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A fashion trade show veteran (most recently as a showroom manager at AmericasMart), Ruiz hated watching designers leave the South for New York or L.A. So in April, she became a full-time partner at Factory Girls, a fashion incubator that helps emerging and established local brands by providing classes, marketing, materials sourcing, and even manufacturing out of a Chamblee factory. “We are passionate about fostering local talent to keep them right here at home, from conception to retail,” she says.

Hails from St. Mary's, Georgia

Neighborhood Brookhaven. I love it because it feels like I am outside of the city hustle and bustle but close enough to get anywhere quickly.

Fashion deals Value Village. My best find was a blue fox fur by Saga Furs, in excellent condition, for $250.

Style icon Marjorie Harvey, Steve Harvey’s wife. She’s 50 and the mother of seven, and she is the epitome of classy.

Saturday look An Alternative tee—they are so soft and comfy, and the company’s based in Atlanta—and Level 99 jeans. My favorite style is the Liza Skinny.

Eats For me, it’s all about the patio. My favorites are Bartaco and Le Bilboquet.


After-hours hangout El Bar and Koo Koo Room. They are both underground lounges that I consider hidden gems.

Fall expectations The Iris van Herpen show at the High Museum. It will be the museum’s first fashion exhibition, which is long overdue.

Weekend getaway Charleston has a special place in my heart because of all the great friends I have made there over the years. My favorite time to go is for Charleston Fashion Week in March.

Beauty fix Drybar. There’s nothing like sipping Champagne while getting a blow-out.

Local love Designer Abbey Glass, who works with us at Strongbox West, makes her patterns by hand, and her draping skills are impressive. For spring, she’s collaborating with Atlanta artist Britt Bass Turner.

Pick up some thread

Factory Girls offers classes to the public, from Sewing 101 to design and draping, out of its new workspace at Westside coworking hub Strongbox West.

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