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About Hannah Payne:

Hannah Payne is the founder and designer behind Luba, a high-end ready-to-wear line where every sale goes back to support women through her charity, the LOVE Foundation. In her junior year of college, Hannah secretly "studied abroad" in Florence - little did her parents know, she was taking drawing and sewing classes to further her passion into a tangible business. While doing research for a school project, Hannah was disturbed to find out that there were more animal shelters than women’s shelters in the US. She was even more shocked to learn that shelters turned down 30 women and their children everyday, due to lack of space. Hannah decided that she wanted to create a business where she can not only pursue her love for fashion, but also give back and empower women.

About Luba:

Luba is a ready-to-wear women’s label that offers high end, quality made garments. It is instantly recognizable through its intricate detailing, unique fabrics, and classic silhouettes creating a utopia of style for the everyday woman. Luba’s purpose is to inspire women to be whimsical, thoughtful, strong, and of course feminine. Luba is is constructed with care in the heart of New York City’s Garment District and gives back to women through the Love Foundation.

Website: https://shopluba.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shopluba/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shopluba/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shopluba

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A modern take on tweed, this zipper front wool dress in beige is shot with gold threadwork. The Shimmer dress comes from New York brand Luba by Hannah Payne. Luba by Hannah Payne

The Shimmer dress from New York-based Luba by Hannah Payne is a youthful take on tweed; this beige zipper-front wool dress is scantily shot with golden threadwork for a bit of textural interest. shopluba.com

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Name: Hannah Payne
Age: 28
Job Title and Description: Designer and Owner
College Name/Major: The University of San Diego/Communications major, Business minor, and Parsons School of Design, Fashion Design Associate’s Degree
Website: shopluba.com
Twitter Handle: @shopluba
Instagram Handle: @shopluba

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

My current job entails designing, and the most interesting thing about designing is I don’t think a lot of people realize what goes into just designing one garment. I pick out the fabrics and the trims, and then I do all the drawing of the entire collection. From there, I make flats – which are computer drawings as if the clothes were laying flat – and what they would look like with detailed information for the pattern maker. Then I do all the fitting of the samples when they’re in the raw copies and go over everything with the pattern maker. From there, I oversee all the samples being made and make sure that those details that happen in the sewing actually happen.

The samples then go into production, which includes multiple sizes, so I oversee all the marking and grading, and make sure all the fabrics and trims are ordered for that. Then, I just make sure that we’re all on time with all of the production, so that’s my main job. But I also do all of our Instagram posts and social media, which is a new thing for me. It’s very different having a business social media versus a personal, so kind of exploring that and thinking of some things to share with people on what they would want to see a fashion designer and company doing on the day-to-day.

There is really no such thing as a typical day, especially in the fashion industry. I feel like things change all the time and I try and create an agenda for myself every day of things I need to get done, but it always seems like there are these little fires that happen. All of our fabrics are from Italy and France and Korea as well, and so I’ll get an email from a French fabric mill that says our fabrics are two weeks delayed, which is a huge problem because then it delays everything else – so kind of trying to put out that small fire. Or, I’ll have my factory call me and they need zippers immediately, so it’s always interesting finding the things that take the most priority and then putting those up there, and then it’s definitely nice having those days where there are no fires and I can focus on designing a new collection, and have my sole energy focused on one thing at a time.

What is the best part of your job?

Ever since I was little, I could always envision clothes and I would dream about clothes – and so dreaming about a dress, then finding the perfect fabric, buttons and zippers, really watching this idea really become a reality. I love the way that my clothes make people feel. This last collection we were doing a fitting in New York at the factory, and we had this coat made just in a raw cotton material. The fit model put it on and we all gasped because it just turned out so perfectly. And the pattern maker had this huge grin on her face and she said, “I love making your patterns because it makes me so happy.” That was such a great moment, because I also love when I have a customer put on a dress or a coat and they feel so beautiful in it. That is truly the best part of my job and I love making people feel really good and happy. I think that sometimes a killer outfit can do that, it just makes you feel better.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

My first entry-level job in my field was actually a fashion internship at Vogue. I had the opportunity to apply when I was studying abroad in Italy and I, of course, jumped on it. I flew out there for an interview, I had my interview and then I just continued to follow up, and I finally heard that I got the internship, which was so exciting.

