Boss Lady is a series by Social Stylate that shares personal insights from creative women in business. Recently we talked to the amazingly talented Milicent Armstrong, the woman behind Artemis Design Co. If you haven’t done so already, then you must check out her handbags, shoes, and other accessories made out of beautiful textiles from around the world!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up painting, drawing, sewing and creating everything I could. My senior project in high school was self-designed and I created a collection of womenswear. That was my first step into fashion, and I loved every minute of it. I went on to study Art History and French at Rollins College. During this time I worked at several museums and art galleries in Winter Park and Paris. These experiences really served as a great education in art and design. My working life took me to NYC where I worked at an art gallery and Le Labo…an incredible perfumery where I was again encouraged to nurture my creativity. I moved back to my hometown of Boston and I am currently attending the Boston Architectural College working towards a Masters of Interior Design.
Share with our readers how Artemis Design Co. got started.
I travelled to Istanbul on a jewelry buying trip for my mother’s store – Galatea Fine Jewelry in Milton – and became enamored with the beautiful textiles that overflow out of every Bazaar. This led me investigate textile traditions and accessory design, and though not knowing it at the time Artemis Design Co. was born out of that experience. When I finally got started I didn’t have a business plan, or any plan really, I just started creating and selling designs and textiles that I loved myself.
What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Painting/drawing/collaging is where I always find the best new ideas and feel my most creative. For inspiration I love to discover new artists and designers whose style appeals to me, and flipping through books of some of my favorite old artists is always helpful.
What is your most successful form of marketing? Has it always been?
My friends! Other than them, the boutiques that I sell my collection to, Instagram, Facebook and email blasts.
What advice do you have for those looking to be their own boss?
If you know what you would ultimately like to do/be, you should just start, and work everyday at getting there. Don’t lose focus on your goals. Reach out to people you admire and ask them lots of questions.
Just for fun…
If you could have a dinner party with 5 people, living or dead, who would you invite?
My two grandparents who passed away before I was born (but I would like to meet them when they were 27), Jesus, Buddha, and Robin Williams.
Favorite place to travel and why?
Southeast Asia – the weather, people, and the food is incredible. I also love Paris for the culture, food, art….and fashion!
All time favorite book?
The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk