This week we’re popping in the closet of a woman who designs things. Jena Russo is the owner of Imbue, a local business that makes custom-designed dresses and jewelry. Her focus is on brides but she all welcomes women who want to add a little color and fun to their life. Also everything she makes is 100% vegan. Oddly enough, she’s said, there’s a strong vegan Instagram following that has brought new followers to her business. She herself is a committed vegan and loves that her business fits right in with her morals.
Jena studied fashion design at the University of Cincinnati’s school of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. She started her business in 2013 as a place where brides could get unique and locally-made dresses. All of her dresses are not the typical white. The idea to name her business Imbue came from that idea.
“I was looking for a single word to sort of incapsulate what I was trying to do,” she said. “I wanted to inject a little more color and personality into the whole world of bridal wear. So the meaning of the word is to enliven, so I thought it seemed to fit.”
One of the dresses she made, in fact, is her own wedding dress. Here are a few shots of her modeling it for me:
Jena didn’t decide on dresses, however, until her last semester of college. It was at this time that she decided she wanted to put together a show for her final thesis project. The over-the-top fashion for the every-day person is bridal wear, so she decided that is where she wanted to focus. So for her project she made a collection of colorful bridal wear.
Over the course of the last two years, she fully designed 12-14 dresses. She also designs jewelry and hair pieces for brides. The accessories can be purchased on her website and the dresses are custom-made. So if you’re a bride who wants a unique dress, you can work with her to design the entire thing, start to finish. It’s the best way to ensure that no one else will have your dress!
She likes to think of her jewelry as “for the big day and everyday.” She thinks it’s neat that people can wear something that celebrates love as part of their everyday wear. Here are a few of her jewelry pieces:
Jena, like me, described herself as a dress nerd. So we had a little shoot in some of her other favorite dresses. It was neat for me to see how she weaved her accessories into her dresses.
This is what she calls her “power suit” of her dresses. It’s super comfy, she says.
I urge you to go look at Imbue’s website. She also writes a blog all about fashion and her business on this site. It’s definitely worth checking out! Thanks Jena!