It was an amazing experience, but it’s definitely a tough environment because everybody works so hard. I also think that’s what makes it amazing, because it teaches you the crazy work ethic that now I’m so thankful I have.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

Before I got the internship at Vogue, I had a meeting with Virginia Smith (Vogue’s fashion market/accessories director) during my interview. She gave me the best piece of advice that I’ll ever receive from someone in the fashion industry. She said that I should always work really hard and be nice to everybody no matter how big I get, and I love that because she has such a big job at Vogue. Now, in my work life, I am hiring for factories, people who are sewing my clothes, and I will bring them cookies when they work really hard. I’ll always bring them a treat, and it’s really showing them that you’re a human, and you really appreciate them as a human. I’m just showing that more human side of things, that it’s not all tough business all the time and to really be nice because you never know where you’re going to end up or where they’re going to end up. You always want to have that impression of, “That person was so nice and she worked real hard.”

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

When you start a new company there are lots of little mistakes you make along the way. I think especially for an emerging designer in a smaller company, a lot of opportunities are presented to the young designer to kind of help them break in. They’re not always good opportunities, and that’s a thing that I continue to be aware of.

I think a big mistake that happened to me occured when I did an event with a fellow emerging designer, and their company was hosting the event. We all took a pretty big chunk of participating, and when the event actually happened, the brand had really promoted just itself and had not promoted the other brand. It just felt like a scheme, and I think the biggest thing I learned from that was to do a lot of homework – and this kind of sounds opposite to the advice I just gave – but, to not be so trusting and to realize that not everyone has that motto of working really hard and being nice. I would say that’s the biggest thing I've learned: Don’t believe that everybody has the same motto that you have.

It’s hard, because especially as an emerging designer, I feel like I want to help other emerging designers any way I can and vice versa. So it’s always interesting when it doesn’t happen like that. Then you realize, OK, this is life. I just need to be more careful, and I need to do my research more, and I need to be a little bit more cautious.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

HP: One of the most surreal moments happened last July 4 weekend. I was at a small parade, and I saw this woman wearing an outfit of mine—I had no idea who she was. I was so excited because people kept on coming up to her and commenting on her cool shorts that she was wearing, and I could tell that she felt so good. It was just such a cool moment to see one of my pieces of clothing in the real world just having its own moment. A really close second is one of our dresses was in Vogue Italia, and that was so exciting.

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

HP: I look for someone that has a lot of passion and that believes in the brand and appreciates it as much as I do. I feel like Luba is my baby, and I want the same excitement that I have for it to be shared with the people that I’m working with.

A fun story: I was leaving the office [one day] and my sales person squealed and said, “We just got an order from a store in Poland!” which was super cool because it’s one of our first international stores. And I loved how excited she was about it because I felt that same reaction. It was cool to share that moment and have her love the brand as much as I do. When I have passionate people working with me it makes me feel uplifted, and it’s hard to work with someone who is not necessarily on the same page with it.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

HP: I think the best advice that I can give to someone is to keep an open mind and take advantage of doors that open for you. After I graduated from Parsons, my fiancé got into law school in Colorado, and that was obviously a very tough decision because there’s not a lot of fashion in Colorado. I was basically leaving the Mecca of fashion to a smaller town, and would not really have a job opportunity. But what’s amazing is if I had stayed in New York, I never would have created Luba. I would have worked for another company and I would never have pursued this dream of mine of starting my own company. I think that living in Colorado has opened so many doors because I have the opportunity to create exactly what I want. I would never have been able to do that elsewhere.

