When I first started promoting the VERAGANO brand, I had zero connections. So I got myself into a group of fashion designers on Facebook, to learn the ins and outs of the fashion business. In the tight-knit online community, we seek support from each other on strategies to stay afloat in our fashion businesses, especially during the global pandemic. It was where I met Meghan Hogrefe, the founder & fashion designer of Work in Process.
She was a delight to get to know right from the start. We got together on Zoom regularly to discuss the importance of functionality and versatility in product design. But it was her optimism that got me fired up about the footwear business I was about to get into. Over time, we appreciate each other’s inventions and products, and we began purchasing the products we produced from one another.
She loved her new pair of de Vera 70 pump shoes that she bought another pair of high heels from our latest collection not too long after. I, on the other hand, love The Grace Dress from her first collection. I wore it so often during the last fall season. Naturally, I wanted to include Work In Process apparel in VERAGANO’s fashion shoot as my crew worked on putting together looks for our Spring/ Summer 2021 season of comfortable, high heel shoe collections.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Meghan again recently, and this time for another installment of our blog series. This is Her Shoes, Her Story.
Rima: If customers are to describe your character, what are the three words they would use?
Meghan: Adventurous, Courageous, and Loyal.
Rima: What are the must-have pieces that make up your power outfit?
Meghan: My power outfit is a tough question because it depends on what table I am sitting at so to speak! If in general for a meeting of the minds, it’s a traditional pencil skirt with a casual plain tee shirt or nothing is greater than an A-line shift dress! AND, I always wear heels, NO exceptions.
Rima: What was your inspiration for starting the Work In Process brand?
Meghan: I was going from surfing in the ocean to the corporate office, the board to board meeting so to speak. I would have to get dressed in my car after coming out of the water. It was clear if I was going to do “dawn patrol”, 6 am surfing, I needed clothing that is resilient to all the factors of living an active and busy life in and out of the water. Going surfing or running before work was the only time I had that was “me time”, I couldn’t stop just because I didn’t have the most ideal wardrobe environment. I had to find a way to make my wardrobe collide with my lifestyle in a way that was professional yet efficient! That’s when Work in Process began.
Rima: What is your ultimate business goal at this point?
Meghan: My business goal is to bringWork in Process clothing into the lives of busy women to give them clothing that is transitional to their lifestyle throughout a busy day! I hope to be able to penetrate a marketplace that really thrives on fast fashion in which I have a niche product. I want my clothing to be considered a continued staple as a work wardrobe yet also an easy choice for whatever curveballs your schedule and life take you on. From daytime to date and so on!
Rima: How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Meghan: Balance is tricky. I work with my husband in another capacity in addition to running a clothing line. Sometimes, I have to step back from everything and just have some me-time. Such as, here’s a dirty little reveal, watching all the Christmas movies on Hallmark! Or riding my Peloton or something. But for real overall balance, I try to take a few hours of a day/night for just me every few days or so. I need it or I won’t be fun to be around because I will be only about the work and not about the life around me.
Rima: What is your best advice to women who are looking to embark on the fashion business world amidst a global health crisis?
Meghan: Be comfortable with pivoting and with unexpected changes because even the most negative of situations can be a long term advantage depending on how you pivot!
It's important to be able to be open to advice and experience of other women entrepreneurs around you. Even if they aren't in the same business as you, they can offer so much insight and support. I had a call with a woman from the face book group that we are on together ( where I met you) I have never met that offered to share with me how she launched her podcast when I shared my long term plan to host a podcast.
I also want to share with aspiring designers and aspiring entrepreneurs, it's ok to be insecure and be uncertain, that's part of the journey and part of why collaborations and sharing resources is so important. I can't tell you how many times I have said to Rima, "I don't know how to do that"! Especially around anything technical!! So not only is it super motivating, it helps you find focus and educates you!