Fashion-forward student launches clothing business online

Alysa Kammermeyer, a junior public affairs major, has a foot in the door of the fashion world with her online clothing website, Mina’s Closet. Photo courtesy of Alysa Kammermeyer.

A simple phone call helped Alysa Kammermeyer’s dream of owning her own fashion website become a reality.

Kammermeyer, a junior public affairs major, and her older sister have always loved fashion and were inspired by the independence of their parents to start their own business and work for themselves, she said.

Her sister called her a little over a month ago and told her that she had bought a domain name.

“We have been talking about having a clothing business in an abstract way,” Kammermeyer said. “After she called me, we just hit the ground running.”

The business is called Mina’s Closet, after Kammermeyer’s Moroccan name, Yasmina, and it is based on what one would see celebrities wearing. They have suppliers in Los Angeles that stockpile them with clothes, she said.

“We choose our clothes from wholesalers, and they have an infinite amount,” she said. “We choose what fits our styles the best and what we like.”

Growing up, she would travel back and forth between countries with her mother. Moving around a lot helped her develop an independent personality, she said.

“I used to think life was unfair, and why do I have to do this,” Kammermeyer said. “However, I learned to adapt to situations quickly because I did not have a choice.”

In the business world, Kammermeyer started off in sales and retail. She knew it was good training and practice before she would become self-employed, she said.

“I put in at least 15 hours a week doing the website design,” Kammermeyer said. “I edit our pictures. I also taught myself how to do HTML coding, and I create the banners on our website.”

The slogan on the website is “simple, elegant and sexy.” Kammermeyer believes that impressions are important because her mother would always tell her to leave a little for the imagination, she said.

She wants her clothing business to represent her style and appeal to college students because she is a college student herself. She is selling some of the same products that are available at Nordstrom, but at less expensive prices, she said.

“We technically can raise our prices,” Kammermeyer said. “However, we want to get our name out there.”

To promote their business, the sisters hosted a launch party to model the clothes.

They had the clothes out for display at the party and a runway for people to model the ensembles.

The event was off to a rocky start because a couple of the models did not show up, she said.

“We had to help model the clothes,” Kammermeyer said. “We would talk to guests and then go change into another outfit to advertise.”

The lack of models allowed almost every girl that attended the party to model in their place. During the event, Kammermeyer realized how well the outfits fit on different body types.

“The different shapes turned out really great in a different way,” she said.

Kammermeyer wants her clothing business to not only be affordable for college women but also help them present themselves in a positive and appealing way, she said.

“Be proud of the fact that you are a woman,” Kammermeyer said. “You have a certain shape, and you’re attractive, but do not let that be your only point. Let it be the foot in the door.”

DJ Morris can be reached at [email protected] or @djthejournalist on Twitter.