We asked Mary Alice Duff a few questions about her life as the owner of Alice Alexander, a size-inclusive, ethically and sustainably made women's apparel brand based in Philadelphia. Get to know her below!
Tell us about your business!
Mary Alice: I own Alice Alexander, a size-inclusive, ethically and sustainably made women's apparel brand. We design, cut, sew and retail women's apparel in an inclusive size range. We're mainly an e-commerce business connecting with women around the world.
What accomplishment are you celebrating right now?
Mary Alice: Launching our latest collection. It's definitely the best design work we've ever done. The color palette was phenomenal. The photography and product imagery was awesome. And we had our best month of sales.
What keeps you motivated?
Mary Alice: As much as I love pretty clothes I'm motivated to be a part of major change needed in the fashion industry. A change towards inclusivity, where women of all sizes are welcomed. A change towards sustainability where clothing is no longer bought and discarded as quickly as it's made. And a change towards ethical production. Where the women who make our clothes are just as important as the women who wear our clothes.
My favorite part about what I do is the weekly direct messages I receive from women thanking me for the work we're doing at Alice Alexander. I think anyone who spends time on our instagram knows this is about way more than clothes.
What's one tip you want to share with other entrepreneurs?
Mary Alice: This is going to be the hardest thing you'll ever do, financially, emotionally, spiritually, even physically. It feeling hard doesn't mean you aren't doing it right — this is just the way it is, at least in the beginning. Know that you're capable of far more than you think so persevere, take a break when you need to, and keep going — half the battle is persistence!
What's your favorite app or resource of the moment?
What are you listening to lately?
What are you crushing on?
Mary Alice: Lizzo (follow her on Instagram — it will change your life), I mean she plays the flute and twerks, what?!
What inspirational words resonate with you recently?
Mary Alice: No one is coming to save you. I think it's really easy to think that if you just get that one sale, or one influencer, or one investor it's going to completely change your business and sometimes it can feel like we're just waiting for that thing / person to happen. But at the end of the day, counting on yourself to make things happen is really the only guarantee. So, although it may sound like a negative at first, the mantra "No one is coming to save you" is something I repeat to myself regularly to get off my butt and take action (instead of waiting for something to happen).