It’s been a heck of a year for Arlene Aranzamendez. Just since 2014, she opened a brick-and-mortar boutique, expanded her design business with internationally-known retailers, and is now re-locating the boutique from Madeira into a larger space on Hyde Park Square.
Although, Aranzamendez is no stranger to the fashion and design world. She began her career in 1995, working with Insignia Design Associates for five years and then worked for international design agency, LPK. In 2004, she started her business Aranzamendez Design, which specializes helping small businesses launch their brand.
In 2013, Aranzamendez launched a ADORN USA, a product line featuring high-end jewelry and bags, as well as handcrafted pieces from Aranzamendez’s personal line called “Konstantin” and a select group of designers. Then, in 2014, Atelier boutique was born.
“It was launched via our parent company ADORN USA. ADORN USA sells solely jewelry and handbags online; that being said, we didn’t want to confuse our customers by calling it ADORN USA,” explains Aranzamendez. “Atelier is technically Atelier by ADORN USA and carries much more, including clothing and hostess gifts.”
While she is continuing to do digital work part-time, she can add ‘jewelry and handbag designer’ to her repertoire. “It’s been such an exciting adventure for me to move from full-time marketing agency, website and digital entrepreneurial work to now focusing on building this new and different kind of business,” she explains, adding that she sees Atelier continuing to expand both online and in brick and mortar stores in select regions throughout the country in the next 5-10 years.
What makes Atelier different than other boutiques in Greater Cincinnati? “Atelier is about making a statement,” Aranzamendez says, explaining that she believes accessories should be treated as the “star” of the show. “The boutique is called Atelier, named after an old French term for a workshop or studio, especially of an artist, artisan or designer. It specializes in unique handmade jewelry and accessories such as handbags, clothing and gifts such as Vosges Haut Chocolat, Tokyo Milk and elizabethW.”
Another distinguishing factor from other boutiques in the area is that the clothing she curates for the shop is specifically selected to complement the jewelry line. “The jewelry is created to be more than just an accessory – each piece is designed to be a statement piece,” Aranzamendez says. “I’m also very selective about the materials we use; some pieces in the Konstantin line feature hardware in resin, while others feature eco-raw materials like beads and twine. I love the artisanal quality and I’m passionate about making each a true statement piece.”
Aranzamendez’s eye for style and unique designs are catching the attention of international retailers. In fact, Anthropologie, an international retailer of curated clothing, accessories, gifts and home décor with 185 stores throughout the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, currently offers custom pieces by Aranzamendez (online at Anthropologie.com). Additionally, The Autry National Center Museum, a renowned museum dedicated to the American West (located in Los Angeles) also carries the Konstantin line. Most recently, Aranzamendez and her team are in the process of establishing the line for retail distribution online at NastyGal.com. “We want to continue to see a growing online presence in the near future,”Aranzamendez explains.