"If anything, plan ahead, always plan ahead, and always try to be one step ahead. Never get behind, because once you’re behind you're stuck there," says 21-year-old Ali Methvin, designer and founder of Meowzing: a small lingerie shop based in L.A.
Methvin seems to have always been one step ahead of the game. Having graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising at the age of 19, Methvin continues to exceed expectations.
After graduating from FIDM in 2014 with a degree in business, Methvin was thrown into the reality of job searching. Like a lot of college graduates, she found it difficult, saying that employers would turn her down for being "over-educated" or "under-experienced."
Out of the boredom from her early post-graduate life, Meowzing was born in March 2015. "I initially wanted to name it 'just a lil stitious' like superstitious," Methvin explains, "I've always gone by AliMae so my IG name was always 'alimaezing,' then I deleted it for a while and came back as 'alimeowzing' because I'm a cat lady."
Methvin had actually "ditched" her sewing classes a long time ago, as she says, and only had experience when she was younger with her mom. She remembers picking out homemade Halloween costumes and designing dresses for dances, but she herself had never taken up sewing. Having taken a pattern making class while at FIDM, she felt comfortable reteaching herself how to sew.
Originally a smaller store offering a variety of "strappy bralettes" in different lace colors, Meowzing has now evolved into a full-blown lingerie hot spot. Because Methvin takes the time to read her customer feedback, she continues to evolve her products according to the corrections and suggestions she receives, and in turn, retains loyal customers. "I get about between 30 and 40 orders a week. I know my monthly average is like 167, and [for] every order, my average is like two and a half items," she explains.
Today, Meowzing is a lingerie website that appeals to multiple audiences of women, and strives to help women feel confident in their own skin. According to her website, "Meowzing was created to provide ladies with an unconventional product that allows her to feel confident in her body without feeling the need to be provocative."
The products do just so by coming in different styles from girly and lacy, to edgy and minimalistic. Her current best-sellers include the Mariel, the Sophie Cheeky Panty, The Minimal Crossover, as well as her most recent bodysuits. Each one of her products is made from high-quality fabric, which Methvin chooses herself, and is made carefully by either her, or her small staff of four. In the past, Methvin named her products after her buyers, a decision she unintentionally made at the beginning of her success. "My friends were just sending me pictures and said they wanted [lingerie.] So that’s how I would come up with that design, and then I would just name it after them," she says.
As of recent, she has taken to designing a new type of lingerie. After realizing that her product only appealed to one type of audience —girly—she decided to design a product that gave an edgier feel: The Minimalistic Collection. Methvin explains that the inspiration behind her new collection came from her own realization that she, herself, would never wear her own designs because they weren't her taste. She states, "I realized, just because I think what I make is cute and that girls will buy it, there is a whole other audience of girls like me, who might like to look at that stuff, but never really wear it."
The new collection features similar patterns as the original lingerie, but in simple colors and cotton fabric. So far, the collection has been accepted with open arms by both her new and old buyers. In fact, all of her products have been so popular that Methvin is faced with a long wait time. "Girls will comment on Instagram and be super mean to me, and act like I'm just sitting around and making them wait for the fun of it. And I hate hate hate that the wait is so long," she says apologetically.
With a higher demand for her products as her designs and quality continue to rise to expectation, Methvin hopes to one day have a larger staff. Although she enjoys running her own company, and plans on keeping Meowzing small and personal, she hopes to one day partner with another apparel brand, targeting newer and edgier stores such as Free People or Urban Outfitters. "I think after being the boss of yourself, it's kind of hard to get yourself to go back and work for someone else," she concludes, "now I have my own thing, and all I ever wanted to do was work for somebody, but now I can’t imagine doing it any different."