Annalogy Plus Size Fashion

Dorez Douglas,

Annalogy Designs

 

By Ian Ross


 

Dorez 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.

But 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.

Anna 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.

"With 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.

"When 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."

For 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."

 

 

Dorez 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.

Anna 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."

Not everything is unfamiliar and there are parallels with Dorezís first job.

"My 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."

For people hoping to get their start in either fashion or entertainment, Dorez puts value both on education and working your way up.

"Go 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.

"That 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."

She 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.

"You 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."

Dorez 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."

 


LINKS: @Annalogy247  | Annalogy on Facebook |   Annalogy Designs website

 

 

Story appears in

HobbyFirm Magazine

Volume 1., Issue 1

 

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