Today we’d like to introduce you to Evette Preston.
Hi Evette, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Preston and James was born in 2017 from my need to reboot my life and future after working in the fashion and art industries for over 20 years. Contemplating what to do with my life and what role I wanted to play, it just clicked to start my own clothing line.
The name Preston and James come from my family name Preston and my love for my father. He passed when we were young from cancer and being a family of girls, I felt it was only fitting to pay homage to him. James is just a name that I love; no one in particular is behind it. I get asked all the time if Preston and James are my kids. Haha. It’s just a great regal name and funny enough I selected it because it sounds good with Preston!
My collections started with me initially sourcing vintage along with producing a small knitwear line. After popping up with the brand all over SoCal in California, it saw a need for unique, original pieces and sizes! I would have so many customers fall in love with something but the sizing did not work. I broke my heart. I started upcycling and painting on my collections along with designing a small capsule of effortless clothing and they were a hit!
Shortly after the brand morphed into what you see today. 60% of my brand is my fun, one-of-a-kind pieces all created from vintage or sustainable materials and the balance are my collections. Designed by me and small batched produced by myself or with ethical factories.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The decision to be an entrepreneur after two decades of a secure corporate salary was definitely the hardest challenge I’ve had to work through. Starting with very little capital and resources to fund the business is still an obstacle five years later. Unfortunately, that lovely slogan of ” You need money to make money” rings true for me and I’m sure countless others trying to build their futures.
I also struggled with imposter syndrome. Starting out, I chased so many ideas or looked to other brands to emulate their success. I thought I needed to be more like the crowd to flourish and grow my audience and customer base. It took me losing my way and failing so many times to realize I just needed to stay true to myself and the brand.
It’s been 5 years filled with a vast amount of ups and downs but it has been an amazing journey and I wouldn’t replace it for anything. Overcoming all the obstacles and failures I’ve experienced has only helped me become a stronger business owner and I couldn’t be more excited for Preston and James future.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’ve dreamed of working with art and clothing my entire life. I’m one of 10 girls so hand-me-downs or vintage clothing was our only option growing up. My need to stand out among my siblings and peers lead me to experiment with my clothing choices. I was always the girl wearing something different or miss-matched in our outings or at school. My mother is an amazing artist and inspired me early on to appreciate art and pursue it as part of my career.
I studied both Fine Arts and Fashion Design. Earning my degree in Fashion, I worked with several major fashion brands and taught art for 13+ years with various schools and my own private art school. I also created, wrote and illustrated a successful children’s book series and brand called Daniella the Bear.
I started Preston and James from my love of fashion, art, sustainable living and effortless style. As a brand for all humans and unisex fashion, we stand out for our one-of-a-kind designs, colors and trendy classic silhouettes. Preston and James make vintage fun with taking risks with painting wacky designs or putting snarky verbiage on our clothing.
It makes me so proud to have the opportunity to create fun clothing for people to enjoy. Knowing that my customers will be a walking piece of art is amazing. Our new collections for 2023 are going back to our roots even further with creating more innovative upcycled pieces and continuing to paint fun art and graphics. While decreasing our fast fashion footprint with adding more collections created from vintage and sustainable materials.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
My all-time favorite motivational book, which I’ve re-read countless times is “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz. This book has completely changed my way of thinking and helped improve me personally on so many levels.
As far as apps, podcasts or blogs… it’s sad to say but I don’t really use that many besides the social media apps like; Instagram or Facebook for the business. I don’t even own a T.V. haha. I eat and breathe art so to have Preston and James and this amazing opportunity to use both my love of fashion and art is what keeps me busy at the moment. Also, it doesn’t help that running a business is a full-time job and I literally wear like 25 hats!
- $25-30 T-Shirts for our Boutique Collection
- $40-52 Joggers, Hoodies and Sweatshirts
- $28-54 for Handmade or Upcycled Tops/Dresses
- $64-250 for Handpainted collection.
- Website: www.prestonandjames.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/prestonandjames
- Facebook: Facebook.com/prestonandjames
@Emilynrose @Ritalabib @zosiaphotography