just wants to share my superpowers with the world. I value authenticity, creating a path for myself and brand that is in-line with my core values of identity, quality, and community. In this tenth year, I want to celebrate these core values, how far I’ve come, and our future together.
To all the dreamers still chasing their dreams, know that anything is impossible when you dream big and stay true to yourself. Don’t look left or right, only straight ahead and keep going until you get to the destination.
It was so great to reconnect. One last question – how can our readers connect with you, learn more or support you?