Douglas crafted a career for herself in the entertainment
industry in the early 1980s. But when her daughter, Anna,
found a calling to become an entrepreneur in the fashion
industry, Dorez cast herself into another role Ė coordinating
publicity and marketing for Annaís company, Annalogy. Annalogy
produces plus-sized fashions for women and itís all
manufactured in the United States.
Originally from Detroit, Dorez now calls Los Angeles home. She
began her first career in production, with a cable show on a
local station. But she got her real foot in the door of
Hollywood when she took a job as a secretary through a temp
agency with connections to television and movie studios. Her
break in television came when she co-executive produced an
animated African folktale for ABC. It won a Parents Choice
Award and received excellent reviews. Since then sheís worked
in public relations, television, theatre and film.
Presently, Dorez works as an independent writer and producer,
with producing partner and Academy Award winner Willie Burton.
Together they have several projects in development.
it was while producing a showcase video for a friend that she
first worked with her daughter Anna. Dorez and her team needed
some help in the wardrobe department and Anna offered to step
in. She hadnít borne a great interest in being in
entertainment, but the head of the wardrobe department was
impressed with her work and encouraged Anna to pursue formal
training in fashion.
did, and after a two-year course, she was offered a paid
internship with a designer. That was followed by a stint
working in retail, before she embarked upon creating her own
clothing line, to sell over the internet and then it was
Dorezís turn to help out.
Annalogy, I serve as Vice-President of Operations. For now
that includes handling publicity and marketing." This has
resulted in a juggling of her two paths.
my daughter, Anna and I first started our clothing line, I had
to cut back in my work as a producer. Fortunately, Iím an
independent producer so I set my own schedule," says Dorez but
adds, "My producing partner and I take over for each other
whenever necessary. So that helps a lot."
Anna, her motherís support has been invaluable, both in having
her parents support her financially while she pursued
education in the field, but also in keeping her going when she
felt discouraged. "My mother is the driving force that has
kept me going through the ups and downs, even when I wanted to
quit," says Anna. "It is very difficult for me to put in to
words the importance of having my mother working with me. I
owe a lot to my mom."
has had to learn a lot in her new role and her
responsibilities increase as she gains specific knowledge
about the business. "I help my daughter with fabric shopping
and I often deal with our vendors as well. I didnít know how
to do those things in the beginning. But after nearly eight
years of doing this, Iím almost an expert now," she laughs.
elaborates on what her mother brings to the business. "My mom
handles the PR, all the correspondence, running errands,
shipping orders for the company, and much more. She never
loses her excitement, passion, and energy to keep pushing
forward even when things donít go as planned. My mother has
put just as much blood, sweat and tears into this company as I
have. I may be the creative mind and designer of Annalogy, but
she is the business. There would not be any business for me to
design for if my mom wasnít willing to be part of it."
everything is unfamiliar and there are parallels with Dorezís
experience in the entertainment industry has definitely been a
plus for my daughterís business," she explains.
"Aside from the money Iíve invested in our clothing line, I
have been able to utilize my negotiating and people skills in
dealing with fashion industry professionals. As a producer, I
have to pitch projects in order to raise the money we need.
Itís very similar to being a sales person; so that skill
definitely comes in handy when my daughter and I are trying to
interest stores in carrying our label."
Together, they plan to grow the business. Anna is hard at work
on getting Annalogyís next collection ready, while Dorez
continues to market the brand. Their first goal is to see the
line carried in at least two or three department stores.
Theyíre also on the lookout for an investor so they "can move
things to the next level," such as by securing a work
space/office and hiring some basic staff. Dorez says the
long-term plans involve, "having our own factory, so that we
can do everything in-house," and adds, "Eventually, weíd like
to open a store."
Speaking personally, Dorez says, "I would like to be able to
continue both careers and to see our clothing line go
international. I would also like to mentor those who are
interested in the entertainment or fashion industries."
people hoping to get their start in either fashion or
entertainment, Dorez puts value both on education and working
your way up.
to fashion school. Or if you canít afford that, enroll in a
fashion program at one of the community colleges." (She points
out as an example, "Los Angeles Trade Tech has an excellent
program and itís not expensive.")
"After that, you should try to find a job at a production
house or work as an intern under a new designer. Itís the best
way to learn the industry from the ground up.
advice also goes for anyone who wants to work in the
entertainment business too. Itís always best to start at the
bottom, as a production assistant. It wonít take long for you
to figure out which job youíre best suited for. Then set your
sights on moving in that direction."
encourages all entrepreneurs: "Do your homework; research the
industry youíre interested in and learn all you can about it.
Find your niche by paying attention to the areas where
customersí needs arenít being met Ė and that should help you
determine which way you want to go."
Working with the right people is also a must.
especially need to build a network of people from related
industries. This will assist you in eventually creating a team
to work with you. You want like-minded people who can help
balance out your weaknesses. If you arenít good with business,
but are strong on the creative side, then you need a
business-minded person on your team and vice-versa."
concludes saying, "My philosophy is that opportunities donít
come along by accident. When someone comes into your path,
thereís a reason Ė good or bad.
"Youíll have to hone and listen to your instincts in order to
know if that person is an asset or a liability. I also believe
that the Ďvibeí you send out will come back to you. So donít
give off a negative vibe if you want to accomplish your goalsÖ
if you want to make your dreams happen."
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