WHY I DECIDED TO START MY OWN BRAND
Today, I’m sharing a more personal post and talking about why I made the decision to start my own brand called LNO Studio (a custom womenswear brand). While I haven’t talked about my career much in the past, I’ve decided it’s time to open up about it more. Not only is fashion a major part of my life from a blogging perspective, it’s also been a large part of my life from a career perspective too.
Starting my own fashion brand is something I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time. Let me start with a confession I actually started this blog three years ago because I was too scared to launch my own brand then. I was worried that I would fail at starting a company so I decided starting a blog would help me dip my toes in the deep end first. Like many women, I’ve had this mentality of constantly needing to prepare as much as possible ahead of time for everything that I might need to know. This mentality was also present in my career decisions. Every job I ever took after college was with the intent of learning lessons I thought would one day be valuable for starting a company. I think it’s pretty apparent at this point that I’m a serious planner. However, I now realize that it’s impossible for me to know everything I’ll ever need to know ahead of time. Life is about learning and growing, and if I was a 100% prepared for every situation then I wouldn’t be experiencing either of these things so central to the human condition.
One of my main reasons for starting my own company is pretty selfish - I desperately want to be able to find pants that fit me. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I frequently struggle with the waist gap issue with pants! Finally, I’ve decided that ENOUGH is ENOUGH. I’m tired of having to wear a belt with virtually all of my pants just so they stay up. So I’ve decided to create a brand where I’ll know that I can always find pants that fit.
Furthermore, I want to empower women to love their bodies as they are. Whenever I went shopping as a teenager and college student, I often felt bad about my body when clothes I liked didn’t fit me. Naively, I blamed myself for the clothes not fitting when in reality I was not the one to blame. The reason clothes didn’t fit me came down to the fit process brands use - choosing one body to represent the full spectrum of body diversity for women. The math doesn’t add up. After learning more about the fit and sizing process brands use, I realized that I’m not the one to blame. There’s nothing wrong with my body and it’s the fashion brands that have been slacking on offering better options. I deserve clothes that fit, without having to always pay for alterations. Rather than waiting around for the fashion industry to wake up, I’m determined to solve the problem myself.
You probably wouldn’t guess it, but I actually I hate going shopping. Well, maybe it is a little obvious after that last paragraph :) If it wasn’t for writing my blog and helping y’all find clothes that fit, I probably wouldn’t shop as much as I do. I have a feeling that I’m not alone on this one. Another goal of mine is to create a better shopping experience for women. I’m still brainstorming exactly what the future of shopping will look like, but I have some ideas!
Another reason I’m motivated to start my own company is to change the culture of the fashion industry. When I first started working in fashion, I was quickly made aware of my introverted nature and how it differed from the big, extroverted personalities surrounding me. I was constantly pushed to be more vocal and assertive. While, I do find these skills important - I think that introverts are often underrated and don’t get the credit they deserve. For example, introverts are GREAT listeners! And if I remember correctly from business school, LISTENING to what the customer wants is what matters :) They bring their own unique value to the table. I hope to create a place where introversion is celebrated as much as extroversion, and individuals don’t feel pressured to act counter to their nature.
Lastly, not only do I want to change the narrative around internal company culture, but also around external pop culture. We are surrounded with so many images from more traditional media and brands, that only show a limited perspective of beauty. I find this short sighted because there’s so much more beauty that exists in the world than what brands constantly show us. What I’ve loved about the increasing number of fashion bloggers is that increase in diversity of beauty. Now women have more of a chance to see someone on Instagram or a blog who truly looks like them or represents their body type. My goal is for women to see themselves represented in the imagery for LNO Studio, whether it’s editorial images or social media posts. (Sorry! I know the images are just of me right now on the website, but moving forward that will change.)
I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and hope you’ll follow along on the journey as LNO Studio grows. If you’re interested in learning more about the brand, I encourage you to check out our website here.