Building a business in fashion

Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 10:24 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As part of Black Business Month, we’re highlighting local professionals who brought their talents to our area or chose to stay and develop their skills.

A fashion designer who grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Savannah studied at SCAD and then stayed to build her business.

“Going from 400 square feet at a private location to 3,000 square feet on one of the most popular corners in the city of Savannah is just unreal,” said Daniette Thomas.

House of Daniette sits at the corner of Victory and MLK in Savannah. It opened earlier this year as the first design house ever in the Hostess City by designer and business owner, Daniette Thomas.

“There is no blueprint for this. There is no guide. There is no one really out there (saying) this is how you start a fashion design business.”

It’s a business she’s been officially building since graduating college in 2015. But its true beginning was much earlier.

“I wanted to be a fashion designer at 11. At 12, I discovered Savannah College of Art and Design.”

Now in her 30s, Daniette Thomas has turned that childhood dream into a reality.

“I tried to make sure that I do what I am called to do with my gift.”

But, for a while, Thomas wondered what the call would be.

“My senior collection, it was my thesis it was recognized by the late V. Andre Leon Talley. Literally being flown back and forth for interviews. I had a potential internship in London and then also was looking at something in Dallas with JC Penney, but after I graduated, everything just ceased.”

At that point, Thomas realized a prestigious degree only goes so far.

“I was getting a few requests from women for custom attire; ideally for debutante ball gowns, wedding gowns, all kinds of evening attire. Because nobody wants to walk in the room looking like anybody else, especially for a prestigious occasion.”

Custom couture kickstarted her career in a big way.

But she also has ready-to-wear fashion designs she sells online.

“The better this collection does, the more it grows like I have dreams of it being in Saks Fifth Avenue someday. Nordstrom big brands like that.”

And she continues to do it all from her own design house in Savannah.

“For a while I thought I would move but I didn’t want to be famous in another city. I wanted to be nationwide, even international. So I don’t plan on leaving.”