Leap of faith turns woman’s passion into dream career

Leap of faith turns woman’s passion into dream career
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 2:53 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Tri-State woman with a love for fashion decided to take a leap of faith and follow her dream, and now, she is doing more than she ever imagined.

Alishia Lee started sewing and crocheting with her mom when she was a little girl. Recently, she decided to launch her own label, Me By Lee Boutique.

One-of-a-kind pieces that take you on a journey are what you will find from Lee’s label.

She says each garment she makes tells a story.

“Right now, I’m just inspired by whether it’s art of like a painting I might see or nature,” Lee said. “I really love the texture of fabric, so I use a lot of Ankara, which is an African print, because I like to incorporate my heritage. My oldest daughter is half Vietnamese, so I’ll make kimonos with African print to marry the two together.”

Sewing and creating art have always been a part of Alisha’s life since she was a little girl watching her mother hand sew and work a sewing machine.

She picked up the skill first only making outfits for herself while she worked a 9-5 for talent acquisition service.

That all changed while she was out shopping.

“I was actually in a TJ Maxx with a shirt I had made and a woman asked me to buy that shirt right off my back,” recalled Lee. “I was like this is weird but sure and I went to the changing room had a t-shirt underneath, gave her the shirt, and sold it to her. This was a sign I need to be making clothes like for real.”

That’s when Me By Lee Boutique was born.

After five years of runway shows and festival appearances, she was just nominated for the best designer in Ohio by the Buckeye Awards.

She’s also now being recognized around the world.

Getting the one most of the exclusive invitations to showcase her designs at Paris Fashion Week in March.

Lee said she’s still stunned she’s come this far, but her journey has come with some challenges.

“I don’t make a lot of duplicates so I have to compete with some of the fast fashion brands that can make hundreds of pieces and in my brand, I only make a few so if you go to a party you don’t have to worry about the next person looking just like you because clothing is personal,” Lee said.

She said one of the most rewarding feelings is watching people light up in her clothes.

“I want them to feel like they’re a model,” said Lee. “I want them to feel like they’re unstoppable and powerful and beautiful or handsome, depending on who has my clothes on.”

Lee said this is just the beginning and she is ready to see where her love of fashion continues to take her.

“We really only have a limited time on this planet. and if you have a passion and gift. you were meant to do it,” Lee explained. “Even if it’s scary and if you’re getting the fear that I can’t lose my security. There’s a freedom in knowing that you can literally do whatever you want.”

Eventually, Lee said she wants to style celebrities and team up with a manufacturer to help put out more products faster.

Breaking Through Series

This story is part of a weekly segment called Breaking Through.

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