Student entrepreneur aims at putting authenticity in style


Bales at a pop-up shop in January 2019. Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Allee Bales

Brianna Benitez

A combination of beads, charms and a life-long passion has helped one Texas State student come full circle in the fashion industry.

Allee Bales, fashion merchandising senior, is the founder and designer of Authenticity by Allee, an online boutique.

From a young age, Bales has had an interest in fashion. However, it was not until the summer before her freshman year she envisioned herself as the owner of her own boutique.

After graduating high school, Bales worked at Pretty Little Things Boutique, a local business in Houston.

Bales said she has shopped at the boutique since her early teens. She dreamed of working there, but never thought it would actually happen.

“I remember in middle school I would go to this boutique and would think how cool it would be to work there, but I never thought they would actually hire me,” Bales said.

While working at Pretty Little Things, Bales said she found inspiration in designing her own jewelry after recreating a necklace that had been selling well.

Bales taught herself how to remake the necklace by learning the basics of jewelry design through tutorial videos online.

“After a lot of pliers, patience and bright lights, I figured out how to loop everything together and ended up with a necklace,” Bales said.

Bales launched Authenticity by Allee January 2018. She currently sells handcrafted jewelry and graphic tees.

Customers can shop the boutique via Instagram @authenticitybyallee. Bales said customers can comment or direct message to purchase an item and will then be emailed an invoice to complete their order. All items can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.

By summer 2018, Bales said a few of her jewelry pieces were being sold in-store at Pretty Little Things Boutique; the store frequently orders her pieces.

When it comes to designing new items, Bales said she pulls inspiration from current trends but ultimately creates staple items for any wardrobe.

“I like to combine a lot of different styles,” Bales said. “I try to make things that would work for any outfit and season.”

Emily Cauthen is a friend of Bales and the owner of Seasons 4 Decor, an online business specializing in home adornment items.

Cauthen said she met Bales at a vendor showcase and has been a loyal customer since.

Cauthen enjoys shopping at Authenticity by Allee because Bales designs pieces that can be worn by anyone, anywhere.

“The pieces are so versatile,” Cauthen said. “My mom and I can wear the same exact piece of jewelry.”

Cauthen said she admires Bales’ work ethic and believes she stands true to her business name.

“I’m not the type of person to jump and support just any business,” Cauthen said. “I have to believe in that person and what they do and I definitely believe in her.”

Bales said the name of her business stems from the importance of being true to herself. She hopes her business can inspire others to live life unapologetically.

“Being who you really are and not caring what others think is something really important to me,” Bales said.

Labeled across Authenticity by Allee tags is the phrase, “Be nice to people.” Bales said she decided to add this positive statement in hopes of encouraging others to spread kindness.

Avery Sheldon, mathematics junior, is Bales’ boyfriend and has been helping her with Authenticity by Allee since she first launched the brand.

Sheldon said after Bales began promoting her boutique at various vendor showcases.

“At first she started off pretty slow but once she started getting her name out with other companies and vendors, more and more people started recognizing her,” Sheldon said.

Bales said she plans on expanding Authenticity by Allee to a store-front location in Houston after graduating. She would like to introduce additional clothing options to help aid in the transition to brick-and-mortar.

To stay up-to-date on Bales’ latest designs, follow @authenticitybyallee on Instagram.

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