When Cassie Veres was four years old, her two-year-old sister came down with a high fever. Veres got her sister out of bed, put her in a dress, and told her parents — "if you look good, you'll feel good."
So began Veres' obsession with fashion and its ability to transform a person.
"Ever since birth I've had this gene we're I've always been into fashion," says Veres, who was raised in Long Island. "That's what I was known for."
Ironically enough, Veres didn't go to college for fashion. The 22-year-old enrolled in business school at Pace University in New York City, where she earned her marketing degree after just 2 ½ years.
"I wanted to be in marketing, either designing ads or working on campaigns," Veres recalls of her original plans after college.
Her intentions would change after graduation when she started working for the designer Halston.
"I don't know what happened," she says. "I changed my mind once I got into the fashion industry and I just said, 'This is where I should be — this is where all the fun is.'
"I was making my own clothes and going to fashion parties and different events and everyone was saying, 'Oh, I love that, that's great.' "
The turning point came last December when a store in California inquired if Veres would be interested in selling to them.
"Ironically, I never thought about selling in a store until they told me, which sounds silly," she says. "You'd think, 'Oh, I'm going to sell clothes, I'll sell them at a store.' It just never came to mind."
The interest was enough to persuade Veres into making a career out of her life-long obsession and opening her own fashion business — New York Couture.
"I believe that everything happens for a reason," she says. "Everyone in my family is an entrepreneur or did their own thing."
To date, Veres has developed two collections — spring and fall of 2005. Being a one-woman operation, Veres says that she is constantly learning how to improve her business.