Each and every Wednesday for “Woman Crush Wednesday”, The Dean of Fashion & Beauty will select an entreprenHER to be featured in her “Boss Babe Spotlight” Series. This series has been curated to shine some light on the small businesses of women who are unapologetically and authentically being themselves while leaving a footprint behind in the world that they live in.
WHO’S UP NEXT?
Today, I am featuring: Fashion Designer, Joi-Louise. Recently, I had the chance to interview Joi-Louise and learn some new and exciting things about her. I want to thank her for taking the time to speak with me so that I could shine some light on all of her dopeness and share it with you all. I certainly look forward to continuing to curate, collaborate, create and celebrate with her in the future! You can shower her with your support by shopping her collections! Sit back, relax, pour a glass of wine and read about what she shared with me:
What do you want people to know about you and your business?
Joi-Louise The Label (JLTL) is a brand for Curvy & Plus Sized women but the goal is not to be exclusive to them alone. I have been every size from an 8 to a 22 and we women all want the same thing! Great fashion! JLTL is shining a light on curvy and plus-sized women that want great fashion and great quality. I am very much into detail and when I pick or design pieces for my brand I need to feel a mood or I don’t want it for The Label. I am very much a fashion girl, but I believe in being able to make pieces last, don’t really care if you’ve seen it on IG already, I’ll wear it in a different way and make you think it was a brand new dress.
What drives you as a business owner?
I am driven by the everyday process of my business; the buying, the designing, the producing, the marketing, the packaging, and finally seeing my customers wear something I picked out or designed. Being able to do that is a dream come true and seeing my community of shoppers get as excited about my pieces as I do makes it ALL worth it. I am a creative soul, so being able to see an idea become a reality is a huge driver for me.
What kind of legacy/footprint do you want to leave behind?
I am not a mother yet but I dream of my future children often. Of course I want them to think I am the coolest Mom ever and that my job is to add happiness to women’s lives through my designs and this brand. I want to be known as a woman who celebrated other women of all sizes and backgrounds through the intimacy of fashion.
Of course there is selfishness to why I wanted to start a fashion brand. I LOVE the clothes, but when I worked as a bridal consultant I got to be a woman’s best friend every time she cam in for her fittings and even after her wedding when she sent me photos of her big day. That is what I want to leave behind, a moment in time where I was able to make another woman feel as special as, if not even more than, her wedding day.
What knowledge would you like to impart on other small business owners, both new & aspiring and old & experienced?
It is very important for entrepreneurs to stay the course. Things don’t happen overnight, but when they do happen you need to be ready. I had no traction or sales until I got my first breakthrough, a placement in Essence Magazine. Things changed and in people’s eyes I became credible, noteworthy and that changed the course of my business for sure. Essence Magazine was my first placement but it won’t be my last that moment was not random, nor did it happen through luck. I worked hard and prepared for it and when the opportunity came around, I was ready. It’s a cycle, do the work and watch it unfold!
What does being a “boss babe” mean to you?
Being a “Boss Babe” means doing what needs to be done to be successful. Right now, I am a one-person team, it gets hard at times but success isn’t easy, but I am so fulfilled by what I do with Joi-Louise The Label. Being a “BOSS” isn’t about holding dominion over someone else or calling the shots, it’s about owning your tasks, knocking them down, being collaborative and knowing that having a team is a blessing that will take your business to the next level.
I am preparing myself for my team. I want them to be super collaborative, to speak their minds and have an understanding of what it’s like to work for someone that appreciates them. It’s so important that a “boss” remembers that they were once in the place of their team, hungry and wanting to learn and grow. I am getting myself ready to be an example that builds on leadership, the ability to listen, and the wisdom to know that I am hiring them to make the brand stronger in areas where I am not.
If you had to pick a phrase to serve as your words of affirmation, what would it be?
Life isn’t a catwalk; it is a journey through the most abundant of mountains. Although the accolades aren’t there, the final destination has a view that even the most elaborate Parisian runway could never touch. Keep strutting! – Joi-Louise
Are there any other special gifts or talents that you have that you’d like to share?
Believe it or not, I am a pretty decent singer. I sang from the age of 6 all the way up to 18.