If you’ve ever had the wonderful opportunity to personally work with Ali Matthews, you’re well aware of the sparkle she leaves behind. Her passion for design, apparel, and sisterhood has truly changed the Greek apparel industry, along with the lives of young women across the nation. Forever.
She holds the ultimate girl guide to fashion, creativity, and all things magical. She is what 98.7% of you consider “goals”—with the remaining 1.3% being those who initially inspired her to chase her own. She has blisters on her feet from always going the extra mile- but continues to dance her way through life without skipping a beat. It’s about time she adopted a mermaid tail. She has this incredible gift of believing in you, and after just one encounter, you believe in yourself a little bit more too.
We’ve spent plenty of time getting to know our favorite mermaid, and we’d love to share her interview with you! Meet our President & Creative Director, Ali.
AA: What inspired you to start this company, Ali & Ariel?
Our clients are my inspiration. This is about you… it’s about sisterhood.
Once upon a time, this journey began for me as an active member of Kappa Alpha Theta at Arizona State University. Fashion and art are my lifelong loves. Being in a sorority became something I adored equally. When I realized sorority apparel was the answer, my worlds collided. I craved a retail fashion feel (along with a feminine touch) when it came to my own chapter’s clothing. I knew I couldn’t have been the only one.
Shortly after graduation in 2008, I created my first sorority brand concept with one of my Theta sisters. It was girly. Neon pink was on every piece of marketing. Fast forward to 8 years later in the Greek apparel industry, watching the trends evolve has been a dream turned reality. All of a sudden (or so it seemed), sororities started talking about their “brand identity” while planning designs. My heart jumped for joy. YES!!! It was happening. Fashion and Greek apparel joined forces.
Then, something bigger happened. Clients became friends, and I began to feel like their big sister. My passion also became my purpose. Fashion paired with empowerment?! That’s SO cool. While the fashion trends may change, the journey remains the same. We all have mountains to conquer and dreams to chase. When we make the choice to support each other as a sisterhood of women, this adventure called life radiates with beauty. We magnify each other’s strengths. We love ourselves for who we are. And, we become the women we want to be.
From this concept of creativity and bravery, Ariel was born. She’s magical. She came to life one day as I sang “Part of Your World” in my car by myself (true story). My mom almost named me Ariel… I’ve been a mermaid at heart since I was little. Ariel’s magic inspires that sense of childlike wonder within each of us, celebrating your authentic self. She makes some serious waves.
Ariel is both fearless and free. She’s anything you dream her to be. She’s you. She’s me.
(Yes that rhymes and I love it.)
AA: How do you measure success?
With authentic happiness, success follows. If you love what you do, you’re going to be successful. Success is not final… nurture it, as to keep it alive & growing.
AA: What is your best piece of advice for young women?
Let your intuition and your heart lead the way. Learn to listen, and your path will be crystal clear. Treat it like a superpower!