My second piece of advice would be to jump in (and obviously, you need to do your homework and be prepared), but don’t think about it too much because if you just keep waiting for everything to be perfect, you’re never going to do it. And looking back, if I had known how hard it was going to be to start a line, I would never have done it because it’s very hard. I just jumped in and learned a lot on the way, but I wouldn’t take anything back.

What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

HP: I love seeing when someone has an internship or job in a large city within the field that they’re applying for, because working in New York, there’s a huge sense of urgency placed on everything all the time. It makes you work really hard. I love hiring someone that has even a six-week internship because they understand that they need to work really hard. They understand things that maybe they wouldn’t understand if they hadn’t worked in that environment before.

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REAL WOMEN LUNCHEON WITH HANNAH PAYNE

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  • The Little Nell Wine Room675 East Durant AvenueAspen, CO, 81611United States (map)

Hannah Payne is the founder of Luba, a RTW women’s label that offers high end, quality made garments. It is instantly recognizable through its intricate detailing on each garment; they are feminine, delicate, ornate, and whimsical. The true Lubagirl will know to mix and match these garments for both day and night. Their clothing is created with the highest quality of goods, gives back to women through LOVE, and is constructed with care in New York City’s Garment District.

About Hannah:

I didn’t fall into the fashion industry; I’ve been dreaming about this my entire life. Since I can remember I’ve been putting together outfits. At 5 years old, I was choreographing fashion shows for the neighborhood girls. I insisted on party dresses, shiny shoes, and big bows for every occasion, especially for elementary school. Why wear jeans when you can dress up?

I expanded my creative twist, at an all-girls’ high school, on their bland Khaki and polo uniform. It is amazing what a cute pair of shoes, a bow and a little leopard sweater can do for a uniform. When it came time for college my parents weren’t thrilled with my fashion aspirations, so I went to the University of San Diego and majored in Communications and minored in Business.

My junior year of college I saw an opportunity to further my fashion aspirations when choosing a school for my semester abroad. Little did my parents know that I was taking drawing, sewing and any fashion class they offered in Florence, Italy.

I will never forget my train-ride to Milan, for Fashion Week. I pleaded with my professor to arrange a ticket for the show. Riding back to Florence alone and very late, I knew I needed to fulfill my childhood dream.

Later that year I was volunteering at a domestic violence shelter and realized the need for more awareness and more funding. I knew then I wanted to create a business that not only supported women but also gave back to all women. The name was easy.

My precious grandmother was named Luba. Luba radiated Love, as a Russian American, I want to give Love back to the world.

Luba By Hannah Payne was launched in New York in 2015. I am so grateful and blessed to be doing what I love most, creating beautiful clothing, and sharing Luba’s Love with the world.

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Spotlight on Hannah Payne, Founder, Luba and will be interviewed by Marjorie Feltus Hawkins, Owner & Principal, FH Design

Hannah Payne created Luba, her grandmother’s namesake, in an effort to clothe fashionable women while giving back to her demographic. By recognizing the importance of giving back, Hannah has been able to create a boutique brand fashion that is communal, creative and most importantly, conscious. She joins us to discuss her journey and philanthropic business approach.

Held in the UCLA Luskin Conference Center Centennial Ballroom

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Payne.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I didn’t fall into the fashion industry; I’ve been dreaming about this my entire life. Since I can remember, I’ve been putting together outfits. At 5 years old, I was choreographing fashion shows for the neighborhood girls. I insisted on party dresses, shiny shoes, and big bows for every occasion, especially for elementary school. Why wear jeans when you can dress up?

I expanded my creative twist, at an all-girls’ high school, on their bland Khaki and polo uniform. It is amazing what a cute pair of shoes, a bow, and a little leopard sweater can do for a uniform. When it came time for college, my parents weren’t thrilled with my fashion aspirations, so I went to the University of San Diego and majored in Communications and minored in Business.

My junior year of college, I saw an opportunity to further my fashion aspirations when choosing a school for my semester abroad. Little did my parents know that I was taking drawing, sewing and any fashion class they offered in Florence, Italy.

