You’re a Heartbreaker
Dream Maker, Love Taker
Don’t you mess around with me!
Heartbreaker Fashion has been helping gals break some unyielding hearts with their fresh, yet vintage-inspired designs. Their ever expanding line is a flirtatious nod to the iconic styles of the 50′s and 60′s: pinup girls, rockabilly and vintage culture.
Their styles come in a variety of bright and modern retro prints — as well as solids for casual elegance — in easy to care for fabrics like 100% cotton and cotton knit. Customers swear by the comfort and cut of the clothes; they fit and flatter even the curviest of silhouettes. Being handmade in the the good ol’ USA means that everything is produced with the utmost quality and workmanship. Anyone dressing up in Heartbreaker can be proud to support a US made product. Be pretty and patriotic at the same time.
This maverick apparel company is the collaboration of the mother-daughter team of Teresa Becker and Amanda Becker. What once began as a cottage industry in the spare bedroom of their home in 2005, has swiftly become a contemporary favorite and now boasts serving over 300 shops stateside and internationally. Roadkill Ranch Boutique in DT Fullerton carries Heartbreaker Fashion.
Amanda Becker, or Mandie Bee as most know her, is also the lead vocalist for the Fullerton band 1518. Aside from the band, you’ve likely seen Mandie frequenting the monthly ArtWalk with her magical hula hoop or with the traveling minstrel duo of Mandie & Ruby.
In more professional news, Mandie and Teresa were honored with a “Businesswomen of the Year” award from the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce in 2009. San Dimas is where Heartbreaker Fashion has their office/warehouse.
How exactly did you come together to form Heartbreaker Fashion ?
I was teaching at California Design College and taking classes at Cal Poly for my 4 year degree, and Amanda was a college student of music at Cal State Fullerton. I used the Heartbreaker concept as a teaching tool in an advanced fashion class, and Amanda was living at home at the time and joined in with me on the creative concept; she had been using the Heartbreaker name for ebay sales.
I was going to Cal state Fullerton taking a full load of classes. I didn’t have a lot of extra time to work, so I began trading vintage dresses on eBay. Because many vintage pieces tend to run smaller than most ladie’s of modern day, I soon began sewing custom dresses emulating the vintage look. I would sell some of these dresses for $80-$100 at times. My mother saw what I was up to and asked if I wanted to make it an actual business (this was all going on the same time she created the class assignment she mentioned in her answers). With a $50 investment, we started with 3 basic styles and sold them on eBay, then consignment with a local boutique. The business has just been growing ever since.
What roles do each of you play in the success of the company?
We co-design and own the company. I take care of the production and Amanda takes care of the marketing and promotion.
We both design and choose textiles together. My mother has a background in dress making and design, so she understands how to handle production and pattern making. I wear a lot of hats at this company, but the majority of my day goes to organizing the visuals, social networking, promotions, and creating the seasonal catalog.
Define your personal style.
I wear some of the more conservative Heartbreaker items, Amanda wear the younger cuts.
It’s a huge mix of whatever I’m feeling that day. Some times I like to get dolled up like our customers, other days I like to be a laid back hippy chick. It really varies with my mood.
Describe your most current line.
Bright and fun!
Heartbreaker has always been flirty and fun, yet sophisticated. We have a lot of good core designs that we continue to use because the customers know and love the fits, but we switch out the fabric prints a lot. We try to find prints that are eye catching without being too loud. We also try to keep a full color range for all different types of girls and skin colors.
What fashion designer do you draw inspiration from?
Myself. I have been designing for 33 years in the Los Angeles market.
There isn’t one designer I really look to. I base a lot of my art on emotion. I’m generally a happy girl and I think that shows in the work we do.
Where do you see Heartbreaker Fashion in five years?
5 times bigger. We have been doubling in size each year. We now have 5 suites and 25 employees, and also utilizing 3 sewing shops in the Los Angeles area.
5 times bigger. I believe this company is a pioneer of changing the way most people look at business. We don’t overwork our employees, everything is made locally where all labor workers are paid fairly, and we don’t let anything but the best go out our door. It’s about quality. I am more proud that I’ve created something where I’m able to give people jobs and make ladies feel good about themselves for buying a pretty dress with good moral built into it.
Thank you, Teresa and Mandie!
With Teresa’s extensive industry background and Mandie’s youthful knowledge of current trends, they certainly make a solid team. So, go ahead and stock up on some of their come hither pieces and break a few hearts while you’re at it. With Love and No Regrets.
Heartbreaker Fashion Show in Long Beach 10.24.11
Fashion walks at 10pm, 11pm, and midnight. Free entry. Gift Bags while supplies last.
A percentage of the profits from orders taken at the show will be donated to the Breast Cancer Fund.
Visit the Facebook event page here.
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