Mira Estell, founder of the Detroit-based handbag and accessory line Mira Estell, shares how she got in the fashion industry, her favorite local shops and more. Check out the shop on the SEEN Marketplace.
By Rachel Schostak
Featured photo courtesy Jasmine Sheree
1. When and what inspired you to get into this business? My love of style inspired me to pursue my passion. Fashion has been a love of mine for as far back as I can remember. I was always particular with my clothes even as a young child.
I studied fashion merchandising at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Later I had a business MIA Sorella that I owned with my sister and a good friend. We sold clothing, handbags and accessories. During that time, the idea of creating my own handbag designs was born.
In 2010, after my move to Detroit from New Jersey, I learned to design and create my own handbags under Deb Edgar who owned the Detroit Sewing Spot at the time. Through her teaching and mentorship I started Mira Estell.
2. Most valuable lessons you’ve learned as a business owner?
- Delegation is necessary.
- You must invest heavily in your business.
- There is always more to learn.
- Understand your client’s needs.
- Things don’t always work out as planned. So get comfortable with figuring things out.
3. In what ways are the Mira Estell products or designs unique in the accessory market? Mira Estell bags accentuate the sense of style in every woman! Our meticulous detail and care helps us capture something exquisite in each piece.
4. What does a typical day look like for you? Since Mira Estell is still very new and still in it’s infant stage, I have to split my time between my day job and Mira Estell.
After my day is “complete,” I spend my evenings fulfilling orders, responding to emails, phone calls, taking meetings, planning my production schedule, managing social media, planning and more planning. No day is ever the same, to say the least.
5. Who inspires you in the fashion/design world? I have lots of inspiration which come from things all around me. However, one who inspires me in the fashion/design world is the late Coco Chanel. I have always been inspired by her story. Her pieces are timeless and classic, but it’s the emphasis of style that resonates most with me. Fashion comes and goes, but style is forever.
6. What do you love most about your role as Mira Estell’s brand owner? What I love most is seeing women love our pieces. As a creative, there is no better feeling than knowing what you have created brings value to someone.
I love when a client purchases a Mira Estell bag, and it is just the right piece to bring her look together. She’s not only feels stylish, she’s confident, and she’s happy!
7. What is the mission of Mira Estell? Who is your customer? The mission of Mira Estell is to make women feel more confident with each piece. With Mira Estell, there are no rules. It’s all about what feel right to you. Our customers are women who love fashion. Women who understand that style is what you do with it.
8. Any new designs planned for 2019? Yes. Mira Estell bags are handmade, and most designs are made to order. However, we are working on some new brand designs coming spring 2019.
9. In regard to your personal style, do you have a signature look or accessory? I am not a creature of habit so much, but when I like a piece I will wear it often. Currently I am wearing a quirky pair of round framed glasses. They are chic and edgy and super stylish. They make a statement, and I’m all about standing out!
In addition to that I love rocking the Mira Estell classic tote. It’s my go-to everyday carryall bag. It goes with everything, and I can fit my life in it!
10. A few items in your closet you can’t live without?
- I can’t live without my black blazer. It’s so versatile. I can wear it with just about anything. I am a mom of four, so something quick and easy that takes me from drab to fab is a must! One of my faves is a fitted blazer I purchased online from Zara.
- Scarves are another must-have. They pull together any outfit. I will always have a scarf option in my closet. My favorite place to buy scarves and fedora hats is wander-boutique.com.
- Great fitting jeans. Every girl needs a pair of jeans that she can throw on and feel sexy in no matter what — whether she pairs them with sneakers or stilettos! My favorite pair right now is a pair of stretch distressed Levi’s.
- A fabulous clutch. You must have a go-to bag when you are headed for an evening out. Of course, my closet is full of Mira Estell clutch bags. Let’s just say I’m always prepared!
11. Who inspires your style? My mood inspires my style mostly. However, one of my style icons is the fabulous Tracee Ellis Ross! I love her effortless style that’s so chic, bold and creative.
12. Favorite fashion, lifestyle, food or business blog? Lately I’m not reading many blogs. I’d like to, but time doesn’t really allow. I tend to get fashion, food and lifestyle inspo when I happen to scroll on Instagram. Some of my faves to lookout for are @kahlanabarfield, @songofstyle, @juneambrose and @traceeellisross.
13. Favorite places to shop?
Locally some of my favorites are:
shopflybehavior.com: The luxuriously curated women’s fashion collection by Tee Capel.
dcreatedboutique.com: An organic handmade children’s clothing boutique located on Livernois Avenue in Detroit.
trinketsandsuch.com: The tastemaker’s gift shop.
The Style Gallery: Located at 71 Garfield St. in Detroit.
Ferne Boutique: An amazing curated collection of clothing for everyday women located at 6529 Woodward Ave. in Detroit.
14. Favorite place to eat? I have so many, but Central Kitchen + Bar is definitely a favorite. Good food, good drinks and good vibes!
15. Favorite quote or words to live by? My personal quote: “Do not let fear hinder you, let it fuel you.”
16. Favorite place for coffee or tea? I don’t have a favorite place for coffee or tea. I usually make my own. Chai lattes are my absolute favorite.
17. Currently reading? I’m currently reading “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes.
18. A perfect weekend for you looks like…? No agenda. Spending much-needed time with my family, paired with some pampering, rest and relaxation.
Shop our favorite Mira Estell items on the SEEN Marketplace:
SHOP: The classic tote, $205.
SHOP: Cici clutch, $100.
SHOP: Karma clutch, $198.