I will never forget my train-ride to Milan, for Fashion Week. I pleaded with my professor to arrange a ticket for the show. Riding back to Florence alone and very late, I knew I needed to fulfill my childhood dream.

Later that year, I was volunteering at a domestic violence shelter and realized the need for more awareness and more funding. I knew then I wanted to create a business that not only supported women but also gave back to all women. The name was easy.

My precious grandmother was named Luba. Luba radiated Love, as a Russian American, I want to give Love back to the world.

Luba By Hannah Payne was launched in New York in 2015. I am so grateful and blessed to be doing what I love most, creating beautiful clothing, and sharing Luba’s Love with the world.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
With any business and an especially a business in fashion, there are going to be so many bumps along the way. Both big and small! It is very easy to get distracted by all the little speed bumps, whether it’s a style that came in with sewing issues to a fabric manufacturer that’s delayed on a shipment, or even zippers being too short for a jacket. At the moment, it takes a toll. Doubt comes in, you begin to second guess yourself, and you lose sight of your mountain. Do not let all the small problems distract you and crush your spirit. One day, you will look back and laugh at these little issues because you will have reached your goal and what seemed so huge at the time will only look like a little speed bump.

The best advice I could give Is work your absolute hardest and Never give up on your dream. This sounds cliché but this phrase drives me. ‘Never give up. NEVER give up.’ Focus on your dream, figure out what your end goal is, and make a plan to achieve it. I have found as an emerging designer, you are faced with a lot of rejection, criticism, and “free advice.” This is where you grow thick skin and keep your mental space focused only on the end goal. It doesn’t matter how talented you are or how much money you can put into the brand. What matters most is having the mental staying power to keep climbing.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Luba By Hannah Payne – what should we know?
Luba By Hannah Payne is an RTW women’s label that offers high end, quality made garments. It is instantly recognizable through its intricate detailing and unique fabric on each garment; they are feminine, delicate, ornate, and whimsical. The true Lubagirl will know to mix and match these garments for both day and night. Our clothing is created with the highest quality of goods, gives back to women through LOVE, and is constructed with care right here in New York City’s Garment District.

The Luba LOVE Foundation was inspired in 2011 while working in a domestic violence shelter in San Diego, CA. “ There are more animal shelters than women’s shelters in the United States.” That statistic should encourage all of us to join together to make a change. The purpose of The Luba LOVE Foundation is to provide lasting change for women overcoming the cycle of domestic violence through the transformation of lives that local shelters offer. At Luba, we believe that every woman has the right to be safe, empowered and free from violence. A portion of every sale at Luba goes to local women shelters. This is something I am definitely most proud of when thinking about my brand. I still wanted to do more and so I created the Luba Love T-shirt. This beautiful t-shirt is embroidered in India with our very own LOVE Motif! 100% of the proceeds from this T-Shirt go back to the Love Foundation.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
For me, one of the biggest barriers has been people taking me seriously and I don’t know if this is because I am a woman, I am young or truly a combination of both. I remember being at a cocktail party when I first launched Luba and a woman asked me what I did. When I told her, she laughed at me and asked, “so how do you actually start a brand?” To her, I seemed like another head-­in-­the-­clouds ‘fashion girl.’ So, I told her: “You first need to have investors, then you create a business plan, find a patternmaker, then you create samples, and the list goes on,” plus a thousand more things in between.

This conversation lit a fire in me -­- although I will probably never see her again, I wanted to prove her, and every other person who has treated me like this, wrong. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if these people take me seriously or not because of my brand, and my hard work speaks for themselves.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jody Zorn Photography

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From bestsellers like the cozy Matterhorn coat to the perfect Shimmer tweed dress, female-empowering fashion line Luba offers a sartorial dream of feminine pieces with a philanthropic twist. Proceeds from the entire collection goes directly to the LOVE Foundation, which supports national women’s shelters and helps us take a step forward in ending the cycle of domestic violence. 

While doing research for a project, Hannah was disturbed to find out that there were more animal shelters than women’s shelters in the US. After interning at Vogue and graduating Parsons, Hannah decided to take matters to her own hands and created a business where she can pursue her love for fashion, but also give back and empower women – and that’s how Luba was born!

