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Meet Eranne Whiters

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eranne Whiters.

Hi Eranne, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always had an interest in how different things were constructed,… “things” as in literally anything that has to be built or put together. I’d look at something and wonder where the idea came from to make it and what it took to get to the end result. I know thats vague but it literally could be anything, whether it’s made by a machine or an actual person, it still gets my mind going.

I was pretty artsy and crafty as a kid and my personal favorite thing to draw was still life art. Honestly, I’m not sure the exact connection that took me from art to fashion besides, I remember in middle school, I would draw t-shirts and come up with different logos for them, a few years later is when I learned “Fashion Designing” was actually a thing! Like there are people who draw clothes for a living, someone then sews the designs and the clothes come to life…”wait what?” …and after doing some research and finding out I could go to school to learn all these things, I was sold! I wanted to be a fashion designer! Fast forward to college, I also took a liking to styling and visual merchandising. I graduated from Illinois State University in 2011 with a BS in Apparel Design. After college, I found another “school” that offered in person courses solely for Fashion Styling/Personal Wardrobe Styling. This wasn’t your typical school, there were two instructors who held classes in LA and NY on set dates out of the year. I took the Personal Wardrobe classes and started a styling business offering personal shopping, closet cleaning and personal styling. Since I knew how to sew at this point (I didn’t learn to really sew until college) I also started making men’s pre-tied bowties and infinity scarves for women. I would also make myself clothing and take custom requests from friends & family.

Fast forward to maybe 2015, I started posting more pictures of things I made for myself on social media and started getting requests to make things for others! That became a little overwhelming with the constant back of forth of taking orders through social media, so I knew it was time for a real website and a name change. When I first started my Personal Styling business, EFFORTless Style by Rena was the name. When I started making products, I would use House of Rena, “Rena” was my grandmother’s middle name. I remember when I was little she made some of my clothes and she was always dressed so nice, she took pride in her appearance so I wanted her name to be a part of my business. So 2016, I started my official website, made pieces that I loved and made them available online. I made mostly dresses, skirts, tops, and scarves for women. Today, I’ve been able to expand my brand and offer even more items. I recently added an athleisure line called HR Fit in September 2020.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. I think as a creative in general your mind is constantly thinking of something to create, well until you have “writer’s block” and thats never fun. When I started my Personal Styling business, I was so excited to start, I had just finished my classes and thought I had all the info I needed. Well the hard part was getting consistent clients, I honestly didn’t know how to find the clients that needed my services. I had a website, business cards, flyers, questionnaires, all the literature. I even joined styling sites to be a personal shopper but the clients just weren’t consistent like I needed them to be. Even today, although I’ve grown tremendously, it can still be challenging when trying to grow, trying to improve different aspects of your business, being creative and more.

But you push through and you show up for yourself.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m the owner, creator and designer of House of Rena. I provide made-to-order pieces and ready-to-wear items. I source my fabric whether locally or online, and I design, cut and sew. I also take a great majority of my own pictures, I’m pretty proud of that! However, I do have a great photographer that I work with when we can get our schedules to align.

I’m definitely proud of the growth from when I first started my business to now. I started with just making scarves and bowties to now having a larger variety of clothing styles.

Although things may not always turn out the way I originally planned them to, I never gave up on my dreams, I just changed the path to get there and I’m still going, still learning, still growing.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
I’ve learned you have to adapt at times to what’s going on around you. For me, my athleisure line is/was so fitting to everything going on. More people are working from home now, taking their health into consideration, for some, more now than before so between being comfortable at home or while running errands and working out, new clothes were needed.

You’ve heard that cute workout clothes make the workout better right? It’s true!

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