Our CHIC Biz Spotlight is Lotus Halo! It was started by two best friends that both share a love of fashion. They came together to create the ultimate fashion destination! Melanie and Asha hail from the Los Angeles area and breaking fashion rules is what they do best! Once you visit their website you will understand exactly what we mean! Check out their story and how it all began!
1. First, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Melanie- I'm from Los Angeles, CA. I worked as a Data Analyst for a non-profit organization until one day I had to stop working to take care of my sister who suffered a traumatic brain injury. So, I became a 24hr caregiver over night. I am also a mother of a 17 year old boy and I have a niece that is 14 years old. With me being an overnight stay at home mom and caregiver, I was able to tap into another passion of mines, which is fashion. I always wanted to work in fashion but being a single mom I did what I had to do to take care of my child, so I never took the time to do what it took to be where I wanted to be. '
Asha- I was born in San Diego, but most of my family is from Los Angeles, so when I graduated from high school I chose to go to CSULB so I could be closer to them. I have been living here since I started college in 2001 (almost 14 years). While in college I worked a couple of different jobs, many helping local youth with education. Although, I loved working with education, music and fashion has always been my passion. I eventually found an internship at Virgin records and got a job in their Urban Promotions department. I later began working for Interscope Records Urban Promotions department. I also have a nine year old daughter and a 3 week old son. With the long hours in the music industry I am not able to give my children the attention they need. My dream is that I can be my own boss allowing me to make time for my kids while bringing quality fashion to consumers. Also, to eventually be able to tie our brand to community service and charity.
4. How did you ladies meet? How long have you been friends?
We met about 4 years ago through family friends. We shared our love for fashion and we have been friends ever since!
5. When did you start Lotus Halo, what made you decide to team up to create this brand?
We started our journey in December of 2014, and by February of 2014 we were bringing Lotus Halo to life. We did a soft launch of the website by September 2014 and we are now starting to bloom, and are very excited about the future of our company. We both were tired of looking for clothes at the mall; we wanted to create a place that had fashion forward pieces that were individualistic as well as affordable. We both are also committed to bringing something positive into the world, and hope to achieve this through linking our business to a charity or local community service. We teamed up and started mapping out a plan to make this dream a reality.
6. How did you come up with the name?
The name derived from the story of two women (Melanie &Asha) and the everyday hustle of trying to reach our goals. So, the Lotus represents the hustle because a Lotus flower blooms in the murkiest of waters. The Halo represents the strength and guidance we believe comes from our Angels.
7. Did you ever see yourself starting a clothing boutique? Why or why not?
Melanie- I always hoped that I would get the opportunity to have a boutique, but who knew God would slow my life down enough that I would be able to do so. I would always talk about being my own boss as a boutique owner who styles her customers. I never thought that would make me go for it. GOD put me in a position that made me do everything for everyone but myself, this boutique allowed me to do something for me. Starting this boutique has gave me back life and allowed to me to do something for myself.
Asha- About 4 years ago after working in the corporate world for some time I realized I wanted something different. This is when I began to see myself starting my own business. I decided on clothing because it will never bore me, it will always spark my interest, and no matter where you go fashion and self expression will always be around
8. What is your target audience and why?
Our target audience are Women, ages 18-35 yrs old. (Halle Berry) Although, Halle is not 35yrs old, her style is always so simple but clean and comfy. Halle can put on anything and look good going from day to night wear, with just a change of shoes. We don't like to make age a factor, because anyone can wear our pieces, that's just how we pick them
9. Describe what makes Lotus Halo’s pieces unique.
What makes our pieces unique is that we find pieces that will make a person push their fashion sense a little further; we try to get pieces that will allow creativity.
10. Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Lotus Halo in 5 years will be continuing to work hard toward providing women with affordable but quality and trendy wear, and also incorporating our own designs with that. We love to give back and help children and caregivers so charity events are definitely a huge part of our 5year plan. So with GOD as our head we know that we will have helped and touched so many lives through fashion within that time and growing.