We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Alexandra Fischerstrom a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Alexandra thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. One of the things we most admire about small businesses is their ability to diverge from the corporate/industry standard. Is there something that you or your brand do that differs from the industry standard? We’d love to hear about it as well as any stories you might have that illustrate how or why this difference matters.
As a small business owner in the fashion industry, it is not easy competing with big fast-fashion companies who produce countless different styles and colors (not to mention for very low prices). In a time where there are endless options when it comes to shopping it can be hard to stand out. I think that quality is what sets my brand and garments apart from others. I am a firm believer in quality over quantity. I also believe that sustainability is key.
I am very passionate about creating pieces that are timeless. To me, this does not only mean that the pieces aren’t going out of style anytime soon; it also means that they are high-quality and made from durable fabrics so that they can last a long time. I spend a lot of time sourcing materials that are long-lasting yet modern and unique and that don’t have to travel far to get to me. I also put a lot of thought and time into choosing patterns and creating designs that will look good and flatter many different body types.
When I started my business, it was important to me to be conscious of sustainability and waste. Every single LEVA apparel swimsuit is handmade by me, which means that there is very minimal textile waste compared to mass-produced fast fashion companies. It is reported that the fashion industry produces around 8-10% of global CO2 emissions annually! I believe that as consumers we can all make a big difference by being more conscious of how we shop. The purpose of my business is to produce garments that look good, feel good, and last through several years of water, wear, and sunshine, and not to mention, trends!
Once you find a garment that has that perfect fit, look, and feel, you are not going to want to take it off. That is my goal when you try on a LEVA apparel bikini!
Alexandra, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I started sewing at a young age and have always been very interested in fashion. I started experimenting with swimwear a few summers ago and decided to turn my hobby into a small business. It quickly became a passion of mine to continue creating handmade swimwear and growing my brand. I design and sew seamless, timeless, and sustainable swimwear that is meant to last. My garments are high quality and I strive to create flattering pieces that can be enjoyed by many.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
The most effective strategy for growing my clientele has been to provide great customer service and to develop products of high quality. Being able to help and communicate with customers is essential when it comes to building relationships. The combination of connecting with customers and producing a good product makes customers want to come back and even share their experience with others!
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
Like many others, I unfortunately lost my job during the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. I decided to invest the majority of my time into mastering my sewing skills and building my business. Even though it was a difficult and uncertain time, I am very grateful that I was able to invest my time into growing something that I am very passionate about. It has been a rewarding journey and I am still learning new things every single day.
- Website: www.levaapparel.com
- Instagram: @levaapparel
- Other: Etsy: www.etsy.com/levaapparel TikTok: @levaapparel
Sandra Yvette Photography