I have always been an advocate for creatives using their influence for a purpose that is greater than just themselves. One designer who is determined to so is San Fernando Valley designer Alicia Rosalie.
Here’s what she had to say when we sat down for #Spotlight.
I suppose I’ll start with the most obvious question how do you go from what many would describe as a tragic situation to starting your own business?
It began with a lot of isolation and a lot of healing. Its definitely not an easy transition. Initially I just felt lost. I didn’t know where to turn. I was suffering from anxiety and depression. But after you’re down for a while there comes a point when you say enough is enough. I started mediating and going to yoga. Eventually I went to therapy. There is only so much you can get from your family and friends especially when they don’t necessarily have the tools to cope with such a traumatic experience. Sometimes is best to seek help from a professional.
What were the some of the first steps you took when starting your business?
I began by researching the legality of establishing a business. That’s a mistake that a lot of people make. They start a business and get really popular without sorting out the legal aspect of things. I wanted to do everything the proper way. So I registered my business with the State and sorted out the paper work surrounding that as well as the paperwork for my non-profit.
What are some of the major roadblocks you’ve come up against and how have you overcome them?
Well starting with the clothing line; I don’t have a fashion background. I love to design and I definitely have a passion for it but overcoming that took a lot of research. I am stay at home mum so fitting all that in depth research around everyday life was heard at times.
Another thing that was difficult initially was finding all the resources myself. I distinctly remember going out to downtown LA, with the baby strapped in the harness to locate some fabrics.
That’s another thing – manufacturers. A lot of them don’t like to work with low numbers, which is understandable, but it means that a lot of smaller companies lose out. We had to search high a low to find people who had low enough minimum order quantities to meet our requirements.
When you are the first to do something there isn’t really a road map to follow, so how have you ensured that you’re being efficient and making progress?
Prior to starting the business I spent 5 years working for a high end skin care brand. When we first began I was working out of the founders home. In the end the company grew so big that it was sold to Estée Lauder. I definitely learned a lot of lessons watching the growth of that business that aid me with my own.
When choosing your product list, how did you decide on the items you were going to sell?
For the most part the clothes are based on things that I would actually wear and the seasons. As you are probably aware Los Angles doesn’t get a lot of cold weather. With that being said, we know that are customers are global so we do have some sweatpants and some hoodies too.
So your brand is called the Self-love club, what is the story behind the name?
After leaving my situation, I had to unlearn the negative thought processes that I had accumulated during the mental abuse that I lived through. I had to learn how to love myself again. After becoming a mum I needed to find a way to work for myself and still have purpose.
During this time I used social media quite a lot to offer words of encouragement to others. I had a lot of people come back to me saying that my posts were keeping them going. I knew this was something that I wanted to keeping doing and that I needed to find a way to monetise it without money being the sole purpose for doing it. I remember waking up my fiancée in the middle of the night and saying “self + love = relationship goals, we’ve got to put that on a shirt”. The first thing my fiancée said to me was okay, but what are we going to call your brand.
I wanted the brand to represent the love I was pouring back into myself and the self-love club was the first thing that came to mind.
I sat on it for a few days after that but it just felt right.
You’re now launching a new line tell us a bit more about what that will include?
Well its going to be a limited edition collection called ‘an ode to love’. There will be 6 designs a with an 80s/90s retro inspired feel. The designs will focus on 6 women who each did monumental things and will be an ode to them showcasing great achievements in light and love.
If everything goes to plan, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would really love to do something that helps to empower our young people. It would be great to have a scholarship programme.
On the non profit side of things the dream is have our own house for women affected by domestic violence as there currently isn’t one for the San Fernando valley. We are currently fundraising dor the Love Club House as we speak.
What do you want your brand to be known for?
It doesn’t matter what you wear. I design these pieces with the everyday individual in mind. Its not about flaunting our bodies but rather our message.
Funky, fashionable but purposeful.
That’s why a portion of everything we receive go towards helping others.
You also like giving back to the community, tell us more about some of the other work you do?
When we first began, each month we chose a local non-profit to volunteer with.
In honour of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we teamed up with The Love Club Foundation and gave a portion of all proceeds for the month of October to sponsor #HASHTAGLUNCHBAG for The Good Shepherd Shelter, the first women’s domestic violence shelter in Los Angeles. They have 2 shelters and 1 housing unit for families which allows them to currently assist 60 single women + 21 women w/children. We were able to provide 120 lunch bags to cover one meal for all three of their facilities.
in honor of #domesticviolenceawarenessmonth, we teamed up with @theloveclubfoundation + gave a portion of all proceeds for the month of october to sponsor #hashtaglunchbag for @gsshelter. the good shepherd shelter is the first women’s domestic violence shelter in los angeles. they have 2 shelters + 1 housing unit for families which allows them to currently assist 60 single women + 21 women w/children. we were able to provide 120 lunchbags to cover one meal for all three of their facilities. stay tuned for more! 💜 #charity #giveback #nonprofit #spreadlove #morelove #selfloveclubtm #selflove #selfloveclub #theloveclub #domesticviolence #domesticviolenceawareness
To find out more about the brand head to http://www.selfloveclubtm.com/