Carla and Monica DeBro

Carla DeBro, Rain Flying Dress CEO; The Ideal Entrepreneur Fall 2023 Exclusie Interview

1. Can you tell us the inspiration behind Rain Flying Dress? What led you to start this unique business venture?

It all began with a dream my sister, Monica DeBro, had. She wanted to travel to Greece and take pictures in a flying dress, inspired by photos she saw in her travel group. Our trip to Greece wasn't just a vacation, it was a celebration. My sister turned 50, and given her past struggles as a domestic violence survivor, reaching this milestone was deeply meaningful. We were so grateful to be celebrating her life, especially after all she'd been through.

In Greece, our photoshoot with the flying dress wasn't just beautiful, it was life-changing. The experience was so profound that we left Greece wondering, "How can we let other women feel this power and beauty, too?"

While not everyone can jet off to Greece, we felt that the experience of wearing a flying dress shouldn't be limited by location. So, we started by renting out the dresses. The response was overwhelming. We quickly realized that just renting wasn't enough to meet the demand or reach women everywhere.

After spending a year researching the market, we took the leap and we are now transitioning to not only renting the dresses but selling them. This wasn't just about dresses. It was about letting women everywhere feel powerful, radiant, luxurious, and celebrated, just like we did in Greece.

2. "Rain Flying Dress" has a captivating and whimsical name. What's the story behind your company's name, and how does it resonate with your brand's identity?

Finding the right name for our company was a deeply emotional journey. My sister and I spent many hours discussing options, seeking a name that would truly represent what we wanted our brand to stand for.

One day, I felt drawn to a Bible my late mother had left me. Within it, I found a church program with her handwritten notes. She had made a note about a song titled "Let It Rain," emphasizing a verse and indicating it should be read aloud three times. As I followed her guidance and read the words, God spoke to me, making it clear that our company's name was meant to be "RAIN."

With this divine insight, I shared the revelation with my sister, and we embraced "RAIN Flying Dress" as our brand name. For us, "RAIN" is more than just a word; it embodies the essence of abundance, reinforcing our desire for every woman to feel valued, celebrated, and alive in her own unique way.

3. Your business offers a truly unique experience. How do you see Rain Flying Dress contributing to the fashion and modeling industry?

RAIN Flying Dress is not just a fashion statement; it's a movement of self-celebration. What we offer is more than just an outfit – it's an experience. By intertwining glamour and flare, even the most straightforward fabrics under our brand evoke a sense of awe, making women feel not just glamorous, but empowered.

One of the standout features of RAIN is its universality. In an industry often criticized for its narrow standards of beauty, the free-flowing style of our dresses breaks the mold. Women of all shapes and sizes can don the RAIN Flying Dress and embrace their unique beauty. It's a testament to the idea that fashion should be inclusive and celebratory, not restrictive.

Furthermore, the industry is ever-evolving, and as we see it, RAIN can set new trends. By highlighting the beauty in movement and the dynamics of fabric, we're pushing boundaries and inviting designers and models to think beyond the conventional. Our vision is to inspire a shift towards more adaptive, dynamic, and experiential fashion in the industry.

In essence, RAIN is not just contributing to the fashion world – it's redefining parts of it. By placing the emphasis on experience, emotion, and inclusivity, we hope to inspire a more diverse
and celebratory approach to fashion and modeling.

4. Entrepreneurship is often filled with challenges and learning experiences. Can you share a significant hurdle you've overcome in building your business and the lessons you've gained?

One of our most formidable challenges in establishing RAIN Flying Dress was finding the right manufacturer. It wasn't just about someone who could produce the dress, but someone who understood and valued our vision for the brand. We wanted a partner who would actively engage with us, providing suggestions to enhance the design and overall experience of our dresses.

Diving into this process, we encountered a steep learning curve. We grappled with understanding the intricacies of tech packs — both in terms of creating them and interpreting them. We had to discern which materials would translate into the awe-inspiring experience we envisioned for our customers. Every step was a lesson in patience, perseverance, and precision.

Our journey also underscored the importance of nurturing business relationships. Every venture is bound to face challenges, but it's our response to these challenges that truly matters. By addressing issues proactively and collaboratively, we aimed to foster trust and a long-lasting relationship with our manufacturer.

In essence, entrepreneurship has taught us the significance of collaboration, resilience, and the continuous pursuit of knowledge. And while challenges are inevitable, it's our approach to them that defines our journey and shapes our business.

5. Sustainability and ethical business practices are becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. How does Rain Flying Dress align with these values, and why is it crucial for your brand?

Sustainability and ethical business practices aren't just trends to us; they're deeply rooted in the core values of RAIN Flying Dress. In an industry that's increasingly focused on sustainability, it's essential for our brand to exemplify these values genuinely.

Feedback is invaluable, whether it's praise or constructive criticism. We see every piece of feedback as an opportunity to refine our offerings and further commit to ethical practices. Every voice connected to RAIN, be it a customer, stakeholder, or collaborator, is crucial in this journey. Treating everyone with dignity and respect isn't just about maintaining our reputation—it's about aligning with our values.

We aim to maintain high standards in all aspects of our business. As RAIN grows, we want to be recognized not only for our stunning dresses but also for our steadfast dedication to a more
ethical and sustainable fashion industry.

