MARYVILLE (WATE) - For some people, the thought of working in an office in front of a computer eight hours a day is terrifying.
It's that way for Maryville's Alicia Marie Herzbrun. She figured out at an early age what she wanted to do. But to accomplish it, she had to enlist the help of a friend: her mom.
They are a mother and daughter team with dreams of reaching success in the world of fashion accessories. Jan Herzbrun handles the business side, while daughter Alicia Marie is the designer.
"'Be noticed in Alicia Marie.' We hope that's catchy enough for people to remember and it speaks for itself. Put some Alicia Marie on and be noticed," said Jan.
People are noticing. Alicia Marie has been named an emerging fashion designer by Miami International University of Art and Design where she graduated in 2009. She's been the reader's choice Best Designer in Blount County and debuted her line in 2011 at Knoxville Fashion Week. She's also had her jewelry shown on the runways of New York.
Alicia Marie specializes in custom jewelry. Each piece is handmade and original. She describes it as trendy with a southern touch.
"I don't ever really draw anything out. I just go and pick my stones and lay it out and look at it. If I don't like it, I change it," said Alicia Marie.
That simple philosophy has extended to handbags. Next month she'll take four designs to New York.
"It's very competitive and that's been the biggest hurdle to get over, especially living in East Tennessee, because it's not a big fashion market as far as making it to the next level," said Jan.
Alicia Marie loves her work and her dogs. An animal lover from an early age, she's designed dog collars and leashes then donated the sales to local shelters.
"I love animals and I don't want to see them not having a home or food or shelter to go to. At the pound, I want to make sure they have a warm place to stay and get adopted. I just love them," said Alicia Marie.
Jan Herzbrun says it's been interesting working with her daughter and learning the fashion business. However, she says she's ready to give up her duties.
"My hope for her is that she will be successful enough to get a brand developed and go with that where she wants to, and my goal is to phase myself out as business partner and be the mom again," Jan said.
Until then, Jan says she'll enjoy her time with her daughter and continue to work for the Alicia Marie brand.
If you'd like to find out more about Alicia Marie and her product line, click here. They're also offered in Maryville at Razzberries.
If you know of a product we should profile for our Made in Tennessee series, email Gene Patterson or send him a message on Facebook.