Rymar, pictured July 10, 2014, in Philadelphia,
and sister Laura Rymar (not shown) own their own
fashion brand Ellelauri and a retail store in
Liberty Place, center city Philadelphia at 16th
and Chestnut Street.
Rymar, 32, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., is founder and
designer of the fashion brand ellelauri, whose
contemporary clothes have been worn by celebrities,
including Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian. The brand has
retail stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and is also
sold online and on Amazon. All clothing is manufactured
in New York’s garment district. Following is an
interview with the designer.
How did the idea for ellelauri originate?
After college, I worked for a swimwear designer in New
York in sales. I realized I had a passion for design and
took classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and
London College of Fashion. That’s where I came up with
ideas for my first line and a business plan in 2007.
I saved while I lived in New York and launched in 2009
with about $8,000 and worked from my apartment. We began
as wholesalers, designed our collections and sold them
to other stores and also at our website. Our first store
opened in Avalon, Pa., in April 2013.
Describe the brand.
We’re an affordable, luxury lifestyle brand for women
of all ages. When we started, we were geared to
professional women, 20s and 30s, but now have college
kids coming with moms and both buy stuff. We complement
our brand with designer denim and dresses from
California designers that pair with our line.
The biz model?
The success of the Avalon store enabled us to open in
(The Shops at Liberty Place, in N.J.). We manufacture
and design in New York. The Center City store, in
Philadelphia, opened last October as a pop-up but was so
successful we extended our lease. Most sales come from
our brand stores, website and also through Amazon.
How much do clothes cost and what’s popular?
A lot of our signature pieces, like silk blouses, pair
well with other clothes. Our price point ranges from $99
for a silk blouse to between $140 and $220 for dresses.
A popular piece now is a charmeuse jumpsuit for $130.
How do you manufacture clothes in New York and sell them
for an affordable price?
When I lived in New York, I made good contacts and have
been working with the same two factories since starting.
What’s been the biggest challenge growing the biz?
I wear many hats, and one is hiring. Sometimes it’s
hard to find the right fit.
How big a biz is this?
Right now, we have 11 employees, including two who are
seasonal. Our sales are up 30 percent this year over
We’re opening a design studio in Hatboro, Pa.. We’re
moving some of our production in New York there in
September. The studio’s in an old garage and we’ll
be able to use the front for sample sales. We want to
open more of our own brand stores.