I'm passionate about supporting emerging fashion brands, and was thrilled when ALALA contacted me!
ALALA is a luxury women's activewear brand with a sophisticated downtown attitude that was created for precisely the way we live today. Taking inspiration from their lives in New York City, ALALA created their line, demanding both the best in fashion and function from your gear.
I spoke to the brand's founder, Denise Lee about ALALA and why she started her own business. Denise is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a $150 gift certificate- click here to enter!
Tell us about Alala- what is the significance of its name?
Alala is a Greek goddess and her name stands for a battle cry. To me, the name Alala is like a call to arms for modern women who want to do it all and have it all.
What are you hoping to achieve with Alala?
We all know that there is so much benefit to being healthy -- in body, mind and spirit. My wish is for Alala to enhance a woman's journey to being the healthiest she chooses to be, by making products that makes her look and feel amazing, in and out of the gym.
How is the brand shaking up the active wear industry?
We've taken a different approach to our designs and branding, and I believe that our customers are responding to the modernity and sophistication of our products and our brand. Our customers love and appreciate our focus on fashion, without sacrificing function, comfort and performance in our pieces.
Why did you want to start your own business?
My parents both work for themselves and I grew up with that same entrepreneurial spirit. I am so lucky to have always had their support and encouragement to go out on my own. After attending business school, I had an amazing experience working for retail visionary, Chris Burch -- helping him build out his portfolio of brands and also investing in young businesses and entrepreneurs. When I had the idea for Alala, I knew that I had the right experience to finally start my own business.
Who would be the dream person you would love to see wearing your products?
My dream is to see women of all shapes and sizes wearing Alala through their daily lives and loving how they look and feel in our clothes.
Do you think there is an expectation for women to look chic whilst they are working out? If so, how can we achieve this?
I truly believe that if you look good working out then you feel better as well. For me, it's a matter of translating your personal style into what you wear to the gym-- choose pieces that suit your personality and your workout! I also love layering with looser pieces that you can throw on before and after a workout to switch up your look. We have a lot of great jackets that are perfect for that.
What advice can you offer women who are looking to start their own business?
Wow - there is so much I could say about this.
Be wise and brave: By being wise I mean, do your research into your idea and make a plan of action for success. Make sure that you understand the risks and prepare for them as much as you can. By being brave I mean, for as much as you plan things out, there will be many times it still feels like you're stepping into something completely unknown. It's scary but you have to take the steps to get to your goal.
Related to this, I would also say -- Know that you're not alone. I have found so much support through my professional and personal networks, many times in unexpected ways. Get over the idea that you can do everything yourself - there are so many people who want to and are able help you, if you only ask them for it.
*The giveaway is open to all readers and closes midnight EST on 23rd June 2014*