My Story


Brianna Fano

Founder of Swatchhub

Hi! For those of you who don’t know me my name is Brianna! I grew up in Miami full of colors, crazy outfits, jewelry making with my mom and a ton of Cuban food with my fashion forward (Cuban) dad...  After high school I came to NYC to spend the next 4 years of my life figuring out how to draw and make clothes at Parsons.  

After being told I should pretty much drop out because my sketches sucked and kicked out of my chair for wearing flower uggs (thanks Miami) I made it to my senior year into the Parsons Senior Runway show thanks to my insanely talented brother who would mock critique (actually pretty intensely critique) my work on his nyc apartment coffee table... During school I took on endless internships... First as a design intern in Miami for Rene Ruiz, then with Jewelry designer Shantilly, a personal shopping assistant internship at Bergdorf Goodman, Design intern at Ralph Lauren and Elise Overland (at the same time) and finally Fabric intern at J.Mendel which would eventually lead to a full time job later in my career. 

After graduation, without any specific education on embroidery or embellishments I took on my first job at KaufmanFranco as an Assistant Designer where I did a little bit of everything but mostly high end embellishment concepts, cads, layouts and even production sourcing as an assistant. 

I then moved on to J.Mendel (AGAIN!) as an Embroidery designer, met some of the most incredible designers I’ve ever come across... At the same time launched a Lucite jewelry line under my name and was featured across all sorts of fashion news outlets.

I parted ways with J.Mendel which I didn’t know at the time would be the most important crossroads of my career... I started interviewing for a position at Tory Burch. Yea, I was 22 and all of the sudden I was meeting Tory herself. I walked into her office interviewing for a position to start an embroidery team... Did my best and she hired me!  Definitely not equipt to manage a team at 22...  but was still hired as the first embroidery specific designer. Quickly put down the jewelry line and fully focused on taking my best shot at this incredible opportunity... After a few months of working there they hired the most influential person in my career to be my manager. She taught me A-Z on Embellishments. Taught me its ok to get hands on beading swatches, get conceptual with materials, it’s ok to enjoy doing research and it’s ok to have fun as a designer at work, even when you’re getting sick on work trips to India. I worked at Tory and grew at Tory for almost 4 years. I met my family there, who to this day I call some of those designers my best friends. 

Almost 4 years deep I decided that I needed a bit of a change, missing the jewelry world I met another incredibly inspiring designer at Loft. I basically wanted to leap into her arms and design jewelry for her the second I met her. I worked on jewelry for almost a year at loft. I was hands on most of the day, making jewelry, drawing jewelry, shopping for beads, taking shopping trips, and basically exactly what I wanted to do... But again I found myself wanting a tiny bit more. Clearly there is a pattern here because I had that entrepreneurial itch I just had to go for. 

I decided I was going to leave the day job scene and start a company... SwatchHub! I wanted to create a community for embroidery designers to sell their work, a place for people to create new designs and a home for embroidery and embellishment designers to just have a community. 

I was ready to go full time on swatchhub until Tory Burch once again came into my life. Hey Brianna, wanna head the embellishment team?….Sorry SwatchHub, I’ll see ya in a few years.

I dove into that role and gave it my everything. Spent 4 months out of the year in Asia, countless late nights, worked on my managerial skills, and gave it my all to create beautifully embellished garments.

After close to 2 years I made a plan to transition into swatchhub again full time, it didn’t go EXACTLY according to plan, but it’s actually worked out. 

I made the very scary transition of working full time for over 10 years to running my own business. WOAH... it’s tough... and...I WOULDNT TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD! 

The first few months I didn’t have 1 reoccurring client, I thought I would never sell a swatch and I was most likely doomed to fail. I had zero support structure and I was scared out of my mind. 

Fast forward to today... After a successful first year I am on my way to doubling my progress in my second year, I have the best clients, I get to be creative and make things all day and I live in yoga pants with my pup Louie and get endless support from BFF roommate (also boyfriend). 😂 

Not going to lie there are still scary days planning what’s next, and scary days when work just isn’t flowing in. But to wrap up this little story about me- I worked within the fashion industry and now I work with the fashion industry and love it. I plan to branch out into more home based companies and continue to push my business into an embroidery and embellishment community where people can learn more about each other and work closer together.

I am so thankful to anyone who has been apart of my journey so far and I can’t wait for the journey to come.

Brianna Fano