We had the good fortune of connecting with Territa Torres and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Territa, when you are approached by someone at a networking event, what makes you want to connect with someone? What makes you want to avoid them?
When I participate at trade shows, runway shows, popup shops or events I love when people come to my booth, whether it is to look and touch the clothing or to do some lite conversation. I enjoy the fact that I have setup something visually pleasing that caught their attention and it brought them to my area. There is not much a person can do to make me avoid them even when they are rude or short and interrupting me when I am trying to answer their questions. But there is one instance now, that I will be on the look out for and will be avoiding. Individuals who want to take advantage of my brands success and use for their personal gain. I used to believe that people want to collaborate with me not turn me into their work horse. It was a disappointing experience when I realized what I thought was a “collaboration” was just me providing my brands signature pleat detail for free, receiving no credit and type of payment.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a Women’s Ready To Wear fashion designer and I started my own label Territa Torres Designs in 2015 with the goals to become a sought after American fashion house. I use the pleat as my main focal point in my designs as a niche to set the brand apart from other designers. Plus the pleat keeps the brand interesting and innovated with regard to the designs. I am proud of Territa Torres Designs track record, my first runway showcase (and competition) was in 2015 with Fashion Week San Diego, we won 3rd place Top Designer. I still remember the shock and thrill of hearing my brands name being called for the award. The pleats were a risk and they paid back in a big way. 2016 TTD won FWSD 1st place Top Designer and in 2017 won FWSD 3rd place Top Designer. 2018 won Fashion Week Las Vegas Emerging Designer. 2019 we showcased in our first LA Fashion Week with The Society Fashion Week. Territa Torres Designs brand growth came about with the participation in fashion shows. I was able to build the brands name up and grow a successful reputation that people came to know and love. A lot of my business is based on referral and word of mouth. It is not easy going about this route, it takes time and trust. My clients choose me and continue to choose me, not out of loyalty but they know the brand and they know me. A big challenge I am currently facing is the restrictions due to coronavirus (#covid19) as I am not able to leave the house, I have turned my sights to social media and my website. I am promoting content daily and putting up new information. I have continued to sketch for my new collection and will continue to make a new collection like I would normally. I am optimistic that we will overcome this virus and resume normal operations soon. I have also join the fleet of sewers making DIY face masks along side my fellow fashion designers and members of the sewing community. There have been many lessons along the way, budgeting is still a big one for me. Everything cost, gas, fabric, virtual assistant, and making sure I have the numbers right is a big one to make sure of. Using some training from Santa Claus, I check the numbers twice. Clients, keeping the VIP clients happy and making them feel special is thought provoking and problem solving mashed together as one. Gaining new clients is always at the top of my list, how to entice them and build a bond. Social media is always changing, using hashtags, gaining new (legitimate followers), keeping stories interesting, posing questions, this list can go on and on. I read articles associated with my problems and try to learn from others on how they were able to solve these issues. There is a lot of good information out there and some of it is free and some of it cost (this is where budgeting comes back into play and me deciding if it is worth the funds to spend.) What I would like you to know about myself is that I am a Native/Mexican Navy veteran woman who grew up in San Bernardino, California. I love my SoCal community and I always loved art (as a teen, I never thought tagging and graffiti were forms of vandalism and in some ways I still don’t.)
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I do not believe in “best friend” mentality. But I love showing off San Diego! But if I were showing someone around San Diego, I would definitely take them to Balboa park to walk around and view some of museums especially the Timken Museum of Art, Mingei International Museum and Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. Go to San Diego Zoo and watch a show or two with the animals. Visit Old Town San Diego and do some ghost haunting by visiting the Whaley House and grab a bite at Casa Guadalajara Mexican Resturant. During their last days here make sure to go Las Americas Premium Outlets. Mission Valley Do some walking, talking and shopping at Fashion Valley Mall and then grab a bite at Lucha Libre Taco Shop, go to Sea World, do an outside BBQ at Mission Valley Beach park (or at some point have some Phil’s BBQ) and rent some paddle boards for the day. Ride the coasters at Belmont Park and play in the sand and/or water. Visit Cabrillo National Monument and get to the top of the mountains and just look out and enjoy the view of the water! Downtown San Diego Visit the USS Midway museum, visit Museum of Contemporary Art and walk around Seaport Village and get some BEN AND JERRY’S ice cream and/or grab a bite at Buster’s Beach House & Longboard Bar. For the night, get some drinks from the bars located in Gaslamp Quarters and fill up on steaks from Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. Carlsbad Visit The Flower Fields and walk around Carlsbad Premium Outlets. Escondido Visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park and get our numbers up for walking.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My first shout out goes to my family. First to my husband, Alex, who keeps motivating me to strive and achieve my dream. He is my cheerleader, my motivational coach, my financier, and most of all he keeps it 100% real with me. He points out the good, the bad and the ugly. And of course my mom, who first introduced me to sewing and always encouraged my artistic skills and imagination. My second shout out goes to Fashion Week San Diego, they were my first fashion industry experience and they made it a great one. I was a recent graduate of the Art Institute of San Diego – CA and I had been told so many horror stories about fashion. My first appointment with Allison and Sam removed any doubt I had about going forth with FWSD, and I was surprised and thrilled when they ask me to be apart of their FWSD Runway show (in 2015). I loved it so much I showcased with them 3 consecutive years in a row. My final shout out going to my stylist and now friend Aubree. She is a freelance writer for Presidio Sentinel and she needed a garment to wear to a Andy Warhol inspired event in 2017 and we have been working together ever since. Through her I have been able to grow my brand by participating in my first ever showroom, The Trend Haus. Along with Territa Torres Designs has been featured in numerous editorials including international based publications and popular, trending online magazines.
Territa Torres Aubree Lynn Kevin Truitt Gena Truitt Tonya Kendall Sara Gomez Selina Hall Brooke Hancock