Ericka Engelman is an established designer in Carmel, CA. Ericka designs under the self titled line Ericka Engelman Couture. Ericka has been involved in a number of international fashion shows, and has a great network of followers and supports throughout the Bay Area. Ericka will be showcasing her collection at this years Give Back Gala, which will be held on April 2nd at the J.W. Marriott in San Francisco.

Ericka spent some time with me to answer a couple of questions about her fashion business.

Style Bust: How did you get started in fashion design?

Pretty much at my mothers knee, I loved watching her create and sew and just as soon as I could reach the sewing machine petal I was sewing too. it seemed like magic to me , to be able to create something out of thought inspiration and fabric. I was creating and sewing for my junior high school friends and doing small local craft fairs when I understood the next magic thing about sewing and that is I could make money at it. The third and most important magic thing about design/creating came to me later. I learned that being able to help someone feel and look more beautiful then they have ever felt before is one of the most soul satisfying things one can achieve.

Style Bust: Are you designing full-time?

Yes I have the great good fortune to be in my 25th year of business in fact April 1st, the day before the Give back gala it will be 25 years. I have a wonderful staff that make it fun and challenging to go to work each day. With out them, a wonderful understanding husband and a lot good luck I would not have been able to live my dream.

Style Bust: What did you study in college?

I graduated out of 11th grade and went right into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, with a full scholarship. At that time the college was only two floors of a furniture building in downtown Los Angeles, they like me have come a long way.

Style Bust: What do you enjoy most about being a fashion designer?

It changes, because we are a couture house and design for our clients the design work is varied and I enjoy the challenge of that. I also like the physical act of sewing and creating fine embellishments . I
also have to say I enjoy the jazz of business which is a good thing because if you don’t embrace that part of your design career your in for some hard knocks.

Style Bust: What’s the most challenging part of the business?

Staying fresh,looking for new inspiration and especially new fabric and fabric treatments. we have lost a lot of our best mills worldwide and the array of colors and textiles have greatly diminished.

Style Bust: Describe the collection you’ll be showing at this years Give Back Gala.

I describe my collection as California bohemian with a European edge. I’m using a lot of colorful and luxurious fabrics , I’m even having some prints made for me. The style ranges from daytime play, daytime
work, casual evening, to all out evening and bridal. The cornerstone belief of my business is that all women deserve beautiful clothes that really fit. Our clients come in all shapes, sizes, ages and lifestyles. These pieces are designed to fit the many worlds we live in.

Style Bust: Why should people come and see the show?

This is wonderful opportunity to see a variety of fresh young designers sharing their personal passion with the world. Where else can you experience beauty while supporting noble causes?As to the question,why did I want to participate? It has been a difficult couple of years for our nation and our world and I wanted to work toward something that was collaborative , beautiful and uplifting after all that really is what fashion is all about, xoxo.

Style Bust: How can people learn more about your collection, brand, etc?