Brittany Saberhagen, the mastermind and designer behind the line Alexis n Ryan, knew what she wanted to do with her life at a young age. After high school, Brittany went straight to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to start pursuing her dream of becoming a fashion designer. After graduation, she spent four years working in the fashion industry to learn the ropes - first for an independent designer and then a large manufacturing company. "Each job taught me a lot, but working for a big company made me realize that I wanted to do something less corporate and more free spirited. About two years ago, I was looking to buy a condo and instead decided to invest my savings into starting my own line."
Not surprisingly, Brittany credits investing her life savings in her dream of becoming a designer as the most daring thing she has ever done. But sometimes the biggest leaps have the greatest rewards. "For the first time in my life, I feel like my “job” entitles me to be a free spirit. No rules. No supervisor. Just me and my creative thoughts. Every day is a new day and that never gets old."
As can be imagined, it can be hard to find balance between work and life when starting your own line. But the self-proclaimed free spirit does the best she can. "I personally think FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing. Sometimes having to say no to things that I want to do because I have to put extra hours into work is hard. Finding that balance between being productive and successful while still maintaining a personal life can be tough, but work is fun for me. Since I get to make my own hours, I am able to better balance."
Alexis n Ryan, Saberhagen's vintage inspired line, recently launched its online presence and, with any luck, her dream of having the line (which she hopes to eventually include men's, accessories and children's wear) in stores across the country within the next few years will become a reality as well. Suffice it to say that Saberhagen is living her dream. "To be able to have final say in a product and to control the reigns of a company is hard work and a lot of pressure, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
all images by Christopher Brown
make-up by Lauren Feist
hair by Aaron Coleman
shot at FIFTH