Taking a cotton to it
Carmel resident Angelica Brown to start new clothing line
By Mark Ambrogi
Angelica Brown began to wonder why more clothes weren’t cotton soft.
“I used to do corporate training and when I came home I was tired of feeling like I wanted to change clothes,” the Carmel resident said. “I would come home and put on a cotton T-shirt to get comfortable. I thought why don’t we make more cotton clothes that we can wear all day that don’t look so sloppy. Cotton allows your skin to breathe.”
Brown’s sister-in-law, Irina Bliznichenko, has been designing clothes for years. So she passed the idea to Bliznichenko and together they decided to form AngeliCotton. The available designs are on the website, angelicotton.com. The launch of her company will be on Sept. 15.
“I knew to make it worth it, it had to be the best cotton that we could find,” Brown said.
The blouses are made of 100 percent organic Peruvian prima cotton.
“That means there are no pesticides when the cotton is made,” Brown said. “In Peru, they grow the cotton and can also make the clothes.”
By the second year, Brown said she hopes production will be moved to the United States.
“I think you can make it worth it if it’s efficient,” Brown said.
By the launch date, the online site will have blouses, skirts and dresses.
Bliznichenko, from the Ukraine, is married to Brown’s brother and they live in Mexico.
Brown, from Mexico, moved to Carmel with her husband Mark three years ago.
Brown and her sister-in-law do most everything through Skype.
“I’ve been there to see her twice to develop the plan in the last nine months,” Brown said.
Brown conducts the operations, finding the fabrics, suppliers and manufacturers.
“My background is in logistics so it becomes natural with me being on the phone with them, negotiating and so on,” Brown said.
The clothes will be available to purchase on the company website and Amazon. The website has previews of some of the clothes that will be available. Brown said potential customers can sign up on the site.
“We might look for distributors later but we want to start ourselves first,” Brown said.
“Right now we’re getting the word out through networking. We’re raising awareness right now. We are hoping to reach a niche who enjoy organic things.”
Brown pointed out before the 1900s, everything was made with natural products.
“When the economy went bad, that’s why they needed cheaper products like polyester and nylon,” Brown said. “At that time it made sense because they needed something cheaper. Right now, those synthetic products have become the norm.”
Brown and her sister-in-law are reviewing the samples to make any corrections.
“If we can grow, I would love to have the manufacturing done here and just buy the cotton wherever we find the best,” Brown said.
Brown said they are using their savings for the start-up and not acquiring a lot of debt.
“We’re starting small to reduce the risk,” Brown said.
Brown said her husband and friends have been supportive.
Brown and her husband, who grew up in Indiana, lived in Texas for three years before moving to Carmel.
“I love Indiana,” Brown said. “I think the people are awesome. They welcome me. Everywhere they are very friendly.”
Get to know Angelica Brown
Personal: Turns 45 on Nov. 1. Married for six years to Mark Brown. Became U.S. citizen in 2014. Has a cocker spaniel named Eliott.
Activities: President of Toastmasters and president of women’s club in Carmel United Methodist Church.
Education: Worked for Delphi Electronics in Mexico for 15 years. Worked for her husband’s New Roads Leadership corporate training.
Favorite restaurant: Traders Point Creamery’s The Loft Restaurant in Zionsville.
Favorite vacation: Caribbean, cruises.
Favorite way to relax: “Visit museums, mostly art. The Indiana Museum of Art, I can be there all day. I love it so much.”
Favorite TV show: “Shark Tank” and “The Voice.”
Favorite musicians: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the Beatles.