Updated: Jul 19, 2018
“From an early age, I knew I wanted full control over my career. I was never one who appreciated or welcomed being told what to do, how to dress, how to act or where to go: I danced to the beat of my own drum in every sense of the phrase. Growing up consisted of a lot of “me time”, sketching mini fashion figures, sewing dresses for my dolls or bossing around a room of stuffed animals playing “teacher”.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be independent, working hard, busy, and productive. Most little girls my age had playtime that consisted of wedding ceremonies, baking or being a mommy: mine was having my own business, driving a car, carrying a purse and thriving off independent womanhood. I didn’t know it then, but I had the imagination of a creator and the mind of a businesswoman.
I had two sisters close in age but always preferred to take on playtime by myself. I guess now looking back, the desire to control my time and the events taking place around me was an early gauge of my future self- “a young single woman entrepreneur".
28 years young, single and living on my own in Astoria, NY, I struggle with the race against time on the daily. I hold a full-time design position for an established knitwear company in south NJ, which I call my “bread and butter”- all while owning and tending to my own budding business. My role of full-time designer by day takes up 80% of my week, leaving little time for personal relationships and purposeless adventures. If it doesn’t grow me personally or professionally, I don’t make time for it.
Having launched the Ollari brand 2 years ago I took on the majority of the tasks on my own, toying with the idea of having an equal or a partner to help me get through it all. After a “dress rehearsal” on sharing control, I was left with a crucial lesson to be learned- “My dream, my visions, my struggles, my rewards”. The reality is that no one will work as hard as I have had or will attaining these dreams and aspirations. I slowly learned just before Ollari turned 1 that I needed to get through this on my own. I was a strong woman and wasn’t going to go down without a fight to the top without trying by myself. I realized the grunt work needed MY elbow grease, triumphs, falls, bruises and learning curves. No one else is going to do what I can do for a brand only I can visualize.
As a young entrepreneur, I juggle a good deal in the upkeep of my business. While designing collections and overseeing creative aspects, growing the brand also requires consistent and meticulous attention in other areas. Embracing all avenues of the business aspect is a struggle I constantly face: from seeking sales, establishing brand identity, sourcing, factory correspondence to PR & marketing, investment opportunities and projections. The brand requires constant attention and movement, both creatively and formally.
As we head into our 2nd year as a budding brand in the industry I do what I can to maintain it all. I see many more triumphs, tears, smiles, achievements, failures and excitement as the brand prospers and grows to its full potential in the coming years. As a young single entrepreneur, I will fall and I will rise but will always move forward with a lesson to be learned. I’ve learned that failure is a good thing and can be an opportunity in disguise to start again with a new angle.
My main focus as of now is to grow my empire, take failures as they come, grow my network and do what I love, which is create beautiful collections for women. I embrace challenge and welcome obstacles on a daily basis to earn my keep as a future fashion influencer, because if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” - Meagan Ollari
"In New York, commuting to work is a way of life, and for many, it involves a subway, a bus, an Uber, or even a taxi. Commuting your way to your dream is another story. It takes more than just time and hard work – it’s all about adding your own flavor and elbow grease. New York can become a challenge, and for some like Meagan, it’s up to you to jab, jab, jab, and right hook. Because in New York, you can never look any better." - David Kester