Lara Bly Designs
is a fashion brand for women which embodies elegance, color, comfort and interchangeable wearability.
My story of becoming a fashion designer begins as far back as I can remember. Ever since I was little girl, I Ioved the whole idea behind it. The creativity, the illustration, the color and of course.... the glamour. It was and still is mesmerizing to me. My path to where I am now has been a whirlwind of ups and downs. The beauty of my journey is how I got here, who helped me, who inspired me, and who held my hand and heart when I had almost given up.
How I Got Started
Other then some general sketching and a pretty good sense of style, I really had no designing skills whatsoever. When I was 18, I made the decision to go to the American College in London. This turned out to be the most influential time of my life. This is where met my lifelong friends and where I learned the skills that I needed to be in the fashion industry. After gaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in both Fashion Design and Marketing in 1995, I was very fortunate to get my first job in fashion at a high - end tailoring company in the heart of London. Eventually my work permit expired and I had a job opportunity in Los Angeles! Here I worked in the juniorwear industry for about 2 years. Next, New York City is where I mainly did freelancing. Once again I got the urge to travel and was offered a position to work for a couturier in Beirut, Lebanon. I spent about 5 years in the Middle East but ultimately decided it was time to get back to my roots in Pennsylvania.
Soon after my return, I got married and had the most wonderful baby boy. We decided to move to Bethlehem, PA. For several years, life was very different, I had a few extremely rough years with several personal tragedies. Also, I wasn't working in the fashion industry. I certainly had not planned on this but that is simply what happened. I found myself daydreaming about getting back into the fashion industry again.
When you truly love something it doesn't go away.
It is always there.....even when you try to ignore it.
So, one day, I sat down at my dining room table. At first, I had no idea where to begin. Now, I'm not going to tell you that I instantaneously just got it all figured out! I hadn't sewn or created a pattern in years. However, little by little I got better and my confidence began to grow. Then, one day, a dear friend of mine came over to my house with a colleague. She noticed what I was working on and ended up purchasing 3 pieces. That moment is when the new chapter of my life began. One person that I did not know wanted to buy something that I made. It felt wonderful.
A New Chapter
Soon after, I decided to rent a studio at an art center and re-start my career. I was officially beginning my own fashion label. I began working on small collections, did several fashion shows and attracted new clients. Year by year, I felt the momentum that pushed me to do more.
Sometimes, our paths waiver from where we think we are supposed to be. It is our mistakes that teach us. It is our pain that makes us strong. It is our true friends and family that give us strength. But it is ultimately we ourselves who are in charge of our dreams and what we do with them.
You can be and do anything you want with tenacity, will, education and hard work.
The Joy of Success
Finally, the most meaningful part of my career came in January 2019, when I left my studio after several years and got my FIRST BOUTIQUE. Building my brand, this website and having my store have unquestionably been the most fulfilling time of my professional life. I'm thankful for every mistake I made and every obstacle that I overcame. This is what makes us who we are. This is how we learn and grow. I now look forward to what each new day will bring.