Hannah was also a speaker at the Stay Boutique Leadership panel, which boasts a roster of notable speakers including Ariana Huffington, Christopher Norton (President of Equinox), and Tony Kurz (Head of Karl Lagerfield Hotels). 

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? 

As an entrepreneur, making mistakes is part of the journey, big or small, these mistakes can really impact your business. Personally they made me stronger, and a savvier businesswoman. I believe one needs to have strength in order to lead, but they also need to have great passion and drive for what they are doing. This is my calling in life and because of that, I exude passion for my business and especially passion for making women feel and look their best. Within my team, there are great wins but we also have had disappointments and that is when I feel my true leadership shines. I need to remain positive and encouraging. When that is my attitude, it becomes my team’s attitude as well. Being passionate about ShopLuba and our company’s mission is contagious to our team, and our team performs at its best when everyone feels that same passion and drive.

How has your previous employment experience aided your current role? 

One of my first jobs in fashion was an internship at Vogue. This truly showed me the amount of time, energy, and hard work that needs to be put into a fashion business in order for it to be successful. Our hours were long, but all the interns were so excited to be there and felt inspired by all the amazing garments around us. It also taught me to be flexible and adaptive. Within the fashion industry things can change within five minutes and you need to be flexible, adaptive, and think quickly. At Luba, I do all the designing and production, as well as other tasks, and frequently during production I will get a call about an issue they are facing. For example, a few months ago, I received zippers that were the incorrect color. I had ordered a blue/gray and they came in bright turquoise. The only quick solution I could think of was to try and dye the zippers myself. Luckily they turned out!

The other job that really helped shape my current role was as a Fashion Design Intern at Naeem Khan. I was amazed at how small and intimate the company is, especially because they are so well known within the evening gown market. I really learned a lot about the way a design house is run and had the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the company. A lot of what I learned at Naeem Khan in terms of sampling, production, and design are still my main practices at Luba today.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your current role? 

The highlight of my career thus far has been seeing a woman wearing Luba on the street. It felt like such a surreal moment. I was able to watch her get complimented on the shorts she was wearing and the smile she had on her face from that compliment. She felt proud of her outfit and felt confident. I loved being able to witness that moment! Another career high for me has been designing dresses that women wear during a very special moment in their life. One of our dresses was worn for a Bride’s rehearsal dinner; that dress will forever hold a place in her heart and she will cherish that dress and even pass it on.  I love that!  I have also created a few custom rehearsal dinner dresses, as well as Mother of the Bride Dresses. It is the same concept: That dress holds a very special memory for the mother and I absolutely love that Luba was a part of it.

A challenge we have experienced was actually a disappointment.  We received a very large order from an international retailer and when it came to ship their order, they pulled out. They wanted us to send the order as consignment. As much as we wanted to send it, our lawyer advised against it because, internationally speaking, there would be no legal way to retrieve payment if they chose not to pay. We were extremely disappointed and faced a very large challenge of being stuck with a lot of inventory. Thankfully we were able to host trunk shows and pop up shops to sell that inventory. Although we were disappointed, it ended up being a great opportunity for us to introduce Luba to more United States customers through those events.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? 

When I was attending Parsons School Of Design in NYC, we had a speaker from LVMH come speak to the class about our future endeavors. The best piece of advice I have ever heard was from him; “Stay True to yourself and you will be successful.” As soon as I start changing things to fit what other people want, the brand Luba, becomes a different brand. For example, a couple of times that we have been requested to change something by a buyer, the next season that same buyer might call it too common. I know we have a quality brand that makes women feel amazing and one of the biggest challenges is to constantly remind myself of that.  Stay true to Luba. So the best advice I could ever give someone, who wants to start his or her own fashion label, would be to always stay true to yourself and work extremely hard!

