In the late summer of 2005, Rachel Alvia began her dream, to create a business where women could have the unique experience of having a dress created just for them. However, Rachel’s dream began much earlier in life. As a child, she was especially creative, and learned many artistic skills passed on from her Mother, and Grandmothers. In high school, a friend asked Rachel if she could make her a dress for their school dance. Taking on the project to help a friend, Rachel would soon realize what she was born to do. As word spread, she soon found herself making dresses for everyone, and loving it. Upon graduating from high school, Rachel decided to move to Chicago and persue her life as a professional designer. She attended school at the Illinois Institute of Art at Chicago, and graduated with her BFA in Fashion Design. She worked as a product designer, and continued to create custom dresses part time as she had done, even through college. In 2005, when the time was right, Rachel began serving the Chicagoland area by creating Avail Couture, a business that created custom dresses. In early 2011, Avail Couture became Avail & Company with the addition of a full line of custom and designer wedding products. Avail & Company is currently located in a design studio at 1106 Davis Street in Evanston, IL. Clients can meet one-on one with Rachel in the design studio, or choose to work with her from any distance through the internet. The future of Avail & Company is bright, and Rachel has many ideas yet to explore. “It’s only the beginning” says Alvia, “There is so much more to come, and I am looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to serve brides, bridesmaids, and any woman looking for a one of a kind dress, or accessories for her special occassion.”
Ted Alvia began consulting and assisting with Rachel in late 2008, at first by offering advice on sales and marketing and eventually other areas of business, such as web development and operations. In late 2009 Ted joined full time when Rachel asked him to lead the business she started. In 2011 Avail Couture became Avail & Company, LLC.
“Being an entrepreneur can be very exciting and rewarding. I give Rachel and our staff everything they need to continue to be creative and deliver the best, unique and beautiful dresses for our clients. And I get to work with my best friend every day!” Ted says.
Ted has over 10 years of experience in sales in various industries including: men’s apparel, financial products, and education. Ted has been involved with the implementation of Customer Relationship Management systems in various sized organizations, including a private college in the heart of Chicago. Most recently, he successfully completed the transition of a medical patient records system to an online electronic medical health records and billing system. Ted brings energy and focus to our team and is leading Avail & Company into an exciting future.
The name Avail & Company has a double meaning. “Avail” has the same letters as Rachel's last name, Alvia, in a different order. “Many designers use their name as the name of their business, but I wanted it to be about more than just me, I wanted the focus to be on my customers, after all, each client is the inspiration for their dress. The customer helps design their dress, by choosing all of the details. I am just here to help them make good decisions, and do the work of creating the dress. I am here to serve the client, so at my Ted’s suggestion, we rearranged the letters in “Alvia” to spell “Avail”, which means to be of use, value, advantage or service.”