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Andrea Russel
A's Aprons LLC

A's Aprons LLC, Andrea Russell

Title / Role: CEO
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
www.asaprons.com
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What do you do?

It's all in the name A's Aprons. I offer fashionable aprons made of Kente cotton or denim material. Most aprons come with a two or three-pocket option. My aprons are revolutionary. The aprons are reversible and have eight pockets. They truly are a helping hand and keep you looking 'in style'. The aprons come in five different sizes. There are about 119 manufacturers in the United States and none have an eight-pocket option with 100% Kente cloth. Aprons are generational household items that help create fond memories with the people closest to you like friends and family. When I reflect on what it means to me to contribute to my community and culture, I think of the happy nostalgic memories that are created in my aprons. I'm bringing aprons back!

Mixing
What inspired you to start your business?

A's Aprons was an idea that was brought to me in my dream a couple of weeks after I took a sewing class in 2018 at Temple University for Pan-African American studies.  After waking from the dream, I have had a strong passion for creating bright, bold, and unique aprons. My first apron was created on my dining room table. A's Aprons are 100% Kente cloth or denim. They are reversible and offer plenty of pockets, eight to be exact! Each side has pockets to hold items, one deep pocket, and another to hold a sponge or paintbrush. They say the best things in life come in threes. I was fortunate to have three sewers come to me on this journey to teach me how to combine patterns, perfect my skills, and help me be consistent with each apron. Aprons go as far back as the 14th century. So many people from different walks of life can enjoy wearing my aprons. Whether you are a grandmother, mom or auntie, or even a chef or hairstylist you will find value in having A's Aprons. I always include my signature A which stands for Andrea which is my first name. Andrea means strong and brave. My aprons are strong and protect clothes from being ruined while keeping what’s important to you clean while completing tasks.

Andrea Russel

My oldest brother of nine, Butchie, came in when I was finishing my very first apron. His very first comment was that I should sell it because it looked so good. Because I respect his opinion, I went for it! Butchie is a professional shopper of everything. He had always shopped for quality and stylish things so I knew that once I heard his approval there was no reason I wouldn't be successful in my efforts to start my business of selling the aprons.

What's special about your business?

I make one-of-a-kind, reversible aprons with eight pockets. It is not your grandmama's apron.

What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

I sought help from SCORE because I am an older woman and was just getting started in business. I needed guidance and I knew SCORE was one of the best resources to lean on in my journey.

How SCORE helped.

Being a part of the SCORE network has been an amazing experience. I appreciate being able to have a seat at the table. I have been able to meet other entrepreneurs and have been able to have quality networking experiences. SCORE connected me with an amazing mentor who is well-qualified to assist me with making my business a success. All the guidance provided was effective in my journey. I've had wonderful results. I attended the Business Expo that was held in 2022 and sat in with SCORE.

As a result of my work with SCORE, I was able to build my confidence to pitch my business to stores to sell my aprons. Because of this, I am now in three stores! Because of SCORE I took my business on the road and attended many vending events to put my brand out there.

A's Apron Booth
What's great about my mentor?

Fatima is smart, encouraging, and really motivated me on this journey. Fatima is a successful black woman and knows how to inspire others.  She has inspired me to continue pushing forward. She is resourceful and has opened my eyes to so many things I wouldn't have found without her guidance and expertise. Just like my aprons, she is one of a kind.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

If the passion is strong and the desire is there then "do it!". Have faith in knowing that there will be someone there to help and guide you through the process.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

If I provided advice to someone who is thinking about working with SCORE I would say, "Just do it!", especially if you're a new entrepreneur and looking for guidance. SCORE is the best place to start.

A's Apron
My mentors
Headshot of Fatima Fisher
Fatima Fisher

The real question is where do you want to go! I have owned, operated, or been employed by a small...

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712 H St NE PMB 98848
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Washington, DC 20002
(215) 231-9880

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