INNOVATOR: Adriana Herrera, Founder of Fashioning Change

“Every company started somewhere, with someone that had some vision and some dream”, says San Diego native, Adriana Herrera. She is the CEO and founder of the forward-thinking online retail marketplace, Fashioning Change, which is changing the way fashion works by providing affordable, stylish and eco-conscious alternatives to name-brand clothing. Herrera is a second generation Mexican-American who was taught from childhood that every purchase is a connection to people and places around the world. Those teachings have helped her create a business that unites fashion brands with similar philosophies. Herrera says, “We’re doing things in a different way”–  proving to the fashion industry–  “SI, SE PUEDE!”

HERITAGE: My father grew up in Juarez, Mexico.   He had friends and family working in the factories– and he knew very closely what it meant for his friends and family working in one factory over another factory. and what it meant for their rights as individuals and the community– in terms of pollution.  

FIRST PAYING JOB: I was a party hostess for little kids’ birthday parties in high school.  I always knew I wanted to do something that was fun.  I was going into psychology and wanted to work with kids and I was a  party hostess!

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE EVER RECEIVED:  So the best piece of advice hasn’t really been verbal.  It’s been more through telling and showing.  I’m very proud to be a Mexican-American woman and my abuelitas and my mother are all very hard working women.  My grandmother had to send my mom and tía to boarding school in Guadalajara, Mexico. She was based here in L.A. and she worked on a turkey farm from when the sun came up to when the sun came down so my mother could go to Catholic boarding school. My mom worked three jobs growing up to help send me to college. And my dad’s also very hardworking.  The best advice was not through them saying anything, but through showing me that through hard work and persistence you can achieve a lot– and it was through that that I’ve built my work ethic.

LAST TIME YOU WERE TRULY HAPPY: I think it’s everyday.  Everyday when I wake up I feel that it’s our responsibility as people to live life to the fullest and to use the gifts that we’ve been given and try and impart those to the world.  And also– learn from people around us.  To me, that gives life meaning.  And that’s what Fashioning Change is about. It’s a collective really– it’s a shared vision through the lines of code, the designers that we work with, people who manufacture our own line. And of course the people who support us by shopping. And that is all meaningful in its beauty of protecting the earth and protecting our health and protecting the rights of everyone.

MOMENT WHEN YOU KNEW YOU’D MADE IT:  I remember very specifically the first time that someone bought something from Fashioning Change who I didn’t know and that my team didn’t know.  We’re like, “does anyone know this person?” We all said no– and that’s when I knew.  Because we knew we’d reached someone with our mission and vision that we didn’t know.  And to this day I know her name… her name will never go out of my mind because she was the moment I knew that we were on to something.

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