"Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course each other. If girls dressed for boys, they'd just walk around naked at all time." -Betsey Johnson
Ashley Rose Mersky would drive her best friend home from high school every day, envious of the bags and little things her friend would come outside with from Fashion Design class. “I was pretty jealous of her bags compared to my attempted pinch pot I made in my Ceramics class and decided to take Fashion Design as my elective the following year. I ended up taking it every year until I graduated,” says Mersky.
For graduation, Mersky got her very own sewing machine, and with a little begging, convinced her mother to allow her to study fashion design at Bay State College in Boston. “My first day at college, my professor said that we are all officially fashion designers and since then there's been no turning back,” says Mersky.
Originally from Cape Cod, Mersky went to school in Boston and recently returned back to the Cape to open up a fashion house. All of the work she puts into Ashley Rose Custom Designs is independent. “It has been hard this past year. There have been more than a thousand times where I wanted to give up or thought my work wasn’t good enough,” say Mersky. During times like this, Mersky’s supportive brothers and patient boyfriend reassured her that sewing makes her happy. “They mean the world to me. They tell me every day that I need to keep sewing. I'm lucky to have them in my life.”
Mersky attributes her success to her fans and the people who give her feedback. “It might be just a little comment but it means the world to me. No exaggeration. I love you all.”
In the future, Mersky would love to be working full time for herself with her designs. “Down the road, I’d like to open up a boutique and custom make pieces for my fun customers.” The shop would also have a cute leopard print bed in the corner for her kitty.
Sewing will be a part of Mersky’s life until the end. “I have a sew or die tattoo, I'd look pretty silly if I stopped sewing now,” says Mersky. Her advice to designers and dreamers, “Don’t underestimate yourself. I wasted two years after college thinking I wasn’t good enough. And… PERSEVERANCE.”
Check out Ashley Rose’s corset collection on Facebook (Ashley Rose Custom Designs), and expect to be seeing a lot of her in the future.
Author: Emily McLaughlin
Photographer: SeraphiX Media