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WALKING IN MY PURPOSE

As I get closer to seeing my brand on the racks at Belk, I can’t help but remember the day I received my very first sewing machine, a birthday gift from my parents my junior year of high school. I had just learned to sew and had begun sketching and designing dresses for friends and family. Because my career path was set for accounting, I hadn’t yet imagined my life as a fashion designer.

My first official design was my senior prom dress. It was a two-part design that included a gown and jacket with detachable cuffs inspired by a zigzag lamp I had seen in my guidance counselor’s office. A deacon at my church offered to make the dress for me and I’ll always remember the look on his face when I presented my three immature sketches to him.

Wearing my original design to prom was such an amazing feeling. I knew in that moment that I had a gift, but never in my wildest dreams did I see my future as NATT TAYLOR. Today, I am walking in my purpose, designing lifestyle apparel for women to make them feel as strong, beautiful and sophisticated as I felt when I wore my first design.

My first Natt Taylor design.

My first Natt Taylor design.

I began this journey making custom designs for individual clients, specifically for proms and weddings. Seeing the look on my clients’ faces when they wore their dresses was inspiring and it encouraged me to keep going. Being able to apply the feedback I received, both good and bad, without getting too upset and giving up, confirmed my love and passion for this industry.

Being a woman designing for women inspires me the most. When I sit down to sketch, I think about us . . . how we function, how we start and end our days. I love the fact that I can design a garment that could change the way a woman feels about herself. It’s why I love to find any opportunity to meet my customers face to face, hear their stories, and see what they like and dislike about my designs.

For the Belk collection, we drew inspiration from some of our top selling styles. I haven’t met a woman yet who didn’t fall in love with our LOLA dress, so I knew we had to bring her to Belk! We completed the collection with mix-and-match separates that speak to a woman on the move.

I feel so blessed to have made it into a major retailer like Belk. I am so grateful to be able to witness and enjoy this accomplishment. The goal of any fashion designer is to dress the world in his or her designs. I’m extremely thankful to Belk for this opportunity and am really looking forward to seeing our collection, and our name, on the floor at Belk!

Years from now, NATT TAYLOR will be a globally recognized brand. People all over the world will wear our designs and I will continue to share my story, encouraging young people to pursue their passion and do what they love.

#RUNWAYRECAP with NATT TAYLOR at RAGTRADE

RAGTRADE Atlanta in partnership with The Art Institute of Atlanta presented a 2015 runway show featuring the southeast top emerging and student designers.  The event was held at Georgia Freight Depot on Wednesday, October 15th @ 7pm with over 500 guests in attendance. 

Our Spring 2016 collection was fun, flirty, and sophisticated....classic Natt Taylor.  Remember you can purchase our collection in March at select BELK Department stores! Stay tuned for more details...

Thank you to all 2015 event partners: City of Atlanta, The Lincoln Motor Company, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Phipps Plaza, Lenox Square, Lectra, Factor Women, The Atlantan, Jezebel, Dress for Success, Faved Events, AmericasMart | Atlanta Apparel, Bloomingdale’s and 3 Day Website

Learning Curve from Boutiques to BELK...

What a busy few weeks it’s been. I’ve been traveling all over from Las Vegas to New York promoting my line and, of course, teasing my new Belk collection every chance I get. Most recently, I went to Charlotte to meet with the vendor relations team at Belk, as well as my buyers, Christine and Emily, to start talking about all of the small details I never realized were so important.

Until now, Natt Taylor has been sold mainly in local boutiques and the process has been fairly simple. With Belk, it’s a whole different ballgame. Every item, in every size, color and style has to be coded and tracked with style numbers and UPC codes. During my meeting at Belk, I learned how to make that happen and talked about all of the logistical parts of this process I need to consider before my line ever hits the floor. To be honest, hearing all of this in our meeting seemed a little overwhelming, but at the end I was so grateful for the information Belk provided. It will be critical to my success with Belk now and in the future.

After meeting with the other Southern Designer Showcase winners and our Belk “teachers,” I met with my buyers to go over the final production samples. Everything looked so good! I was very excited to show it to the Belk team, and after seeing all of my pieces together, we decided instead of including two striped Lola tops, we wanted to do one striped and one solid to offer more variation for customers. It’s little insights like this that I know are making the collection the best it can be.


{LOLA Top, black and white stripe}

This meeting was a little bittersweet because we only have one more to go before our lines are in Belk stores and on belk.com in March. I’ve really enjoyed this process and I don’t want it to end, but I’m definitely ready to see Natt Taylor at my local Belk store at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta!

Learn more about BELK Designers and the entire process by visiting www.belkdesigncontest.com

 

From Belk Shopper to Belk Vendor!!

As an accountant in corporate America, I used the office wardrobe restrictions as inspiration to create fabulous clothing that was perfect for work and play. What started as a small company, selling my designs to my co-workers and eventually boutiques, has now blossomed into a wonderful and exciting partnership with Belk.

I have always been a Belk shopper, so having the chance to have my designs on the floor is really a surreal opportunity. I know that the experience will be a lot of work, but thankfully, I have a great mentor in my buyer, Christine, who has truly helped guide me in the right direction. She has been able to give me an insider’s perspective on how the Belk customer thinks and shops, and I know that information will be essential to making the line a hit.

For this collection, I am bringing in the tried-and-true pieces that I know customers have loved in the past, but I am giving them an exclusive, fun and vibrant twist just for Belk. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be hard at work getting ready for the next merchant meeting, where we’ll finalize the collection and take the next steps to get it ready to hit stores in Spring 2016.

I hope you’ll follow along as I work my way through this exciting process!

 

NATT TAYLOR WINS BELK 2015 DESIGN COMPETITION!
After becoming a finalist in the 2015 Southern Designer Competition, we were invited to present our collections to Belk buyers and executives for an opportunity to have our line sold at Belk stores. 
They must've fell in love because out of over 300 applicants, we were 1 of 5 selected for this phenomenal opportunity! 
We are beyond excited and looking forward to an amazing first year with Belk!! Get ready to shop!