By: Julieta Hernandez Photos by: Rachel Benavides
Dazzling, lively colors paired with spunky patterns and sassy accent trims! There are no fashion rules when you’re a little girl, and that’s what inspires Amy Villarreal’s unique E. Avery clothing line.
Villarreal never starts an E. Avery piece with the finished product in mind. Each original outfit is born from chance taking, trial and error, and staring at different fabrics for hours until the right mixes of patterns fit together. Each new release is nothing like the last, and that’s what keeps the shop bustling with variety to suit the personality of any girl from 0 – 11 years old.
Villarreal and her husband have been joint owners of the custom clothing brand named after their daughter, Elise Avery, for a little over three years. Elise, also known as “stinkbug” to some, carries her own inspiration to E. Avery as an ambassador and model for the brand. When Elise was one, dressing her in adorable little girl clothing was difficult because Villareal couldn’t find quite what she was looking for in boutiques. Villareal learned to sew from lessons on the internet and began creating her own colorful pieces for her daughter.
“I got a sewing machine and learned the basics. One of my strengths is following directions —it’s like recipes,” Villarreal laughed. “A clothing pattern is basically the same thing.”
Pretty soon it was a hot topic that Elise was sporting lively designs, and Villarreal got requests that eventually led to her owning a sole proprietorship for the E. Avery brand. As of now, the entire shop is online based. Villareal and her co-worker construct all the dresses, rompers, blouses and bottoms in their Corpus Christi home office. The custom ordered outfits are then shipped throughout the states. Since designs constantly cycle, there aren’t any two pieces of E. Avery clothing items that are exactly the same.
The model for the E. Avery Company isn’t strictly a business one. Villarreal, her husband, and co-worker all actively base the brand on their faith.
“Logically, I should’ve planned where I want us to be at three months, six months…but really, this entire business, our family has dedicated it to Jesus and the Lord,” she says. “We don’t want to stray away from that, or get caught in the profits or logistics.”
Villarreal and her co-worker make every order as it comes in. The first step is usually ordering fabrics without knowing exactly what will be made from them. Then, Villarreal and her co-worker pair and match ideas until it’s time to construct a piece or cut out the pattern from a piece currently in rotation in a different size.
“It all comes from my head, but sometimes it just takes a little while,” Villareal says. “But, I won’t sell anything if I make it and it doesn’t end up looking like I pictured. I want to absolutely love everything that I offer.”
The entire process of cutting, sewing, stitching, and trimming is done in their home office where Villarreal can sometimes stay up until five in the morning finishing a piece.
“Sometimes, I’m tired the next day, but I enjoyed it so I stayed up because I wanted to,” says Villareal, “It’s really just like a hobby that ended up being a business.”
Villareal’s colorful, exciting pieces are for sale on her Facebook page.