We had the good fortune of connecting with Asmeret Tesfay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Asmeret, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
What helped me was that I finally put some steps in motion. It’s one thing to have a vision, but its nothing if you don’t do anything with it. The vision wouldn’t go away for more than fifteen years, so I finally moved forward. I don’t feel I have succeeded yet as there is more I wanted and want to do with ASEL BUT I will celebrate what I’ve created thus far. I also love when people can appreciate the products…the positive feedback is my success.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
ASEL is my vision work. I love a good statement on an outfit. I am drawn to statement accessories and that is how I dress as well. I love ties, I love hats, a good vintage blazer, a purse, a scarf and a good tee. I love an expression of a personality through a wardrobe piece. What makes ASEL unique is that each piece is thoughtful and one-of-a-kind.
Your vision is your design work before you touch it.
Launching ASEL wasn’t easy as I stopped myself many times throughout life to go through with it. I would sit on idea(s) and notice someone created something similar so I would retract. I felt like everything had to be in order and perfect before I launched when thats not realistic. I kept getting a sign to just do it and so I did with an online store in 2018. I expanded my brand from clothing accessories to tees with powerful statements in 2020. I haven’t nurtured ASEL as I hoped, but ASEL remains and I have visions to rebrand. It can be challenging when you are the sole person to fund it and operate it.
With an online business-consistency is needed. Consistency is needed in all things.
I love ASEL as you get some of me and my story in each product.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Throughout the week for food-I would take them to try Mimosas, Sushi at Stanley Marketplace, Nola Voodoo Tavern, Little India, Watercourse Foods, Denver Biscuit Co. and Mango House. During the days, we would check out the MCA, see an IMAX at Museum of Nature and Science, check out exhibits at Denver Art Museum and go on hiking trails. We would take walks in Rino and check out the murals. Of course we would stop by and see Historic Five Points. On Sunday, we would head to Jazz at the Park in City Park. For day bars and night lounges, when that time comes I would research where to go for a good happy hour and a spot with good tunes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate ASEL to my Mother…it stems from her deposits in me and my environment as a child. She is a professional seamstress. That’s all I knew for sure about my Mother…her hands are made of the purest gold. She did and still does it all. She has many gifts and uses them in a God-given way and for survival. She raised me as a single Mother in the Eastcoast by sewing full-time as well as her side-hustle. Also before coming to the States she was supporting herself working as a seamstress and leading sewing classes in her homeland. At this point, she was only in America for a couple of years; newly separated, English as her 4th language (she taught herself by watching T.V.), no financial or emotional support and she used her gifts to raise me. When you see me you see her. Her name is also apart of my brand ASEL. The first two letters are the beginning of my name and the latter is the first two letters of her name. My Mother provided in me what I become to naturally love…the eye for creating and the love of classic prints/design.
Joe Rogers & Jeneba Barrie