5 Questions – Tamra Malaga, “Vera Plum” Children’s Wear

21 Jul

gt_rockskull_mainpage.jpgTamra Malaga, founder and driving creative force behind Vera Plum, is a designer living in Los Angeles.  Her whimsical graphic designs for infant and child clothes are bright, original and appealing, and she is growing her company while continuing to create adorable designs.  The multi-talented Tamra is also a performer, writer and producer as part of the Josh and Tamra Show.

 

  1.  How did you get started doing what you do?

 I started my career in 1999 as a graphic designer in New York City.  I designed graphics for the creative services and marketing departments of broadcast networks, on projects such as posters, postcards, media kits, branding, trade ads, web graphics, package design, and apparel promotional items. I had the privilege to work for many top shows like Saturday Night Live, and major networks including HBO, Food Network, A&E, History Channel, WNET  CourtTV, Comedy Central and Troma Films. 

As a designer, I wanted to expand my creativity, so I took a huge pay cut and landed in high fashion, at Aeropostale, in New York City. My boss, the creative director, became a huge mentor to me. He taught me the ins and outs of the fashion graphic world from trend shopping and designing to production. I fell in love with the process and found great success, moving up to senior graphic designer. A year later I had the opportunity to work for clothing companies such as Ecko Red, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hanes, Old Navy and the Gap, designing top seller graphics, trend shopping around the states, and loving every moment of it.

I had tons of great ideas for tshirts and accessories but,I was very limited as to what I designed for the corporate clients, since I had to design within the brand limits and their trend reports. So, in my spare time I had friends come over my Sunnyside, Queens apartment for “Craft Night.”  Everyone brought a fun craft project they wanted to work on like painting, sewing, or beading necklaces. During craft night, I designed a bunch of out-of-the-box style graphics and I applied them to baby tshirts and onesies.  I got great feedback from my friends and so, Vera Plum – my own company was born. I’ve been hooked ever since. 

2. What is your biggest joy and what is your biggest headache?

My biggest joy is when people express to me how much they love the items they purchase. I am happy that they are excited to buy them as a gift for someone special, or have their children wear a tshirt or onesie I designed.

My biggest headache is that I am a one-woman operation. I do everything from designing, PR, website maintenance etc.  I wish I could multiply myself. I also wish I had a bigger budget. The eceonomy is really bad right now.

3. Where do you spend most of your time online (business-wise)?

I spend it trend shopping, searching for trade shows, and filling orders.

4. What is the one thing, person, service or resource you can’t do without? 

I am very grateful for my web designer Nicole from 368 Design. My business would not be as successful if it wasn’t for her amazing talent. 

5. What do you wish someone had told you the day you started your business?

It’s going to be a long, long, long educational journey and enjoy the ride!

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One Response to “5 Questions – Tamra Malaga, “Vera Plum” Children’s Wear”

  1. Nichelle July 23, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    great interview!

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