From criminal justice graduate to custom apparel entrepreneur

Photo of Victoria Lee
courtesy: Lee


This recent graduate of Florida A&M University’s renowned criminal justice program is defeating the odds and making a significant impact in the world of fashion with her thriving custom apparel company. This is where justice meets passion.

Victoria Lee began her academic journey at FAMU with the aim of pursuing a career in criminal justice, following her passion for social justice and community engagement. Little did she know that her academic experience would eventually pave the way for an entirely different path.

Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, she always knew that once she got older, she would make a difference for those in the criminal justice system. She had a sincere passion to see a shift within her community.

Her desire to change the narrative for inmates increased when she experienced her first internship in Tallahassee. Lee landed the internship with the Federal Public Defender’s office.

“I got the internship with the Federal Public Defender’s office, where I worked in the Capital Habeas Unit. This is the unit with death row inmates.” Lee said.

Lee currently serves as the juvenile and capital investigator and clerk at a local law firm. She is able to work closely with the inmates and plays a major role when it comes to ensuring they are well treated and sentenced fairly.

During her journey she unlocked another level of purpose, the idea to launch a custom apparel line, and Estella’s Creations was born.

The idea came to her when she created a custom-made box of baby clothing. She designed a creative box for a family friend and posted it online. It wouldn’t be long before it became an internet sensation. This let her know she was on the right path, and she started to expand her inventory.

“We make everything ranging from T-shirts, pants, custom gift boxes, cups, and pretty much anything you can put on your body.” Lee said.

Lee said that being a business owner has not always been the easiest thing. She has faced milestones as well as challenges.

“When it comes to business, you have to have money to make money. You have to buy the products, and T-shirts are inexpensive, but the vinyl is high,” Lee said. “You lose more money buying the product.”

Lee encourages every entrepreneur to never give up on their dreams. Even when people say you won’t achieve it, keep going anyway. Keep going, because it doesn’t matter what people say. Just view it as a stepping stone and use it to climb to the top.

Lee has left a lasting impact on her mother and friend, Debra Lee and Patthia Tyus, who shared what they felt about Lee’s character.

“My opinion on Victoria is that she’s a leader and not a follower.” Lee said.

“Victoria has the best determination, and it is the key to her success.” Tyus said.