Describe a day in the life of Samantha Jo Alonso:
Consider me a maximalist. From the break of dawn to the strike of midnight, every minute and second is well lived. At 6am, I jump start my day with a 6 – 8 mile run. From there, my work day continues anywhere from writing e-mails, styling and producing shoots, operating 2 FRUITION retail stores, planning Mission I’mPOSSIBLE multi-city runs, serving at my church (Hillsong NYC) to social media producing for Nike Women, marketing strategy for Pretty Girls Sweat, and speaking engagements from coast to coast.
What’s the history behind FRUITION – what propelled you to start it?
The reason why things were the way they were in Las Vegas was because we had yet to approach a situation that was in need for change. With an undying passion and desire, we were prompted to disrupt the temperature in our city. We felt a strong calling to break the chains of limitations that was inhibiting Las Vegas from becoming a culturally dynamic city. We identified what was making us uncomfortable, took that discomfort and allowed that to propel us to create change. So we built our own door of opportunity, was obedient to God’s calling and the rest was history.
How did you come up with the name – and how does FRUITION reflect your personal aesthetic?
We frame our world with the words we speak. The word FRUITION was always utilized in casual conversations. It speaks life, encouragement and abundance and there’s nothing more that we want than to share that message with our sphere of influence.
What were fundamental steps you followed before starting your business?
The only fundamental step we took was a leap of faith!
What challenges did you face when building FRUITION from scratch? How did you overcome such challenges?
At the time when we opened FRUITION in 2005, I was 21 and my partner, Chris Julian, was 23. We didn’t have much financially but what we did have was an unwavering level of trust and faith. Being resourceful with minimal financial backing to build our first brick and mortar was a big challenge and test but God’s grace is sufficient – never lacking and never failing. With the willingness to persevere through beautifully afflicted challenges from the start of our business to this present day, we continue to remain at peace knowing that we’re being carried in the palm of God’s hands. As creative people, we’re naturally attracted to challenges; it’s what inspires us to be better and it forces us to find the solution, which at the end of day, is inside all of us. Adversities are constant reminders that God never appoints a fire unless He can bring beauty from the ashes. What is now our test will soon be our testimony!
It’s empowering to see women making moves in the scene like you — how have the women in your life been instrumental in developing your hustle?
My beautiful and loving mom has taught me lessons of strength and independence. After losing my father 13 years ago, she picked up the pieces, mended what was broken and raised 3 kids on her own. Her leading example is the fuel to everything I do.
Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?
I focus on not being of the majority.
How has social media shaped FRUITION? What’s your favorite platform? Why?
Social media has allowed our customers to virtually experience FRUITION’s overarching message, which is the intersection of fashion, culture, faith and sport. I’m a visual person so Instagram is my preferred social media platform.
How do you keep track of personal & business goals, prioritize projects, and stay creative at the same time – even when you’re exhausted?
On a daily basis, I write down my objectives on paper, broken down per platform. This process gives me more visibility on what I’m accountable for and if anything, keeps me living in divine order. At the end of the day, I put my confidence in God because it’s hard to get off balance and off track when you’re in line with His calling.
What are your must-have tools or apps to run your day-to-day grind? What kind of gadgets would we find on your desk or in your bag?
My bible, an iphone, laptop and connection to the world wide web.
In a fast-paced industry where last-minute-anything can happen, what’s your fail-proof, go-to outfit that will last from morning meetings to evening events?
My Fall 2010 Dries Van Noten Artisanal Moto Jacket.
How important are mentors?
The right environment is pivotal to your success. It’s critical to embrace environments that positively contribute to your growth and that’s why it’s key to get around people who will affirm you and celebrate who you are. You are the company you keep and if you associate yourself with eagles, you will learn to soar to great heights
Define your idea of success.
My life is a house and abundance is my roof – that’s my idea of success! As I go through life, I pray that God continues to use me for the good of others.
What’s your advice for other women entering creative fields or starting their own business? What do you think it takes to make it in this business, especially for women?
Sow the seeds of hard work to produce the harvest you want to see in the future. The voice of victory is within you. You were born at the right time, in the right place, with the right amount of gifts and talents to fulfill your heart’s desires! There’s pressure in your purpose but pressure makes diamonds, right? 😉
GETTING TO KNOW… SAMANTHA JO ALONSO
About the brand, FRUITION (via http://www.facebook.com/FruitionLasVegas): Open the doors of FRUITION and see a glimpse into the future, a vivid, palpable archive of history’s most innovative and distinct street fashions. Established in August 2005, by partners Chris Julian and Samantha Alonso, FRUITION set out to educate and uplift the street fashion community through their calculated offerings of vintage street styles for both men and women in an airy, yet playfully sophisticated environment. Constructed as an open and energetic palette, polished steel racks adorn smooth green walls and house garments like true pieces of modern day art. The intriguing dichotomy of vintage street for men and classic chic for women was developed with a sincere vision to promote originality, fuel creativity, and inspire a cultural revival within the street fashion community to reach higher levels of creative excellence. FRUITION and its distinct swagger is a physical manifestation of an educated and style driven lifestyle that has been meticulously crafted by a family of undeniably talented individuals whose strengths lie in a plethora of creative fields from music, to costuming and styling development, graphic and textile design, conceptual marketing strategy, as well as business structuring and cultivation.
To understand the mind set and execution of the styles being offered in the space, it takes a true knowledge and deep understanding of what street wear is and the colorful history behind its formulation to respect where it’s going. Our objective is to constantly educate our customers through knowledgeable and accurate customer service, detailed product photos and an innovative and concise website resource (www.fruitionlv.com), so that in turn we can push the creative envelope within the street fashion community further and further with each and every project we decide to pursue. FRUITION prides itself on carrying the most exclusive street wear product in the world from vibrant deadstock 80’s-90’s Nike / Jordan Flight apparel and sneakers, to candy striped Benetton and PoLo Alpine rugby’s, rare Afro-centric graphic prints trumpeting uplifting messages, sealed LL Cool J Troop jump suits, solid and abstract printed leggings, ornate floral sundresses, Designer scarves and accessories, chunky gold trunk jewelry, to even vintage multicolored shoe laces, it is safe to assume that there is no other vintage street wear boutique quite like this one in the world. With the strategic interpolation of contemporary street wear brands such as Skoold In Korectness (Siknuss) and the FRUITION private label, customers are creating innovative looks that are an amalgamation of true street fashion swagger with high fashion sensibilities.
Not only are the products ready to wear but they are also inspirational building blocks for a plethora of up and coming street wear and couture fashion designers that frequent the shop. Taking inspiration and creating your own special interpretation of things is encourage