This 29 year old hasn’t let a lay off from her Wall Street job stand in the way of her dreams. Instead, she took matters into her own hands and in November 08′ created the chic and sustainably Eco-friendly clothing line, Cmarchuska. FBENOW hit up her at her first ever Eco-fashion show at Ultra in NYC. Check out the footage brought to you by AM2PM Productions and see our fashionably inspired conversation below.
FBE: Tell the viewers who you are!
FBE: Your Age?
FBE:Tell us where you’re from and where is Cmarchuska based?
CM: I am from upstate NY, Vestal to be exact, but my grandparents came over from Eastern Europe – hence my Lithuanian last name. The company is based in New York City.
FBE:How did you decide on the name Cmarchuska and when was it launched?
CM: The name of the company is my first initial and last name. The company launched in November ’08. There was no science behind choosing this name – it just seemed like a good fit since my line is really about my style.
FBE: Have you had any schooling that has assisted in starting your business?
CM: I attended Cornell University’s School of Human Ecology for my undergrad degree. Then last summer I took several sewing courses in the garment district here in NYC. Cornell taught me numerous skills from psychology to entrepreneurship. They over a vast array of classes and areas of study so you have the opportunity to become more well-rounded as an academic as well as a person. The sewing classes were instrumental for knowledge and networking in the garment industry. I met industry veterans who pointed me in the right direction in terms of garment production.
FBE: What motivated you to launch a clothing line?
CM:I have always been very interested in fashion along with my concern for the environment. So I thought a natural fit would be for me to launch an Eco-friendly clothing line.
FBE: How has the transition from Wall Street to the fashion industry assisted in molding you as an individual and as a business person?
CM: Wall Street gave me an incredible skill set, especially with respect to sales. It made me into a real people person with amazing networking capabilities and a non-stop work ethic which you definitely need if you are going to launch a new business during the worst economic crisis.
FBE:Did you design clothing prior to the launch of Cmarchuska?
CM: I designed a few different fun going out pieces mainly through modifying current items in my closet, but I had not designed anything from scratch before launching the line.
FBE: What makes your fashions unique when compared to other lines in the fashion industry?
CM:When you look at the Eco-fashion industry you really only find casual wear or super high-end couture. No one is catering to the young professional woman who wants classic versatile pieces that you can wear to the office and then with a simple shoe change – can dress up for a night out on the town. These women also want comfort and affordability. So my line is all about classic dresses and pieces that can be worn to pretty much any event, meeting, etc and will last for years in terms of style and durability. Not to mention the pieces are affordable and made out of the highest quality sustainable fabrics. At the end of the day, sustainability is about reducing wasteful processes and practices. So with sustainable fashion – you want clothing that is classic and perfect for every occasion not a trendy piece that you will toss after one season.
FBE: What inspires your designs?
CM: Everything – friends, family, people I observe in NYC or on my travels, architecture, art – essentially everything that encompasses my everyday life.
FBE: Who is Cmarchuska made for (young women, children, men) and what is the concept behind it?
CM: Cmarchuska is made for young professionals primarily women. However, most of pieces can span the age range from 16-65 since they really are classic styles with the modern woman in mind. I also have some unisex items such as tees and scarves. Men have really taken to the hunter scarf due to the incredible softness of the fabric I use – an organic silk/modal blend. I think this is also why they are drawn to the women wearing Cmarchuska – they can’t stop touching the fabric…
FBE:What other media forums has Cmarchuska been featured in?
CM:My line has been featured in a combination of fashion and business publications such as Newsweek, Entrepreneur Magazine, StyleList.com, StyleCaster.com, Japanese Marie Claire, MS Fitness, Eyewitness News Connecticut, Fox 40 News Binghamton, Eco-Chick and several others.
FBE: Who or what personally inspires you to push forth with your career? CM: For me it really is something intrinsic that drives me. I absolutely love what I am doing, but even during the tough times something inside of me kicks in and continues to propel me. My family, friends and colleagues also continue to drive and inspire me. I am very fortunate for the amazing network of people I have in my life.
FBE: Who are the people that you can acknowledge as assisting you with the production of your line?
CM:I work with several amazing people. Lindsey Bagg is a close friend and involved in every aspect of Cmarchuska. She also helps me with design. We usually brainstorm together and think about what the modern young professional woman would want. I also work with several subcontractors such as my cut/sew manufacturer, knitting/fabric mills and my button distributor – most of these individuals are all centralized in NYC so it makes my life a little easier. I also recently became a partner in an entertainment company, Hrish Entertainment, based here in NYC. I have two fabulous partners in the entertainment company, Hrish Lotlikar and Jaclyn Chu, who help me plan all of my Cmarchuska events along with independent charity, film and political fundraisers that we work on.
In Los Angeles I work with Aria Gannon who runs the Greenroom Showroom which now houses cmarchuska among other designer clothing lines. On the PR front, I just recently teamed up with Justine McCarthy and Sabrina Chapman from Simply Chic PR based here in NYC. So yes things are finally starting to come together!
FBE: Have you found any challenges within the fashion industry that you would like to share? CM: Yes definitely – I think every industry must have its own set of challenges. In fashion it is tough to find the right resources because most designers hold all of this information very closely and are not willing to share their contacts. I was very fortunate to have one of my best friend’s from Cornell lead me in the right direction from an early stage. Without her I might have never made it to this level.
FBE: Has your line been affected by the recent financial changes? CM: I continue to make prudent choices in terms of production and keep my costs down. I knew it was going to be a rough rode launching a business during this rough economic patch so I continue to focus on building a strong foundation and keeping things on a small scale for the present time.
FBE:Where can people purchase Cmarchuska? CM:People can purchase cmarchuska online at www.cmarchuska.com and www.ecosumo.com and at the following stores: Kaight (New York, NY), Cow Jones Industrials (Chatham, NY), m.y. boutique ( Binghamton, NY), the PILATES Room (Ithaca, NY), A Stone’s Throw (Madison, WI) and Down To Earth (Telluride, CO – Fall/Winter ’09). Buyers/stylists can check out my line at the Greenroom Showroom at 722 North Figueroa St @Alpine in Los Angeles, CA. Also, I do several trunk shows in NYC and LA which clients can find out about by joining my facebook group (cmarchuska) or signing up for my newsletter via my website.
FBE: Have you worked with any well known people? CM: I am surrounded by well-known and emerging designers who work with my sewing contractor in NYC. It’s always fun to see who is going to be there on any given day.
FBE: Who is your favorite designer? CM:My favorite designers are DVF and Rogan.
FBE: What advice would you have for young entrepreneurs who aspire to run their own company and start their own clothing line? CM: Do your research, make sure there is a market for your line or business and then go for it!
FBE: Please elaborate on your work with Safe Horizon. CM: I am a member of the Junior Council for Safe Horizon. I am very active in philanthropy and love giving back. Safe Horizon is a great cause and I do as much as I can to give to the organization whether it’s through proceeds from my business/events or whether it’s spending time working with the volunteers.
FBE: Where do you see Cmarchuska in the next five years? CM: I see it as a leading name in the domestic and international Eco-fashion/retail industries.
Wanna get in touch with Christine and/or see more of her fashions click on any of the links below:
Also, check out her new webspots on my site: www.cmarchuska.com to decide for yourself if green can be stylish and sexy!