CHICNaturalistas

Where Fashion and Fros Collide

CHIC Biz Spotlight | Closet Piece

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We came across Closet Piece through Instagram, and let us tell you, we instantly fell in love with their brand! Closet Piece is a fashion blog and clothing boutique founded by two lifelong best friends.  They created a movement of “The Cool Girl” that embraces the sophisticated, stylish woman andthe “Boss Mom” that embraces the do it all effortlessly stylish mother! If you know anything about us, these two titles embody us perfectly! We had to learn more about these ladies and the Closet Piece brand. Check out our full interview with Shah and Aliyah of Closet Piece! Trust us, after reading this you will definitely fall in love with Closet Piece and want to join the Boss Mom and Cool Girl movement!

First, tell us a little bit about yourselves individually, where are you from, what do you do etc?
My name is Aliyah Muhammad. I from Oakland, CA and now live in Atlanta, GA since 2000! At heart, I’m a creative and a strategist. I love to come up with new ideas and figure out ways to improve systems and operations. Yeah, I know it’s sounds a little boring but there’s a brighter side to me. I love glitter! What I mean by that is making things shine and look pretty!

My full name is Shahidah Al-Amin but my people call me Shah :). I’m from Oakland Cali also known as “the town”. I grew up in Atlanta from the age of 15 to 22, and moved back to Oakland when I got married 9 years ago. I’m a true Cali girl at heart so it’s only right I ended up back home! I love to come up with creative ideas and ways to market our brand through photo shoots and other visuals.

How did you ladies meet? How long have you been friends?
Shah- We’ve been friends for as long as we can remember basically. We consider ourselves sistersoulmates (one word) lol

Aliyah-We met through our mothers...they were both pregnant at the same time. Shah and I are a month and about 20 days apart! We went to preschool together and have been intricate parts of each others life ever since. Yes, that’s 32 years now!

Describe your personal styles and how it fits within your brand.
Shah- My personal style is super chill on one level but I love to turn it up a notch with a lavish detail or two within my accesories. Relaxed Lavish is what Aliyah and I consider to be the new contemporary and my daily style truly embodies that. “Comfort is KING” is my motto so above anything I must be comfortable.

liyah- Our brand style is #RelaxedLavish. We’re all for the modern woman on the go. My style of dressing fits perfectly into our brand culture. I love being comfortable and pretty and dope! That’s the idea of being Relaxed Lavish. Although my closet is full of some of everything from sequin to leather, my staple pieces are t-shirts in all styles. I love to dress them up and down.

When did you start Closet Piece, what made you decide to team up to create this brand?Shah- We started ClosetPIECE on a random whim initially. We were two moms sitting on the couch on the phone 3,000 miles apart. Taking care of our children and thinking of a way to start a money making business of our own. We both loved fashion and understood how often women shopped so we chose to open what we considered an online boutique at the time. After about a year of  selling cute trendy clothes to girls who loved to shop, we decided to re-brand ourselves. Our vision grew and what was just a business turned into a lifestyle with major meaning. A lifetstyle we live, a lifestyle we love. Now we’re on a mission to build a community full of “Cool Girls” and “BossMoms” like us.

Aliyah-Closet Piece was necessary for us. It represents the women we are and the women that we know exist...The Cool Girl. It is about community and the remarkableness of being a woman. Even further for us, it is about being a mother. A badass mother, better known as a Boss Mom. For the longest of time, motherhood was like the plague. The ambition of mothers was to become a Soccer Mom...ewww! We say, Death to the Soccer Mom and life to the modern mommy. For this brand, it's all about the community of the Relaxed Lavish!

How did you come up with the name?
hah-It was a lot of brainstorming!!!! and closetPIECE made the cut.

Aliyah-For us we realize the PIECE makes the closet. Once the name came around, it was a no-brainer to go that direction!

 

Did you ever see yourself starting a clothing boutique? Why or why not?
Shah- It was never really in the plans for me, although my mother has worked in the fashion industry for as long as I can remember, it was never a dream of mine to do the same.I have evolved within my own style and realize how necessary it is for a woman to have the correct pieces in her closet to live  a well dressed lifetsyle. Within that I have a new found love for the idea of a uniform and that’s what we desire to create for our community. Staple timeless pieces that every woman who lives a Relaxed Lavish lifestyle should own to move smoothly throughout her day. Whether she be in a boardroom or her home office, she can LIVE in our brand.

