There are people in this world when you are around them your energy, mood and spirit is automatically lifted, they have you feeling like you can do anything in this world! Ashley LaBarrie is one of those people. Ashley, is the co-founder of the iconic clothing brand Dimepiece, which speaks and stands for equality for all. Ashley’s upbringing is one that was built on spirituality, having a strong vision and belief that no matter where life takes you as long as you have your vision you have everything you need. There is a lot of wisdom in this interview and I am so excited to share it with our Vibe tribe. Here is a warm welcome to our Vibe Sesh with Ashley LaBarrie.
Get Your Vibes: Tell us about your path leading up to Dimepiece and what led you to create such an awesome clothing brand?
Ashley LaBarrie: Before Dimepiece life was pretty hard, I always felt a little out of place. I grew up in the Inland Empire, growing up we really didn’t have much money, my mom was a spiritual teacher and still is to this day, a speaker and author, and so I grew up with that kind of mentality and that type of education for a living, and those types spiritual lessons throughout my life. Although we were short on financial resources, my mom was always so inspired and every day I saw that she completely believed in her vision, I took that with me throughout my entire life. My mom would always take people in and when I was around 11 years old one of the people she took in was Eldridge Cleaver, one of the leaders from the Black Panthers from the 60’s. He started living with us, at that point was when I really started to learn how to be a human, the stories he told me at such a young age about things like solitary confinement, were great life lessons and we all struggled together for a while. He had his ups and downs, but he had such a prolific story. My mom was on her spiritual path and he was such a believer in her work, I saw that unfolding every day and their stories being told every day in the middle of the Inland Empire, and so I adopted that way of thinking, that no matter what I have or don’t have I can still have vision and my vision is everything.
From a young age where you into fashion?
I was always into interior design, when I was younger I would decorate my room with whatever I had, I would go to Walmart, get the cheapest paint and do my room so there was always a creative design element. When I got to high school I saved up all my money and I bought a sewing machine and I made my homecoming dress and ever since then I realized that I could do this. I knew it was something that I could do but I had no idea how I was going to get there. I would say 90% of the people that I grew up with still live in the Inland Empire, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I always felt there was so much more to life outside of that city. It took a lot of me just figuring out my journey.
Your clothing when you wear it, it creates a feeling. You hold your head a bit higher, you walk with your shoulder back, the name Dimepiece says it all. How has Dimepiece been able to sustain that for over a decade?
Dimepiece started organically. It was our voice and how we felt, it’s an emulation of what we were thinking and feeling, translated onto clothing. It’s a simple formula, it’s just always how we felt. I think as women in business that message became stronger over the years because we were being challenged by a lot of male brands, and even women that didn’t believe in us, so we took those experiences and put it on a tee shirt. A lot of the women that do wear our clothes have been through similar experiences or have felt the same way we have, like “love don’t pay the bills” or “ain’t no wifey”, these are all just things we were going through in our 20’s and still to this day. It’s our authentic voice, that’s really what it is. People see that authenticity, especially today with social media and things like Instagram there is this fake it till you make it mentality and really at the end of the day no one wants to see that, no one wants to see you fake it, they want to see you be authentic, they to see you be real and have that connection and that’s what Dimepiece has done. It’s just us trying to connect to our audience.
What would you say is the foundation that Dimepiece has been built?
A lot of people say Dimepiece is for women only, but our consumers define that by themselves and give us that title. Dimepiece is about equality. Equal opportunity, equal work, equal voice for everyone and that’s all it’s been, equality for all. It’s not a new message, but I feel it’s one that people haven’t grasped in the world.
For you personally and professionally how do you utilize your social media channels?
Just as a voice of inspiration and centering or provoking thoughts, it’s a tool for communication to the world. People can scroll through and feel connected.
Do you feel that stress blocks your creativity?
Absolutely. Our best collections are when we are having the most fun. You can tell where we were in our evolution as people because some of the things that didn’t sell as well where when we were under a lot of pressure, legal pressure, financial strain but when we let that go or in the beginning when we didn’t have that things just flowed. There is an energy to life and it flows and responds to your intentions and decisions, no matter what they are. When we are making good decisions, it’s when we have no stress.
It has to be cool to look back at certain collections and it be a catalog of your life?
It is. When I archive pieces I see things and I remember what happened on a certain day or certain time of my life. It’s a whole catalog for 20 years of my life.
You talked about finding your center, what are some of the things you do now to find your center?
I try to eat clean, I feel more mentally clear when I do. I meditate a lot, and I’m still learning to meditate, my mom has been doing it for 30 years and she says she is still learning, it takes a life time. I have a mantra and a mantra for every day depending on what’s going on. I started that when I was going into the office every day and we were at the height of stress. As soon as I got on the elevator every day we were on the 7th floor that’s when I would start repeating it because I knew as soon as those doors opened I would be hit with everything as soon as I walk in the office. Being in the elevator was my quite time, 30 seconds to prepare myself and I still do that to this day, if I have time and space where I can be by myself I will repeat a mantra and it brings light and perspective into what’s happening.
What are Vibes to you?
Vibes are vibrations and vibrations are energy. Vibes are being centered, feeling energetic, people can feel if you’re being authentic or not. Having good vibes is having that energy and that flow of life that responds to your good decision making, happy thoughts are a happy life, courageous thoughts are a courageous life. Vibes for me is a constant flow of good energy.
How do you Get Your Vibes?
Meditation, cooking, traveling. I love interior design, I started equating interior design into being a spiritual endeavor, the way my homes look is how I feel and transmuting that the way I feel is this environment and I think your environment is everything. We spend so much time inside so everything you’re surrounded with impacts your mood and how you interact with people so it’s really important for me to have a beautiful environment to surround myself with.
We had the best time chatting with Ashley and we left feeling so inspired, motivated and even more focused on our vision at Get Your Vibes!