The Drive New York
Tell us a little bit about your business?
I recently started an online concept shop called "The Drive New York". We officially launched in September of last year, but had some off-and-on technical web issues until February so we are very new to the market! We are building a platform that inspires us and hopefully inspires others in the world of fashion and design.
What kind of technical issues did you have and how would you recommend people avoiding them in the future?
We were experiencing web redirect issues that caused our url to fail, but it never seemed to happen on my end. I'am really fortunate that customers and friends told me it was happening to them, otherwise I wouldn't have known to address it. It made me feel terrible because here we were promoting our new shop, and people were going to the site yet there wasn’t anything for them to see. I actually have no idea how many customers we lost because of the redirect issue. We were able to fix it pretty easily once we knew what the problem was. I definitely think it’s a good idea to ask every friend and family member to go to your website and click every button to make sure it works correctly!
How has your previous business/ career as a designer affected the decisions you made while opening The Drive New York?
I am fortunate enough to have a lot of friends in the industry so when I decided to open The Drive my friends who are designers had my back and were eager to be apart of it. Having a design background makes me appreciate all the hard work every designer puts into their line. I know first hand how incredibly tough it is to juggle all the aspects of designing, fabric sourcing, pricing, follow-ups, finding the funds to produce and then your personal life on top of it!
Why did you choose to transition your focus?
I got really burnt out…I felt like I was on hamster wheel never stopping. I was constantly getting sick from stress. It was a really difficult decision to stop but once I decided to cut the cord I felt like I could breathe again. I had friends and family who didn’t agree with my decision, and kept saying “No, please don’t stop. The line is so cute..blah blah blah.. “ and that is difficult to hear because you feel an obligation to other people and you want to make them happy but I knew it was time. I physically and mentally could not do it anymore. It’s incredibly important to follow your gut. And I’m so glad I did because it opened a new wonderful chapter in my life!
What do you look for when choosing the designers to work with and to bring into your online platform?
I look for designers that have a clear vision, who are witty, and have some a little different yet long lasting. Right now we are in the testing stage of seeing what works and what doesn’t, so it’s interesting to see what people are responding to. I think the shop is only going to get better with time, and that makes me really excited. We have some really great designers joining "The Drive" this fall!
What is the future for The Drive New York - 6 month Goals?
To keep going, stay inspired, and learn more about our customers. We have some special things in the works, so I hope people stay tuned and will follow our journey!
Please recommended one amazing thing that you are totally into right now.
The ballet! It’s ABT’s season at the Metropolitan Opera House right now so, I’ve been trying to go as much as possible. It also fuels my addiction to watching ballet clips on YouTube.
What was the last ballet you saw and what is it about the ballet that you love?
Le Corsaire. It was my first time to see that ballet and a couple of my all-time favorite dancers were in the show, including Maria Kotchetkova and Daniil Simkin. Me and my best friend Odiri (my ballet partner in crime) have been following Danil’s career since he was in the 2006 International Ballet Competition. To me, following the careers of these dancers is my version of following the careers of football or baseball players. The dancers' life is something that will always strike a special chord within me because I was a dancer from ages 5 to 19. It was basically my life. I attended speciality dance programs in middle school and high school, going to class everyday and training almost 3-4 hours. I have a huge appreciation for their discipline. I also have huge respect for the costume designers as well since my professional career is fashion design. When I go to see a performance I think about the bigger picture, the training, the production team, and the costume designers. I think about the struggles they went through to get to this point and how it takes a village to put on one show, and the relief they all must feel when it all goes according to plan.