December 8, 2016

Discovering her passion for fashion

Avery Ross went to college to pursue a degree in broadcast journalism. She graduated a fashion entrepreneur, starting her own online fashion company called Bed of Eden.

Ross graduated from Webster University in May 2015. She transferred from Mizzou.

Ross found her passion for style when she was in high school.

“I was scouted to start modeling when I was 15 by two scouts here in St. Louis, and signed with Ford Models up in Chicago when I was 16,” Ross said.

Her junior and senior year of high school consisted of traveling between St. Louis and Chicago. She later commuted to college in Columbia, Mo. to study broadcast journalism. After taking a year off, she found her way to Webster.

“I left Mizzou and took a year off to work and take time to find out what I really wanted to do and pursue in my life,” Ross said. “I then started back up at Webster and really liked the smaller, more focused class and felt it was a better fit for me.”

At Webster, she continued her journalism degree even though her love for fashion had followed her wherever she went. Professor Larry Baden had Ross as a student in his Fundamentals of Reporting class and said he knew she had potential.

Webster graduate Avery Ross models the clothes, handbags and other accessories for her fashion website, Bed of Eden. Above is a screenshot of the site. AVERY ROSS/Contributed Photo

Webster graduate Avery Ross models the clothes, handbags and other accessories for her fashion website, Bed of Eden. Above is a screenshot of the site. AVERY ROSS/Contributed Photoshe had potential.

“She had a lot of natural skill,” Baden said. “I would say she was the best natural writer in that class. She’s also extremely creative, and so I felt that she had the potential to do very well.”

Baden said he and Ross had talked during her time as a student and both decided she was not very passionate about the stories she was working on. Ross said she realized that she needed to follow her dreams and do what she really wanted to do.

She said people need to have careers they are passionate about. One of the best parts of life, Ross said, is the ability to change one’s pathway. She does not consider it time wasted when students want to change their major.

“I think life is way, way, way too important to not have a passion and an interest in something that you want to wake up every day and you’re super inspired,” Ross said.

Ross wakes up like that every day with her career. Bed of Eden is an online fashion store where she sells clothing, jewelry, handbags and other accessories for women. She launched Bed of Eden on June 26, 2015, just a month after her graduation. However, running a business has not always been easy-going. Ross said she has learned to be self-motivated and flexible.

“At first I thought I needed to control everything, but I really learned to let Bed of Eden grow and change how it’s meant to and now I just work really hard and roll with it,” Ross said.

An average day for Ross is a busy one, but she looks forward to it. She said each day is different in regards to a schedule, but they all start out with checking email and looking at shipments.

After that, she updates the Bed of Eden website, Facebook and Instagram. Much of her time is spent buying products and thinking a couple seasons ahead. While most customers are thinking of sweaters and coats this time of year, Ross is already looking at spring and summer.

Not only does Ross own and run the entirety of the business, her modeling background catches up with her when it is time for photo shoots. She models all of the clothes herself, with a little help from her friends. They offer their time to help model, as well as take photos. Ross then edits them.

“I do everything on my own, which is great, but I am also responsible for keeping myself in a focused and positive frame of mind,” Ross said. “I don’t have a boss or coworkers to tell me what to do, it’s all on me. The passion and exciting future I envision for Bed of Eden is what keeps me inspired and loving what I do.”

The image Ross hopes to achieve is for women who are busy, but also social.

“They can use the clothing, maybe dress it up for work, but then can wear it out and go get drinks with their friends later,” Ross said. “[It is] super versatile.”

In the coming months, Ross hopes to have more inventory and customers, and even go international with the company. As for long-term plans, she said she wants to see her business grow, open stores, produce catalogues and have runway shows.

Baden said this did not surprise him. What did, however, is how quickly she dove into her entrepreneurship.

“Most people put their toe in first,” Baden said. “She jumped into it head first and it takes a lot of courage to do that because she’s putting everything into that. Obviously, I hope that she’s really successful with it.”

Ross markets herself by using social media and keeps a hoard of business cards in her purse at all times. At a grocery store, she ran into a mother and daughter, told them about the website and they were shopping on it later that day.

“Marketing really knows no bounds, obviously, and isn’t a nine to five opportunity,” Ross said. “Having a wide range of products gives me the opportunity to target many demographics.”

To visit the Bed of Eden site, click here.

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