DOWNEY – Criseida Serpas woke up one morning and felt stuck.
“For most of my working life, I’ve been a waitress or bartender while I was going to school,” she said. “I had some difficulty after college…I kind of got stuck in those jobs.”
The 32-year-old St. Matthias graduate had attended California State University Long Beach to study fashion, but a decade later there was little to speak of concerning her fashion aspirations.
“Ten, 11 years go by doing those kinds of jobs; I got tired of it,” said Serpas. “I finally decided ‘this is it, this is my one chance.’”
Serpas took what savings she had and went to Downtown Los Angeles to purchase fabric and pattern paper.
Criseida Couture was born.
Serpas began getting her new business in order in March, and officially launched in July.
She says her aesthetic is “classic” with “a little bit of pinup vibe.”
“I want people to be able to wear it to work, and then go to happy hour,” says Serpas. “Something simple…nice, conservative.”
Serpas already has a humble customer base, selling mostly to people she knows. At the moment, she is currently selling primarily online, including websites such as Shopify. Her dream, however, is to end up in a high-end retail store, or on a red carpet.
Those dreams are still a bit away, however, as Serpas admits that she’s still getting the hang of her new business venture.
“I want to make a name making more fashion for everyone, and then building the business,” said Serpas. “Getting the clientele.”
That includes Serpas investing a major amount of resources into her business as well, including most of her savings from bartending, and much of her time. Her social life has seen some major sacrifices as well.
“You give up leisure,” says Serpas. “Giving up having beers with your friends on Thursday, having sushi twice a week, having to say no to brunch with your friends. Giving up leisure is really a big part of starting your own business.”
In addition to her business, Serpas also cares for her father who suffers from dementia. She also still works as a bartender on the weekends.
For now, Serpas says she’s taking “the show on the road,” looking to set up a pop-up shop in a few upcoming boutiques.
“I’m getting ready to go to a couple of Downey boutiques,” Serpas says. “I’m knocking on doors.”