When she was only 10 years old, Alexandria Alli took her first steps (in fabulous shoes, of course) in the fashion world as an assistant in her mother’s fashion studio. After getting her MBA and spending years working her way up in the design world, Alli found her bliss and purpose with the creation of F&W Style, an international brand focusing on luxury handbags and accessories designed specifically for busy women on the go. Today, Alli loves to give back to her community by giving the next generation of designers a hand-up through her Purse for Philanthropy program and other charitable initiatives at Mckendree UMC.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your business, F&W Style.
F&W Style is an Atlanta-based company specializing in well-crafted, colorful, luxury leather handbags and accessories. I started F&W Style because of the lack of well-crafted, affordable, diverse luxury leather handbag brands in the market. My goal is to make women feel luxurious and empowered throughout their style journey.
How do you hope to help the next generation of self-starting women entrepreneurs?
Starting your own business isn’t easy, and getting your start in the competitive design industry is even more difficult. We help determined future designers hone their craft through our F&W Internship Program. During the semester-long program, we walk several college students through designing their own collections while also teaching them what it takes to run a successful business. We started F&W Corp as well, where we guide new designers in the development, manufacturing and bringing their designs to life.
What characteristics do you feel are essential for success?
Creativity and the ability to think outside the box. Resilience and the ability to keep going even when things are not going your way. Networking skills, building relationships and a community.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I see myself as a philanthropist helping my favorite charities and supporting female entrepreneurs, having a brand that is a household name and enjoying life with my husband, kids and grandchildren.
How do you balance family, work and giving back?
The older I get, the more I realize that there is no such thing as a perfectly balanced life. It is a juggling act, and with all of it, I try to always keep my self-care at top of mind and give myself grace as I do my best and navigate the rest.