A Synderela Story

By QC

Synderela, a play on the name of the beloved fairytale character Cinderella, is a relatively young company that was created with the words power and love in mind.  Specializing in beautifully crafted and accessible dresses, Synderela champions the mentality that every purchase of one of their garments matters because their entire selves – the good and the bad – are put into their creations, making this a very personal endeavor for the team.

It was the work of destiny that allowed Brand Director Susan Di Meo, Design Director, Yalenis Cepeda, and Sales Director Nicole Petito to converge at a point and begin the Synderela brand as a team.  Susan worked for many years in the fashion industry for companies such as Pierre Cardin, Laundry by Shelli Segal, LaRok, and Charley 5.0. Yalenis worked at Nautica, LaRok, Elizabeth & James, and Charley 5.0.  Nicole worked for Vogue Italia and you guessed it – Charley 5.0.  After working together at Charley 5.0 for several years under fickle management and unstable business plans, the three girls decided to band together and create their own company after building a great working and personal relationship with each other.  The product of their teamwork, Synderela, arose on May 26, 2011.

The name Synderela embodies the entire philosophy behind the brand.  The manipulation of the name Cinderella to Synderella was created to express their interpretation of a modern day, 21st century “princess” as a female who can break through the glass ceiling.  Women, nowadays, have the power to join any profession and be any type of person they want to be.  The Synderella team wanted to empower females to be that modern day ‘princess’ through their clothes and especially because they all view themselves as exactly that – independent, hard-working women.

For advice to students who want to start their own companies and make it in the fashion industry, the Synderela team offered these bits.

EXPERIENCE. Yalenis said, “I know many people who went straight to a job after graduating from school and they are still there today because they didn’t get any experience.”  Susan expanded on that by saying, “The thing about school is that you need that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t provide hands on training.  Schools like Parsons and F.I.T. are technical schools that offer courses like sewing, pattern-making, etc., but not every student takes that course or some take it and don’t care.  These students are taking courses that are making them become very specialized, but the problem with doing your own thing and running your own business is that you can’t be specialized in only one thing.  Not every designer can sketch out the garment, do the tech packs, put it into production, and run a successful and thriving business.  Students have in their head that sketching a pretty drawing is all you need to be a designer.”

BUILD A GOOD TEAM. Susan said, “There are three of us here and there is a lot of truth in building a good team.  For example, there may be a set of skills that one team member may know but another team member doesn’t – you need each other to fill in those gaps of knowledge that are necessary for running a business.  Working for a company can help cultivate your skills, but if you’re running a business on your own, you have to be able to do everything or have a great team behind you.”

TIME & PATIENCE.  “There is a saying that it takes 15 years to become an overnight success.  I didn’t watch that Katy Perry movie, but I know she had to go through years of struggle before someone believed in her and took her to the next level.  We are going through that struggle right now,” said Susan. “Designers who own their own companies have to work through difficult times.  It’s a shame because students and designers nowadays want the success now and we also want the success now, but it will take time.”

Synderela is only approximately one year old, but the team’s collective experience in the fashion industry and hard work has already allowed the company to have some success and it will only get bigger from here.  We wish them the best of luck!

written by Alexandra Sarabia, Contributor

Alexandra Sarabia is a recent graduate from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  She lives two lives – a life of art, design, and fashion and a life of Biology and research. Despite having immense experience in the scientific research realm, she has always been interested in fashion in all her life.  Her solution is to marry the two different worlds: eco-design, sustainable design, and fair trade. In addition to writing for Quality Control, she also works for KOTOBA, a knitwear brand solely created with WholeGarment® technology from Japanese knitting machine manufacturers, Shima Seiki.

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