Aliyah- Personally for me, not necessarily. I wasn’t against the idea but it wasn’t at the top of my bucket list. I’ve always envision how I wanted to dress and knew it would fit for many women. We were right. People were pleased with us but it still didn’t allow us to really give the world what we wanted to. Shah and I decided to move away from the idea of the boutique and get into our own brand quickly. The purpose of the Boss Mom and Cool Girl shirts is to give women a new identity they can brag about and know truly supports them. It’s a movement. There is still much to come for our Relaxed Lavish community from us Cool Girls.

What is your target audience and why?
hah-Any woman, any age who lives for comfort in her clothing. The woman that loves to silently stand out from the crowd. Our audience is all about women  empowerment and supporting one another

Aliyah-Our market is not identified within an age group, it’s defined by the mindstate of our culture and community. We target women who fit into the Relaxed Lavish lifestyle, where life is slightly undone but comfortable and lavish. You won’t see sexy vixens in our advertising or even cookie-cutter trendy fashionistas! The Cool Girl stands out, while fitting in. She knows who she is.

We love the BOSS MOM and COOL GIRL concept of your brand. What made you focus on these two themes to start and how will you expand upon your brand in the future?

Shah-Well first let’s touch on the Cool Girl, at the time the whole “You can’t sit with us” movement was popular and we were NOT feeling it !! Aliyah and I are pretty much the coolest girls you’ll ever meet and when I say cool I mean down to earth, approachable, sweet, warm, and friendly. So we wanted to created a culture that was geared more to the girls like us, we’d love for you to come sit with us!! That’s our attitude :)

The Boss Mom is who we have become since we’ve had children. As mothers WE ARE THE BOSS period. We pretty much run the show in our households, of course our husbands hold things down and are the providers but we all know the momma is the caretaker and makes sure things run smoothly. Soccer Mom has always been a well known term referring to busy mother’s juggling children, work and extra activities but we prefer the word Boss in front of mom much better. It just fits!

As for expanding, we’re currently working on releasing pieces from our ReLaxed Lavish uniform/collection. That’s our current focus for the near future as well as growing our community of course. We really love meeting new women who we can inspired and be inspired by, so staying connected with our “Cool Girls” & “Boss Moms” as we grow will always be important.

Aliyah-The Cool Girl is our girl! She’s the one that everyone loves. She embodies all things cool. She’s interesting, funny, ambitious, caring, stylish, and all the amazing things Beyonce talks about. LOL. The Boss Mom is her with children. But there’s something special about the Boss Mom. The key ingredient in being a Boss Mom is maintenance and progression. Being able to maintain yourself and progress, all while caring for your babes is straight up Boss! It challenges the ideal of the soccer mom, where you just let yourself go and you become synonymous with standing on the sideline of your kids games. There’s not a lot of marketing geared toward the Boss Mom in mainstream advertising. You’re either the sexy twenty-something or the washed up mom. We wanted to cater to these very relevant women.

As our brand currently stands, we are inviting women to join the movement of the Boss Mom and Cool Girl. For this we have our line of tops which started as only t-shirts and we now carry, thermals and sweatshirts too. We will eventually expand our brand to pieces that will make up a Relaxed Lavish uniform. There’s no immediate rush. We want to organically grow and really get to know what our fellow Cool Girl’s want and need.

Why should CHICNaturalistas shop at Closet Piece?
Shah-Because they are Cool Girls and Cool Girls do cool things!! Like shop with a brand that has a bigger vision far beyond the clothes we sell.

Aliyah-Because they deserve to be part of something that is dedicated to them. Plus, our tops are not just words across any old t-shirt. They feel good! I often hear that they are new favorites for people’s closets. We took the time to select things that work and we would wear too! We are consistently in the process to become better. With every reveal, something will be a little doper than last time. As we say, every woman deserves to #LIVEINPIECE.

Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Shah- Having a closetPIECE design house where we create greatness all day. Greatness within the quality of our clothing as well as great content to inspire our readers. We’d also love to see Piece for closetPIECE in major department stores all over. Big dreams poppin’ over here!!

Aliyah-In five years, we see ourselves producing PIECE for closetPIECE for major department stores and possibly a flagship store. We expect closetPIECE.com to be recognized as a prestigious online magazine. And of course, Boss Mom to be a household name!

Now after reading this interview, I know you are super excited to check out Closet Piece and pick up some BOSS MOM and COOL Girl apparel! Check them out below!


Business: www.closetpiece.com / @closetpiece


And to keep up with Aliyah and Shah personally, you can find them here:

Personal Aliyah: @aliyahmh on instagram

Personal Shah: www.shazareef.com