Today we have another edition of our Real Talk Q&A series, which highlights other designers that share our same values. Today we're interviewing to Alexandra, who will tell us a little bit about her beautiful handmade hair clips brand, Alexandra June, as well as her journey as an entrepreneur.
Hi Alexandra! We're so glad to have you with us today! Can you tell us a little bit about you?
I am originally from Seattle, but moved to Los Angeles for college in 2015 and have been here ever since. Growing up, my mom told me that from a young age I loved doing arts and crafts and dressing up in costumes and sparkly dresses for preschool. As I got older, I suppressed my creative tendencies because it seemed weird or out of the norm at my catholic school, where everyone played sports.
Throughout my childhood, high school, and college, I always loved putting together outfits, and the creative process of accessorizing. It wasn’t until I took a graphic design class during my senior year of college however, that I began to consider pursuing a career in the fashion industry.
How was Alexandra June born? Is it your full-time job?
During my senior year of college in 2019, I was taking a graphic design classic, and was assigned a project to create a container using only cardboard and duct tape. I thought of an idea to make a cross body purse and had a lot of fun doing It. This was probably when I first realized that I wanted to work in the fashion industry. This inspired me to experiment designing bags using vegan leather and cardboard boxes.
When COVID hit in March 2020, I had a lot of extra free time. I was going through my closet getting rid of stuff, and was trying to think of ways I could creatively reuse my clothing. I had the idea of designing hair barrettes (using the leftover vegan leather I had used to create purses), recycled fabric, and metal clips. At the moment, I would call Alexandra June a hobby turned side hustle! It’s not my full time job though.
What are your brand values?
I want my brand to not only be an accessory for an outfit, but to have a voice around social issues going on in the world. At the moment, my products are not 100% sustainable. I would like to get to a point where all of the materials that go into making my clips are 100% recycled. The fashion industry contributes to 10% of annual global carbon emissions, and I want my products to set an example for how be more sustainable.
Your pieces are so unique! Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from everything and everyone around me. I love looking at fashion trends throughout the decades. When I make a design, I think about specific people I could see wearing the clips. I want there to be a piece for everyone at Alexandra June, and I want each item to feel unique and personal.
For someone who is new to the brand, what are your favorite pieces?
At the moment, my favorite pieces are the peanut butter leopard, pickled cow, edible arrangement, and strawberry tie dye.
We loooove the way you present the hair clips! The videos and names of each piece are so fun! (We are obsessed with the pickled cow barrette!) What inspired you to advertise your pieces like this?
I never take myself too seriously and that’s the type of energy I have tried to channel into my brand as well. I think there is a comedic aspect missing in the fashion industry that I am trying to incorporate into Alexandra June.
Do you donate part of your proceeds to some charity?
25% of sales for all of my products are donated to the Black in Fashion Council. During the month of October, I also had an additional 10% of sales for all products donated to I am a voter. I also have a limited quantity clip called “edible arrangement,” and 100% of sales go to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
What is the best part of your job?
Anytime someone direct messages me asking to buy a clip, or sends me a photo wearing one of my clips. This makes me so happy! I also love going to thrift stores and searching for fabrics to use for my clips.
What is next for Alexandra June?
It’s a secret ;) only time will tell!
Be sure to check out all the charming products offered at @alexandraajune !!