It’s always a good Monday when you get to look at pretty clothes and jewelry! Loela is prepping for our London Holiday Fair and we are twiddling our thumbs, counting down the days to bask in the amazingness!
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
I really struggled with the name! I came across Loela and liked the spelling!
Have you always been passionate about design?
Definitely, I loved art as a kid and then went on the do a BTEC in art and design at college which was great for trying out lots of different disciplines, I gravitated to graphic design and fashion and although I decided to do a fashion degree i’m still heavily influenced by graphic design in my work.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
When the recession hit I lost my job in London as a merchandiser and decided to try out selling on a fashion market based in Manchester while I looked for another job. I was hugely inspired by the other designer makers that were doing their own thing in Manchester and fell in love with the feeling of being your own boss and the creative freedom you have working for yourself. The fashion market really gave me the confidence i’d lacked before to put myself out there, and things followed on from there.
What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
I think the great thing about being is a designer maker is being able to offer a product which is 100% your own creative vision, without having to worry too much about other factors which come into play when you work for someone else. I think thats a fantastic thing to be able to do and I feel so lucky that I have the chance to do it.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
I don’t think any major failures but i’ve had plenty of learning curves! Particularly working out how much work I can handle on my own and when its time to find help with production etc. I was lucky enough to have a concession in Topshop for six months which was such a great opportunity and really hard work, I learnt so much about how that side of thing works, like hiring staff, keeping on top of stock and pricing things correctly.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
My social life isn’t what it used to be!
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Getting the Topshop concession was just so exciting and confidence boosting, I couldn’t quite believe it when I first saw my dresses out on the shop floor. It wasn’t something i’d ever imagined happening when I first started selling on the fashion market.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
I did degree in fashion design at uni which included a 6 month placement with a small independent business in London called the Jacksons, I got to see every aspect of the business from production to selling at trade shows to running the shop. I didn’t know it at the time but I think little bits of advice about running your own business came back to me when I started working for myself. Apart from one bit of advice on a particularly stressful day which was ‘never start your own business Laura!’
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
The secure feeling of taking your future into your own hands.
What are some inspirations for your work?
It might sound a bit basic but colour is and the thing that constantly gets me excited about designing. I recently visited Marrakesh which was full of beautiful geometric designs and colour combinations, my version of heaven!
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
I think its really important to keep active on social media, although i’m not the greatest example of that! And i’ve learnt not to be timid about taking opportunities.
So many good things are heading to London! Mark your calendars, everyone! Our London Holiday Fair is coming up on November 7 + 8. Find Loela online here: