The easiest way to explain what I do is by talking about what I love.
Since I was young I was a huge art lover. I enjoyed painting, and arts & crafts. When I started growing up I realized I was curious and passionate about fashion design. So basically what I do is combine these two disciplines and turn them into one by hand-painting clothes. Check out my line on Instagram @Tili.mx
When the time came for me to choose a career to study, I was REALLY confused. I honestly had no idea of what to do, even though I already knew what I was passionate about.
I signed up to study Textile Engineering. After 1.5 semesters of going every day to college, I was completely sure that wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
At the same time, I made a hand-painted sweatshirt for my best friend as a gift. I posted it on Facebook and started receiving requests to paint clothes for other friends. After this, I decided to open an Instagram account (@tili.mx), with my clothing, and that’s how Tili started.
Emeline is an entrepreneur from our ¨Colonía America¨ cohort. A high crime neighborhood in CDMX. Her mission is to empower others through self-expression. She designs personalized, hand-painted clothes.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
10 years from now I would love to have my own store located in Roma/Condesa, high end hipster neighborhoods in Mexico City. I’d also love to sell Tili in shops around the world.
I would sell hand-painted clothing and home decoration articles, such as furniture, paintings, cushions, tablecloths and more.
What tips would you give to women on how to express themselves better?
I would tell them to find the outlet they feel most comfortable with.
For example, I’m the type of person that isn’t that good at expressing through speaking, so I use clothing, writing, painting and drawing. The important thing is to let it out, no matter the outlet.
Fashion, for example, is an amazing way of doing it, since it’s something that reflects your personality, emotions and a lot of things inside you.
Nowadays people just follow trends and everyone dresses the same way. I think that should stop and start being something more personal. That’s my objective with Tili. By painting clothes and making unique pieces; I can make the same design twice but it will never be exactly the same since it’s hand-painted.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Throughout these two years, I’ve been working on Tili, I learned that I’m not good at having a boss that tells me what to do. I know there are many women just like me. BUT! While I like doing things my way, I know how essential listening is to building great teams. By listening you can learn amazing things from others.
I’ve also learned to filter other opinions. There will always be people who support your project, and others will make you doubt.
And last but not least, I’ve learned how to be patient with results.
Where do you get your inspiration from daily?
Sometimes, I just start sketching whatever comes to my mind to have ideas start flowing.
I also love fashion videos and pictures. To be absolutely honest, Pinterest always helps. I think it’s a great way of inspiring myself since there are amazing images of Art and Fashion Design. While I love getting inspiration from others, it’s really important to never copy other’s work.
How do you stay motivated?
Fortunately, I’m around people that are also entrepreneurs. I’ve learned a lot from them, I’m always happy to see their work and it makes me want to work harder to achieve what I want with Tili.
Share us some tips for women who are in doubt of leaving their secure job and starting their own business.
Doubt and fear kill great things. If you are passionate about it, go for it.
I think that leaving a “secure” salary is the scariest part of starting your own business. I can honestly say that when you decide to do it, it becomes scarier. BUT! it’s totally worth it.
The best tip I received about this subject is, ¨If you believe in your talent, you’ll reflect that in what you do. Your effort and enthusiasm will make everything just flow. ¨
Who have been your own biggest mentors and what is the best advice they have ever given you?
So far I’ve had four amazing mentors.
- My brother (Yannick Alé, Mexican Magician), who is also an entrepreneur. He always shows me that when you are consistent with your work, you can have amazing results.
- Alejandra Zermeño (Mexican Sculptor). After listening to how miserable I was in my “secure job”, she invited me to her class on selling your own art. She taught me how our attitude and thoughts will always be reflected in our work. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.
- Edna Garagui (Mexican Fashion Designer, and my ex teacher in college). She’s always supported my work and showed me how opinions aren’t that relevant.
- Ryden, she taught a course from La Chispa where I learned about business management. She’s always helping me to get Tili out there for others to see it. Her passion for what she does is contagious and you start doing it with your own work.
How do you empower women by hand-painted clothes? Or self-expression? How do you think this will empower women. Do you have any stories?
I know that clothing is something that empowers everyone. It might sound superficial or stupid, but when you love your outfit and how you look, you reflect it on your attitude.
That’s my objective with Tili. I sell my own designs, but I also do personalized clothing. That way women wear EXACTLY what they want and they will feel empowered.
I’ve seen this with girls that purchase the things I paint. They send me these amazing pictures wearing Tili and they look happy, secure and stunning.