Chasity Sereal is a designer based in Houston, TX, known for non-traditional wedding gowns, formal gowns, and prom dresses. Sereal started her business in 2009 with inspiration from the late Alexander McQueen.
Her first creative idea was to start with a sweet sixteen tutu dress inspired by colorful trends worn by top celebrities. Being self-taught, she consistently designed, learned quickly, and began to shift her vision and audience. Photographers, models, and stylists began to see her determined, fearless, and eccentric creativity in her designs. She believes that the Sereal experience is the beginning and end to every woman’s dream.
Now, Sereal is continuously evolving and challenging the standards of high fashion and plans to be published in many more publications. She is always willing to work with new stylists and photographers and wishes for her gowns to be in film in the near future. With detailed creativity and inspiring designs, she hopes to grow each time she finishes a gown and further her success story.
Full Name: Chasity Sereal
Current Title/Company: Business Owner, Fashion Designer, Chasity Sereal
Educational Background: Self-taught designer since 2009
Please tell us, what was your first job and how did you land that position?
My first job was a sales associate at Justice, which is now known as Limited Too. I filled out an application, had an interview on the spot, and got the job! I was 16 years old.
How have your designs evolved since your first sketch?
My designs have evolved from using hot glue guns and making tutus to hand-beading and sewing each intricate detail. I have experimented with a lot of different textiles throughout the years. I even created a bubble gum and candy leotard! Now I’m all about lace, appliqués, leather and more.
What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your career and how were you able to overcome them?
The biggest challenges have been pushing through as an independent fashion designer and having to encourage myself daily. I’ve had to overcome the doubts of being a respected designer because I didn’t get professional schooling on it. Now I know you can do and be anything you want with persistence, commitment, and patience. As long as you have an open heart to learn, you can go far.
How did you learn the ins and outs of owning and operating your brand?
Thankfully, I’ve had an amazing team from the start to guide me through the details of branding. Although I didn’t quite understand it all at first, I realized that branding is important to gain respect and recognition from the right people. It has been trial and error, and I’m not afraid to ask for help, and that’s a big plus. Some people don’t ask for help! I also enjoy watching documentaries of other designers that I look up to, and reading books about the business definitely helps as well.
As a business owner, how do you achieve a work/life balance?
I believe that your family and close friends need to know your passions and goals. When they know about your goals, they can understand why you work so hard and everyone is on the same page. This will bring balance and understanding to everyone. My two little girls always see me sewing, they know I meet my clients, they’ve been to photoshoot sets, and they go to fashion shows and model in photoshoots with me! Even though they know I enjoy my work, I like to spend quality time with my girls outside of work.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is setting an example for my kids and anyone else by letting them know you can work hard and go after your goals. I like to know when I inspire young women with children to go after their dreams. It’s also always rewarding to see my designs on the runway, in magazines, and on the red carpet!
What is a typical workday like for you?
A typical workday is waking up early to get my daughter to school and make sure my younger one is all set for the day. I then either go to the studio to meet a client, go to the fabric store, answer emails, call my marketing team, and of course sew.
Best moment of your career so far?
I believe the best has yet to come, and I’m excited to show at the Nolcha Shows during New York Fashion Week 2017!
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to be confident and stop worrying about what other people think.
Go-to coffee order?
Grande White Mocha from Starbucks!
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be and what would you order?
If I could have lunch with anyone, it would be with the Co-founder of Marchesa, Georgina Chapman. I would probably just order tea — I would be too nervous to eat!
Best advice you’ve received?
The best advice that I’ve received was from watching different documentaries about fashion designers, how they started their brand, the challenges they faced, and how they handled them.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
By the time I have a movie about me, I would want my oldest daughter Kirstyn to play me. She’s a natural-born actress!
The Nolcha Shows are a leading award-winning event, held during New York Fashion Week for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. Over the past seven years, the Nolcha Shows have become established as a platform for discovery and have promoted cutting-edge, innovative fashion designers through runway shows and exhibitions.
The team at Chic Galleria is thrilled to collaborate again with the designers featured at the Nolcha Shows, September 7 –12, 2017. We look forward to showcasing these talented designers and attending their shows this fall. — Beth Anderson, Founder and Senior Editor, Chic Galleria