Hi Anet, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am LA based Armenian/ Persian Designer, Artist and founder of Anet’s Collection art inspired accessories and fashion company. My passion for arts started early in life and was nurtured and inspired by my father’s dressmaking and tailoring skills. I grew up in the world of fashion and retail learning the basics from my family. I believe my parents were the main influence in my work ethic, great sense of customer service and fashion sense.
I enrolled in sewing and pattern making classes at the age 16 and got certification in fashion from Zahra University in IRAN, later earned a Fine Arts Degree from Queens College- CUNY.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started Anet’s Collection (where art meets fashion) nearly 6 years ago. It was a childhood dream of mine to continue my parent profession and have a future in fashion. Our accessories are unique art inspired pieces which come with a story. Some of our scarves are printed with my original paintings that were exhibited and sold in NY and Internationally. Some stories are cultural and have strong representation and design from my country Armenia and some are simply figurative abstract paintings of mine which goes back to my love of feminine beauty.
I am an ardent supporter of women-centered causes, My missions is about partnering with women and children based non-profit organizations through collaboration to raise funds and give back to my community and bring awareness to different cultures and that is how I grew the business the beginning years. I collaborated with many organization from east to west coast and grew my followers base and in the meantime gave back to my community and created a loyalty within my followers.
Entrepreneurship is not easy! It has its ups and downs but if you are passionate about what you do, you don’t count the amount of hours you put in the business to grow. You fail and you learn from your mistakes and get up again. It is constant learning and networking.
I have bootstrapped the first 5 years of my business and worked 2 and at some point 3 jobs to be able to self fund and grow my business from 8 SKU to over few hundred SKU’s. Has it been easy? NO
Has it been fulfilling? YES
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well depending what my friend likes to do or what age group, LA has so much to offer. From Getty museum and Villa to Beaches at Malibu and Newport and Shopping at Grove or Americana at Glendale.
I would definitely want to take them to one of the best kebab places in Glendale, Raffi’s Place and Persian Ice cream place in westside Saffron & Rose.
And I would finish with Disney land.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my parents. From early childhood they were the example of strength , love , unity. My father started working from a very young age and with great work ethic and hard work opened his own men clothing fashion house and became the mentor for one of the biggest Men clothing brands known in Iran “Hacopian”. Unfortunately his factory and workplace was put on fire during the Islamic Revolution in 1978 and after he was able to maintain a small portion of it and open a Clothing boutique. He imported different clothing and fashion accessories from neighboring countries and continued his collection.
Fashion industry struggled heavily after the revolution due to the new Hejab law and regulations but my parents found a way to pivot. I grew up watching my parents teamwork, unity and love. They raised their 4 children by teaching us the strong sense of unity, hard work, saving for future, basic skills of business and importing, customer service…etc Even at the hardest time I remember my mother and I making handmade clothing and evening gowns for the clients. She taught me how to stitch and do fittings.
It was so pleasurable to create evening gowns that when I first came to America I participated in Miss Armenian Beauty Pageant, one more time my mom and I united and hand made my Suit and evening gown for the Pageant.
I never realized how great their influence was until I graduated from ” Women Entrepreneurship Course” at Cornel University and it became obvious to me that I was raised an entrepreneur from a very young age.
I would also like to give a second shoutout to Tory Burch Foundation for granting me the course at Cornel University and making the entrepreneurship role easier.
Liana Grigoryan Ani Harutyunyan