6. In the modeling world, appearance and style are paramount. How do you see Rain Flying Dress empowering models to express themselves and push the boundaries of creativity?

In the fashion industry, where appearance and style are often meticulously crafted, RAIN Flying Dress emerges as a symbol of authentic self-expression. Traditional modeling can sometimes
confine individuals to set patterns and styles, but the flowing and airy nature of a flying dress grants models a unique avenue to showcase their authenticity.

Every RAIN dress is more than just an attire. It's an embodiment of movement, spontaneity, and individuality. The dynamic nature of the flying dress allows models to step out of traditional static poses and embrace a more fluid, expressive form of modeling, resonating with their personal stories, moods, or creative insights.

Moreover, the inclusive design of RAIN ensures that models of diverse shapes, sizes, and backgrounds can confidently represent and celebrate their unique beauty. This stance not only challenges prevailing standards in modeling but also highlights a broader spectrum of beauty.

In essence, RAIN Flying Dress doesn't just follow fashion trends—it sets them. It encourages models to explore the boundaries of creativity, honor their individuality, and redefine contemporary fashion narratives.

7. The Ideal Model Magazine celebrates authenticity. How do you think authenticity plays a role in your business, and what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to stay true to their vision?

Authenticity is the backbone of any successful venture. Life has continuously underscored the importance of staying true to oneself. Deviating from one's true self or altering one's vision to appease others can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction, overwhelm, and emotional exhaustion.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, my advice is twofold:

Chart Your Course with Clarity: Begin by setting a clear vision. From there, outline the goals that will bring that vision to fruition. Break down these goals into actionable steps. This structured approach ensures you remain aligned with your vision and can measure your progress effectively.
Practice Self-Compassion: Entrepreneurship comes with highs and lows. There will be days of overwhelm and moments where progress feels slow. In such times, it's crucial to reflect on your achievements, no matter how small. Celebrate them, acknowledge your journey, and extend grace to yourself.

Staying grounded and true to oneself, coupled with humility, is the key. It's not just about achieving success but relishing the journey and genuinely enjoying the life you're building.

8. As a successful entrepreneur, you've had to balance various aspects of your life. How do you manage work-life balance, and do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs striving to find equilibrium?

Entrepreneurship requires passion, dedication, and a strong sense of balance.Indeed, there are days I immerse myself in work for extended hours, while on others, I allow myself a breather by midday. The key is to find acceptance in both extremes.

When you're in the early stages of a business and working within a budget, sacrifices often come into play. It could mean declining social outings or even postponing family trips. However, these decisions build discipline and can help refocus on what genuinely brings happiness. You start to realize that joy isn't exclusively found in lavish dinners or extravagant vacations. Instead, it might be a tranquil walk on the beach or a simple picnic in the park.

Embracing these moments of simplicity teaches you that fulfillment doesn't always come with a hefty price tag. My advice to fellow entrepreneurs is twofold:

Prioritize and Reflect: Do the work but also ensure you take breaks. Understand and respect your limits.
Effective Time Management: Organizing your time can be a game-changer. It helps in optimizing productivity while ensuring you carve out moments for relaxation and self-reflection.

Above all, remember that the journey of entrepreneurship is as much about finding professional success as it is about discovering personal contentment.

9. The Ideal Model Magazine readers are eager to learn from your experiences. What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs considering entering the fashion or rental industry?

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs in the Fashion or Rental Industry:

Research is Key: Before making any move, immerse yourself in thorough research. Understand the nuances of the industry, its opportunities, and its challenges.
Legal Foundations: Some aspects of setting up your business can be self-managed, but legal matters often require expert intervention. Familiarize yourself with the regulations and laws of your state, and don't hesitate to seek legal advice when necessary.
Seek Mentorship and Coaching: Having a mentor or coach can be invaluable. They provide insights, guidance, and a fresh perspective. However, it's crucial to remember that not every coach will suit your needs throughout your entire journey. As you evolve,
your needs might shift, and it's okay to seek different experts to fit those changing needs.
Continuous Learning: The entrepreneurial journey is a continuous learning process. As you gain mastery over one area, you'll find another area where you might need more knowledge. Embrace this cycle of learning; it's part of growth.
Invest in Yourself: Don't shy away from investing in your personal and professional development. Whether it's courses, workshops, or other resources, ensure you're always equipped with the knowledge and skills you need.

Remember, success in entrepreneurship is as much about understanding your industry and business as it is about personal growth and adaptability.

10. Lastly, what exciting developments can we expect from Rain Flying Dress in the future? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you'd like to share with our readers?

As we approach our fall launch, the excitement at RAIN Flying Dress is increasing! We've thoughtfully designed a collection that shines brilliantly with its colors, while also encapsulating a deep and meaningful message.

Drawing from our personal journeys, we're proud to unveil our "Survivor Collection." This line holds a special place in our hearts. As a breast cancer survivor myself, and with my sister having triumphed over domestic violence, we intimately understand the resilience and strength these battles demand. October celebrates survivors of both these causes, making our launch even more timely and significant. We eagerly await the feedback from our clients. It's more than just a collection for us. It's a tribute to every survivor out there.

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