FAMU’s self-made fashion designer strikes again

Alyssa Jones featuring one of her designs.
Photo by Tracey Belizaire

A minor mishap drove Alyssa Jones to her greatest passion, fashion design.

The fourth-year pre-occupational therapy student from Lauderdale Lakes, got her start at designing clothes after her experience with a high school prom nightmare.

“It was time for prom and my prom dress wasn’t ready until 10 p.m., and prom started at 7 p.m.,” Jones said. “After that, I just wanted to do stuff on my own so that would never happen again.”

After taking the initiative to create her clothes for her and her friends, Jones decided to take her expertise seriously. In 2018 she launched her clothing business, designsbyalyjay.

“I wanted to do something more professional,” said Jones.

Social media helped Jones’ business tremendously. She started off creating handcrafted customizable shirts for homecoming, which caught the eyes of potential buyers. In a year, Jones’ orders had doubled.

“The more people stuff I did, the more I was recognized,” said Jones. “The last homecoming I had eight orders, this year I had 16 or 17.”

Designsbyalyjay collection consists of custom dresses, tops, pants and sets that incorporate feathers, jewels and stones.

Senior pre-occupational therapy student Diana Taterbell is one of Jones’ faithful customers. With more than six outfits purchased from Jones, she appreciates her services.

“Every time I come, her work gets better and better. She makes sure you’re satisfied with your outfit,” said Taterbell.

While being a full-time business owner and a student may seem like a lot, Jones has discovered the balance between her academics and business. She even has a social life.

“To manage my social life and school life, I try to complete all my work in school,” said Jones.

Sophomore pre-physical therapy student Dorian Jackson worked alongside Jones in the FAMU fashion modeling troupe, Images and values Jones’ sense of determination and grit.

“She has such a positive attitude. She makes stuff happens,” said Jackson.

Jones is also a member of Big Sister Little Sister Mentoring Program and Student Government Association.

With Jones’ boss mentality she sees her business going far. Her goal is to start creating clothes for celebrities and adding everyday clothes with her logo to her collection.

Jones has several other businesses such as beatbyalyjay, creationsbyalyjay, and the Loves Jones Project. You can find her on Instagram @alyjay