AU & Co: Timeless Fashion With A Modern Twist
Photo: Ben Sauer
Alex has always been interested in art, despite her promising chances of playing soccer professionally. Halfway through her collegiate career playing soccer for Catawba College in North Carolina, she grew tired of the reoccurring injuries and no longer saw her future there. In addition to the mental and physical battle from soccer, Alex had yet to settle on a major. As she was pondering next steps for her life, she fell in love with the midwest while visiting her younger brother and boyfriend [now husband, Peter Uritis] at The University of Kansas. Kansas felt more like home to Alex – so she transferred schools in 2008 and was able to hone in on a major in Art History.
Alex completed her art history degree at KU and then moved to Orange County with her husband in 2010. She continued developing her craft through drawing, painting, and constructing custom, flower crowns. Her sketches eventually sparked the idea of starting her own clothing line.
Alex delicately piecing together one of her flower crowns
Mockup painting of an early AU & Co dress
Photos: Alex Uritis
“Physically drawing my ideas based the beginning of AU & Co,” Alex explained.
Alex and Peter decided to move to Denver, Colorado in 2013. Prior to the move, her grandmother consigned to Alex an old sewing machine she had lying around. Alex started messing around with stitching and alternative sewing techniques.
“I started making little outfits for myself and for my friends,” Alex shared.
The first two articles of clothing Alex made were referred to as “The Blue Outfit.”
“It’s a blue crop-top-and-skirt set that I still wear to this day,” Alex went on. “My friends are always wanting to borrow them.”
Out Of The Blue: One Of The Outfits That Started It All
Photo: AU & Co
Eventually, Alex’s clothing ideas went beyond her grandmother’s old sewing machine’s capabilities. Later that year, Alex received a new sewing machine as a Christmas present—allowing her to better herself as a seamstress.
“It was a battle attempting to fix that old thing all the time,” she laughed. “The new one made a huge difference.”
After another year of sewing and mastering her new machine, Alex and Pete moved back home to California in hopes of settling down and starting a small online store for the clothes. After constant moves throughout the college years, it was nice to reside somewhere more permanently. They fell in love with the Costa Mesa community and found their current bungalow on the Eastside.
“We felt at home, and motivated to follow our dreams. Being in Costa Mesa gave us the confidence to rock everything!”
Down To The Details: Even The AU & Co Logo Is Elegant And Aesthetic
Photo: Alex Uritis
They decided to take AU & Co to the next level by patenting a logo and sketching designs to do a locally-manufactured first run. Alex began tweaking samples and sourcing recycled fabric in Los Angeles – while Peter focused on the business operations and developing the website.
Upon completion of the website and first run, the couple hosted an AU & Co launch party at their home in Costa Mesa. The turn out was substantial and an overall success. Friends, family, and potential clients from all over came to toast the beginning of the Uritis’ new business venture, and admire the seemingly vintage, yet tastefully modern clothing.
Teamwork: Peter Uritis Pulls Recycled Fabric For The Brand’s First Run
Photo: AU & Co
After a good start, Alex is taking her growth in stride, answering the challenge of, “What’s next?” by introducing a bridal line. AU & Co. brides can now pick their gown, bridesmaids dresses, and coordinate all the colors on the website.
“My personal favorite piece is The Joanne,” Alex explained. “It’s flattering on anyone and you feel like a bohemian goddess wearing it.”
AU & Co is progressing forward by keeping the runs small, to avoid contributing to the “fast fashion” epidemic. Alex is constantly mocking up new designs and pushing the envelope by bringing timeless clothing back to the market. Follow them on Instagram [@auandco] and check out their website to purchase the clothing.
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