“V.Mora always has the best interest of the client in mind.”Anna LivermoreFounder & CEO
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit.”
Growing up, Anna Livermore’s greatest inspiration was her grandmother. Seeing her start a business at the age of 67, while paralyzed, inspired Anna to strive for greatness and nurture her entrepreneurial spirit. From a young age, Anna has known that she would prefer being self-employed, and that her long-term goal would be to develop industry expertise and build a company around it.
Anna learned how to sew at age twenty-three, after graduating from college with a degree in fashion design. She started her own label, but soon after realized that she would need to temporarily work as a pattern and sample maker to support herself. Working for other designers allowed Anna to become increasingly resourceful: she was no longer just helping with pattern and sample making, but also developed expertise on everything from fabric sourcing and product development to branding and sales. Eventually, she realized that consulting was all she wanted to do and started V.Mora from her Chicago Apartment in 2008.
When business started growing, Anna realized she that she needed additional space and rented a studio that she and her interns worked out of. Yet within 6-months, they found themselves needing additional space once again. At that time, V.Mora was already sourcing all of its fabrics from the Garment District, and Anna hired someone in New York City to oversee the sourcing part of the business. It became clear shortly after that business was expanding extremely quickly in New York City: Anna started shuttling back and forth between both cities and ended up fully relocating to the Garment District in 2016.
“V.Mora always has the best interest of the client in mind.”
Since its inception, V.Mora’s mission has been to break the walls of the fashion industry down, to make it both easier to access and more transparent. Anna had a clear vision that V. Mora would be a one-stop shop for fashion businesses.
A strong believer that clients are more successful when they have a solid understanding of the road that lies ahead, Anna takes the time to coach and educate them on the industry. To set clients up for success, Anna breaks down the process into 3 steps: pre-production, production, and post-production. She initially works with clients as their business strategist and advisor, helping them understand what starting a clothing brand involves. Second, V.Mora’s production managers help designers work on the sample making and production process. Finally, stylists and creative directors work alongside clients to help them achieve their full creative vision, leading photoshoots and setting them up with branding and marketing strategies.
“We need to pivot as quickly as the industry.”
To succeed in the fashion industry, Anna strongly believes that adaptability is key. The industry is continuously changing at an exceptionally fast pace, and as a designer and business owner, the ability to pivot quickly while staying aligned with long-term goals is necessary. Anna’s ability to constantly reassess her situation and adapt to ever-evolving conditions has kept her business successful. When she moved V.Mora’s operations from Chicago to New York City, she was able to take back control of the exponential growth her business was seeing. She also demonstrated adaptability by opting to downsize a few years ago: she had staff in California, Chicago, New York City, and Italy, and found herself constantly firefighting, which of course impacted her growth. Downsizing allowed her to offer services of higher quality and resulted in stronger client relationships. Keeping things tight and small also significantly helped profitability.
“I’ve taken many leaps of faith throughout the years, and not having an ego has allowed me to be successful.”
Anna believes that her biggest accomplishment was taking the initial step of starting her business. The whole process felt like a series of smaller leaps, but in the end following her passion kept the company prosperous. Her familiarity with the challenges of owning a business has allowed her to see eye-to0eye with many of her visionary clients. V.Mora has demonstrated its ability to work with all types of clients, big or small, new or loyal; the company is also proud to have successfully worked with clients in prosperous and not-so-prosperous times. When COVID-19 hit, the biggest challenge was helping clients to pivot, and Anna and her team found ways to help them generate revenues while keeping everyone safe.
Anna feels very excited about the future and the new projects she has under way: to address client needs, V.Mora is expanding its post-production offerings. The company rented a new 12,000 square foot studio to provide content building, photoshoots, branding, and styling assistance to its clients. This will inevitably be more affordable for designers, as they can work on all post-production tasks in one space with the team they trust. Moreover, this trust is what allows them to focus on other important parts of their business, knowing that they are in good hands with the V. Mora team: they simply send over their clothes, and Anna’s team takes it from there.
Anna is also enthusiastic about the Garment District’s future. She is seeing a shift in the types of clients that Garment District manufacturers work with. Many factories are starting to take lower minimums and showing more openness to working with emerging brands. Historically, this has not always been the case, but the pandemic has made flexibility necessary. In fact, Anna believes that COVID hurt the larger brands more than the emerging ones that often had no retail operations and also carried much less inventory. She is hopeful that all designers – large and small – will recover as quickly as possible after a particularly challenging period, and looks forward to helping as many of them as possible with their growth initiatives.