TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.

I owned a mini factory in Colombia, where I was born. About 15 years ago there was a downturn in the economy there, so I decided to sell my sewing machines, fabrics, etc. and I closed my business. After closing my business, I moved to New York. After my daughter was born, I started designing toddler girl's clothing. I did this for 2 years, when I started making mother and daughter look a like outfits. I noticed that the women's designs were selling more, so I decided to focus on designing womens clothing. I started Sandra Baquero Collection in 2007. I design, drape, make my own patterns and sew all my samples. My husband handles the branding, marketing, photography. I would like to open my own store in the next 5 years.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE, SHOP, OR STUDIO.

My home/studio is located in NJ. I have all my sewing machines, fabrics, mannequins and pattern/cutting table in my basement. I usually buy a roll or 2 of each fabric, depending on the uniqueness of the fabric. My husband uses the first floor of the house to do the photo shoots.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Alexander McQueen is my biggest inspiration. My inspiration is based on natural beauty, various cultures, colors and patterns. . .and overall, the needs of a woman. I choose fabrics that inspire me, then I start draping on the mannequin. I use fabrics that are comfortable. I like my creations to be multi-functional.

WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS STAND OUT?

As a fashion designer, I feel that I stand out because I am able to create cohesive collections, season after season, and most importantly, I because I incorporate versatile, multi-functional pieces into every collection.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE AN ASPIRING CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR?

Decide what you want to create and always try to improve your craft. Always keep trying and improving yourself as a designer and creative person.

WHAT DOES AMERICAN MADE MEAN TO YOU?

American Made means to me that something is created and made in America. Made in America helps to support local businesses also. If I am preparing for a big show or if I have a big order, I can hire local seamstresses to help me. When I am doing a photo shoot, I can hire a make up artist, hairstylist and a model to do the photo shoot. If I am doing an event, fundraiser or fashion show, I can help to generate business for the local community. When I participate in a pop up store, this jobs for the sales people. Everything that I have mentioned is on a small scale, but if I were to grow bigger I would still like to grow my reach of local business support.