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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Designer Q&A: Alyssa Bowers

Meet Alyssa Bowers, an entrepreneur and clothing designer. She is laidback, easy to talk to and hardworking. You can find her t-shirts, hoodies, dog clothes, and more at our shop. Read on to find out Alyssa’s go-to style essentials, her fashion philosophy, and what she is up to next! 


Introduce yourself  
I co-own Vitae and I also own a clothing company, Acanthus Apparel, with my husband Joshua.

How did you get started?
Our clothing company kind of started in college when we taught ourselves to screen print. Then we took a break for a while. And then I bought my husband a sewing machine for Christmas in 2005 as a present. We started doing crazier shirts, like dyeing and sewing patches and screen printing. And people just started asking, “Where can I buy those?” So a hobby turned into a business.  That led me to meet the other women that I own Vitae with. We met at a fashion show. I had been working with a clothing company and was asked to do a fashion show. They (Julie and Melissa) were also designers in the show and that’s where I met them.   

What are you up to now?
I am really trying to work on online sales. I want to build a bigger clientele outside of Iowa. I put a lot on Etsy and I travel to tattoo conventions to sell items. I am hoping to start doing wholesale (again, sort of re-branding and starting again) and have someone help with screen printing since I currently do it by myself.    
What statement is a person making when wearing your clothes?
I think people wear my clothes first because it’s comfortable. It becomes their favorite hoodie or t-shirt. I print on really good quality material and I think they like the designs. The designs are tattooed inspired. I think people are able to express their individual style with my clothes. I see people mixing and matching things. And they support local! A lot of people shop here (Vitae) and buy my designs, and I appreciate that. 
How do you define style? What is your personal fashion/style philosophy?
I am all about comfort.  I want to feel good and look good in what I wear.

Your top style essentials are…?
  • Good pair of boots 
  • Comfortable hoodie
  • Flannel button up, one that you can throw over things and layer 
  • For dressing up, a cute vintage or vintage-inspired dress. 

t’s in and what’s out?
Woven leather belts, tying them into different types of knots. I like that look.
Leggings as pants!

Where do you see your line in 5 years?

Hopefully having employees!! I currently make adult and dog clothing, but want to expand the line to also having baby clothing. I’d also like to get into wholesale.

Favorite Current Trend?

Little wedge boots.

Trend that you are sick of/could do without/overexposed?

Affliction shirts or overdone graphic t-shirts. They are done. They are out of style.

Your collection/brand in 3 words?

Handmade, quality, and art/graphic.

Vitae is…


Des Moines is…

Growing and very supportive of local arts and smaller artists like myself.

What’s next for you?

Taking it one step at a time with both businesses. I want to grow both of them. The next step really is just more online presence.

How can readers contact you?

A huge thank you to Alyssa Bowers! Be sure to visit her website and check out her designs at Vitae Design Collective.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!  



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