I met Nerea the second day of our tenure at Femme Fatale DC in September 2017. We began chatting and I quickly learned her personality and sense of humor are not for the faint of heart. She’s the type who keeps you on your toes with sarcasm, quick wit with a dash of honest humility. Nerea is a Fashion Entrepreneur on a mission to unleash your creativity, through the connection of art and fashion. She is the Founder and Owner of Aeren Waters, a fashion brand, serving up minimal and eye-catching vegan bags and wallets. Having devoted part-time energy to fashion design over several years while working as a full-time scientist, Nerea has catapulted her brand, Aeren Waters, from her basement to the runways of London. She has had her accessories stocked in boutiques from Baltimore to Brooklyn, been featured in fashion editorials, started her own youth fashion bootcamp, and was Resident Artist of Artists & Makers Studios in the DC metro area.
Join me as I chat with a new-ish friend I feel like I’ve known for a lifetime
1. What makes you smile?
2. Why do you do what you do the way you do?
Because I can’t help it.
I can recall, ever since I was young, of having strong inclinations to move forward with ideas, even if they didn’t seem like the right timing, or what others were doing or thought I should do. I didn’t realize that was my intuition. As I got older, though, I admit I drowned it out, looking to appease others or what I thought would appease others. But now, I’m gradually getting out of that habit. It’s never too late to pivot!
3. The best advice you’ve received and a follow-up in your own words.
Keep your head on a swivel! While I know this advice was a reminder to stay on alert to protect my physical safety, I think it’s also great words to remind yourself to protect your emotional and mental well-being.
4. You wake up surrounded by every material you need to construct your work. A big-name designer is asking for a mock-up. Describe what you create and why?
Pleats, on pleats, on pleats LOL. I adore texture, so I imagine creating a structured shoe with pleats. Probably a knee high boot! I’ve made my own pair of shoes before, and I love the tactile process of creating this accessory.
5. What’s something in your life you would swap out?
6. What’s your Power Word, i.e.: the word that makes you feel like you can accomplish anything?
Energy. I chose that word because sometimes I feel doubt or fear, for many reasons (such as learning or experiencing something new, feeling unprepared, the list can go on). But, in my experience, I’ve learned whether or not I know what to expect, there are SO many moving parts at play, and the only thing I can control is my energy and my attitude.
7. What are you working on that the world should know about?
Right now, there are SEVERAL things I’m working on to integrate my love of science and fashion, that I want to keep under wraps for now. But what I can say is that I’m taking the time to delve into ventures I haven’t had time to, such as improving my photography skills. Years ago, when I started my brand, Aeren Waters, I wore many “hats” and product photographer was one of those “hats” thrown on my head. It was something I never had a desire to do, but I ended up enjoying it.