We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Kuri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After graduating from college, I decided to pursue my dream of become a fashion designer. I then chose to get a second degree in fashion design instead of a Master Degree. Once I graduated from Istituto Marangoni, I found an intership at a NY based digital showroom. I had many roles but one of them included reaching out to up and coming brands. It was about 5 months into my internship that I realized I could be one of the small brands I reached out to. This might be when you think that this was an obvious thought after graduating from school. But you have to remember that most schools train you to work for someone else- never yourself. Anyways, it was then when i realized I could start my own brand. I had the name but I needed some help with the business part of it. That is when I reached out to one of my best friends, Luisa, and it was in February of 2018 that we had our first meeting as business partners and co-founders of Nour de la Garza!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a designer, my pieces are not new. However, I would like to think that the thought process in which they are created are. as a small fashion brand, we wanted to create timeless pieces that would transcend in style and where also comfortable and inclusive. Before the collection we have today, we started by creating a small batch collection to test the market. It was then we realized that sustainability needs to also be accessible and practical for a go-getter lifestyle. That is why we always do small-batch manufacturing, all our pieces are machine washable. Having said that, when it comes to fit and design, we ALWAYS, listen to our customers. It’s with their feedback that each collection gets better. There were many challenges, like showing up to Tradeshows thinking we are prepared and know the lingo only to realize how newbies we were to the industry. But hey, it’s by doing that you learn. So pick yourself up and put yourself out there. You miss 100% of the shots you do not take. We would love the world to know that our brand is 100% created with love, friendship, and inclusivity in mind. Sure, we launched a workwear/ seasonless brand 6 months before the pandemic. Has it been perfect, no. Has it been fulfilling to know that we are still going and not giving up, yes! We want to build a community of strong women that also like to dress up.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, given that we are in a pandemic, I would likely suggest these when it is safe to travel and visit new places. But, for a week long trip I would recommend they stay in an Airbnb inside the loop to be close to everything, preferably around the Montrose area ( lots of walking possibilities) . To catch up I would recommend at St Arnold’s brewery before we head over to the museum district ( MFAH or The Museum of Natural Science) A couple of other places to hang out include Axelrad, You cannot, Cannot come to Houston without going on a small day trip to hit up: Nasa and Kemah and stop by Crackle Barrel for breakfast. To go dancing you’d start in midtown one night and on another night you could focus on downtown and finish at Barbarella’s. Houston being the perfect place for an international food experience in one city, here are the restaurants I would recommend: Tacos: 100% taquito – Anytime I miss home or need to scratch that taco Tuesday itch. Pasta – head over to Paulie’s for some fresh made pasta Delicatessen: Kenny and Ziggy’s – their tuna melt melts my heart. Sushi: Uchi – on the pricier side but we all need a fancy night out 😉 Chinese: Fungs Kitchen – traditional experience and so tasty! Sweet Tooth: Amy’s Ice Cream or Common Bond ( their monkey bread) BBQ : Houstons ( because the name says it all) or The Pit Room Ceviche : La Fisheria – I absolutely love their Lebanese Food: Cafe lily or Maryz Greek: Niko Niko’s You could always go get some fresh air at Hermann Park, Memorial Park, or Levy Park. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Absolutely, my dream would literally not be possible without the incredible support from my family and friends. They are the reason I kept going after finding out a manufacturing shipment was lost just a week before launch, when the importer syndrome started to crawl into my thoughts… Above all, I would like to say that my business partner, Luisa. She looked at me and believed in my designs so much so to legally tie her life and dreams to mine.
Models: Courtney Schmidt Savannah Martinez Dedo Riascos Framed Image: Luisa and I at our first official meeting Photographers: Mauricio Hernandez