INA, IL (Feb. 28, 2022) -- LaMiranda "Randi" Gordon, chief executive officer and head designer of Ilenana Symone Co, described the entrepreneurial go-getter mentality needed to follow her passions during a special event Monday in the Rend Lake College Student Center Private Dining Area.
Gordon said she always had a sense of style and a love for camouflage, blue jeans and anything that stood out. She would often create some of her own clothes and handbags.
"I never knew I was going to go into fashion design, but I always knew I wanted to do something in graphic design," Gordon said.
Randi Gordon talks about this Michael Jackson-inspired camouflage jacket during her lecture at Rend Lake College. She is also wearing one of her designs, a sweatshirt with the quote from the famous Maya Angelou poem "Still I Rise." (Click image for printable photo)
After she married and had her three children, Gordon recalled talking to her mother about wanting to get back into doing something for her, and it was her mom's encouragement to get back into sewing that started the beginning of her business. After creating a couple of pieces for friends, Gordon put on her first fashion show in 2017 and then started a business with her husband in 2019.
Gordon is a local fashion designer based in Mt. Vernon. According to her company website, Ileana Symone focuses on durable, well-crafted and comfortable pieces that help others express their individual personality. She said at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, her business was preparing for prom, and she decided to switch gears and make face masks to give away. A partnership with Walmart, which gave 50 yards of fabric and a sewing machine, led to the business to make 2,500 masks for the community.
Gordon said stepping up and assisting the area during a time of need has helped get the Ileana Symone Co. name out in front of the public. She says her favorite part is seeing her client's reaction in the mirror when they try on her design for the first time.
"I love it and I am so grateful," she said. "And because of that I never feel like I'm working a day in my life."
For more information about Gordon and Ileana Symone, visit www.ileanasymoneco.com.
Randi Gordon, shows her first skirt that she created when she stepped back into fashion design. (Click image for printable photo)
Above: Randi Gordon shows some of the custom children's pieces that she has created, which are some of her favorite designs to make. She said the turnaround time for her garments depends on the request with some more elaborate garments taking up to 8 hours to complete. (Click images for printable photo)
Below: A crowd gathers to listen to Randi Gordon discuss her business Ileana Symone Co and how she built her fashion business.