I loved the response from you guys relating the previous post about Inspiring women in my life. This time I would like to introduce Rickie Freeman in the series of Zuneras’ Inspiring women. Rickie Freeman is the CEO and designer of the label Teri Jon. She has been striving for the past thirty five years into providing women with the most astounding clothes and collection. I admire her not only for her creative work in the fashion industry but how she inspired women like me to make a statement through fashion.
Rickie Freeman as a young child was raised overseas and spent her after school hours watching her father, a tailor, fit and sew men’s suits. Intrigued by her father’s meticulous attention to detail, an inspired Rickie Freeman discovered in herself an insatiable curiosity for fashion design. She eventually went on to pursue her own fashion dreams–moving to New York at age 17 and attending New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, Rickie first worked at Evan Piconne from 1974-1976 and then was the lead designer for Elie Tahari from 1976 until 1978. It was just shortly after her time at Tahari when she founded Teri Jon, the now 35-year-old luxury Today, Rickie Freeman is not just a designer; like many of those wearing Teri Jon, she is a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. She is a motivated and a passionate professional. It is all of these roles combined that inspire Rickie to design her collection. Rickie’s vision is for every woman, regardless of her age, to be able to fit the Teri Jon collection and feel both comfortable and beautiful. “Every woman should have the opportunity to look great no matter what size or body shape she has.” With this at the forefront, Rickie personally tries on every style, ensuring it has a proper fit for all women.
When asked about her collection she replied, “Teri Jon is a women’s lifestyle brand. We make dresses, but we also try to make memories. I aspire to bring more joy to the world. By dressing women in beautiful clothes, I want to make them feel good about themselves and how they look. I also believe in offering kind words to someone who is down and generally trying to lift people up.” Outside of her showroom in NYC, her hobbies include cooking, gardening, yoga, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Rickie has a very humanitarian soul. She is very passionate about knowledge and education. “Had I not become a fashion designer, I think I would have gone into education. I dream of helping children born into unfortunate circumstances learn to advance in life. I believe the key to success is a good education, and that everyone needs someone to believe in him or her. It is also important to believe in yourself. Belief and hard work can propel you anywhere in life.”
Obviously, when talking to Rickie I had to ask about her definition of style, “Good style should make you feel like yourself. With so many trends in constant flux, it is exciting to evolve and change along with current fashion. However, I do have one style rule: think about yourself in a few months time looking back at pictures, you never want to regret a purchase!”, which is excellent way to put style in perspective.
“I love women for many different reasons. Powerful and smart female leaders motivate me to work harder. Soft-spoken women nurture my soul and remind me the importance of warmth and kindness. So many women inspire me. I admire Peggy Noonan for her proficiency, comprehension, eloquence, and passion for this country. I admire Diane von Furstenberg for her philanthropic generosity: Susan G. Komen, Women for Women International, and St. Jude’s to name a few of her organizations. I admire Anna Wintour because of her influence not only in fashion but also in politics and entertainment. I admire Miuccia Prada for carrying on her family’s legacy, supporting the arts, and developing international acclaim. Finally, I admire my daughters and my granddaughter; these women teach me and encourage me to grow every single day. And, of course, I could not succeed in this business without my customers. Thank you to all my loyal followers; I could not have made it so far without you”,wrapping it up with Ricki, her final words of inspiration really touched me.
I hope that this inspired you as much as it had an impact on me. Stay tuned on the blog to read more about my list of Zuneras’ inspiring women.