Regardless of company size, growth is typically the game plan. However, up-and-coming firms often lack the necessary talent to accelerate their operations and fully achieve their aspirations.
One thing that many scaling fashion businesses don’t have is the funds to hire personnel for every single skill set. Even if they have the budget, it can be difficult to locate the right personnel for certain roles—especially amid the ongoing labor shortage. For both financial and recruitment reasons, companies can be missing talent in key areas like design, sourcing or production management, creating human resource holes that eat up time and slow processes since employees or founders wind up wearing too many hats.
Alice James Global, an Austin, Texas- and New York-based fashion brand management agency, helps growing fashion businesses overcome this bandwidth issue and maximize their potential. The specialized consultancy takes on all areas of fashion business lifecycle management—including design, product development, sourcing and production—freeing up brand clients’ time to focus on growth. The team’s widespread expertise and support come at the cost of a single salary, making it more budget efficient than hiring multiple full-time staff.
“Most of our clients find us at a point of inflection in business,” said Monica De La Cruz, chief operating officer at Alice James Global. “When founders realize they do not have the time to do it all, that’s where we come in. Our team not only manages the development, sourcing and vendor communication for them, but we will also adjust our support as their brand grows with each new opportunity.”
Behind the business
In 2016, Alice James had risen the corporate merchandising ranks at various large retailers, gaining the skills and expertise of a seasoned leader before the age of 40. But when the working mom of two found herself laid off due to a company bankruptcy, she felt it was time to take matters into her own hands.
With her own savings and based out of her daughter’s bedroom, James launched Alice James Global (AJG) with one client and a ton of heart. Her experience, tenure and connections in the industry seamlessly and successfully transitioned into fashion business lifecycle management consulting.
“It has been a lifelong goal of mine to build a business that focuses on giving back,” said James. “Utilizing my years of retail industry expertise to guide growing businesses has been a dream come true.”
Just six years later, AJG now has an all-woman team of 11 seasoned industry leaders with expertise in design, product development and production management. The team brings a combined four decades’ worth of experience from leading apparel brands and top retailers. No matter who clients work with at AJG, they receive dedicated and fully customized support. Ultimately, the AJG team becomes a collaborative extension of the client’s team, partnering with the business to overcome challenges, create new opportunities and celebrate every win along the way.
Since its launch, AJG has served more than 40 apparel, accessory and pet brands—many of which are women- or BIPOC-owned.
“Being a women-owned business, we are passionate about supporting other women-owned, LGBTQ and POC brands,” said Niki English, director of design and product development at AJG. “Our strengths are professional, personalized services, listening to our brand’s needs and going above and beyond our clients’ expectations.”
For instance, in August of 2022, Alice James Global helped Latina and Queer-owned brand JZD launch into Target stores nationwide. AJG managed the pitch and selection process, product design and development, and wholesale partnership with Target to ensure a profitable and timely launch.
“[AJG] has helped us scale our business and opened up doors for us in ways we never could have imagined,” said Jen Zeano, founder and CEO of JZD. “They’ve been a perfect asset for us.” AJG continues to support JZD in its rise to the national stage, with even more large-scale partnerships planned for 2023.
In addition to JZD, clients of AJG include 21 Pineapples, Cotidie, Margo Paige and Zola, as well as seven brands that have appeared on investment competition television show “Shark Tank.” Alice James Global is growing and ready to support more passionate businesses in 2023.
“Our team is committed to supporting fashion brands to get to their next level of success,” De La Cruz said.
To connect and learn more about Alice James Global, click here.