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

One of the most important lessons that I have learned is to be open to any opportunity because you never know where it might lead. I had the opportunity to speak at a Boutique Hotel Conference and I remember thinking to myself ‘What does Luba and my experience have anything to do with the hospitality industry.’ The woman that interviewed me had a great collaboration idea on why Luba is relevant to Hotels and implementing the ‘boutique experience”.  By working with designers, hotels can host pop-up shops at their hotels. Shortly after the speaking engagement, we received an email from a hotel group that was very interested in hosting pop-ups in their hotel lobbies. We have hosted 4 pop-up events, in the last two weeks, with this hotel group and it was 100% from this wonderful opportunity where I didn’t even see how Luba would be a fit.  When making decisions I still do a lot of research on the opportunities presented to me, but at the same time, I choose to say yes to most opportunities because I never know where they might lead.

How do you maintain a work/life balance? 

Having a good work/life balance is one of the most challenging things that I face on a daily basis. A year and a month, almost to the day, after I launched Luba, I gave birth to a little girl 8 weeks premature. This was the first time that I really had to make a choice between work and family. I ended up slowing things down with Luba for about 6-12 months to focus on having a healthy child. Now that we are back to full speed again, I always like to say I have two children; I have my daughter who is two and Luba. What has worked best for me, is to work from 8-6 Monday through Thursday in the office, and then after family dinner and night time routines, I work from home until I finish what I needed to get done that day. Most nights I go to bed at 2:30 am. I take Fridays off to spend with my daughter and only work during nap times. For me, I need to have boundaries with my work and make sure that when I am with my daughter I am present in that moment. It is really hard to have it all at the same time but I have an amazing support system around me that makes everything possible. Without the support of my Husband and my extended family, helping in every way possible, I would not be able to fulfill my passion.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace? 

I truly think one of the biggest issues for women in the workplace is separating family from work. It is very rare that someone would ask a man how his family is going to affect his work, but on the other hand it is very common for women to be looked down upon if they have children or if they plan on having a family. People assume it will negatively affect their work.

Another challenge women in the workplace face is the judgment from stay at home moms. I believe we are in such an amazing time for change.  I hope, as women and mothers, both working inside and outside the home we can support one another. I was extremely lucky to be raised by a women who chose to stay at home but also encouraged me to be whatever I wanted. When women support each other in all choices we can achieve amazing things!

How can we encourage more women to start their own business? 

The best way to encourage women to start their own business is to encourage them to pursue their dreams and never give up. Most businesses fail in the first year, so it is extremely important to set yourself up for success. It is easy to get caught up in small details and yes the small details are important, but always try to focus on the big picture and your end goal whatever that may be. Gather a support system around you that also believes in your dream. Be smart in the decisions you are making and do everything in your power to make it happen!

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life? 

Mentorship has made a huge difference in both my personal and professional life. I am blessed that I have had such an amazing and supportive family. I touched on this a little bit earlier, but I was raised to be humble, kind, extremely hardworking, and most importantly to believe that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. At the age of ten, I whole-heartedly believed I would be the 1st women president. Today, two people who have 30-years experience running a successful business mentor me. They have given me so much advice on leadership, making smart business decisions, and honestly amplified my drive to make Luba successful.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why? 

There are so many strong women that I admire in my life. On a personal level, I admire my mother as a strong leader as well as every other stay-at-home mom and mother in general. These women work a thankless job, and truly they are raising the next generation of change-makers and strong leaders who can really make a difference in our world.

In my professional life, a very strong female leader I admire is Carolina Herrera. Not only are her designs immaculate, but also her staying power in the ever-changing fashion industry is an inspiration. One of the challenges designers face is to follow current trends and to copy them. Herrera has been very conscious throughout her career of the changing trends and adapting accordingly without ever changing the brands point of view. This consistency is the reason she has been in business for over 35 years.

What do you want to professionally and personally accomplish in the next year?

Over the last two years it has been amazing to watch and be a part of Luba’s growth! Our store list is doubling each season, and we really want to achieve our goal of having Luba in more boutiques and a large retailer or department store by the end of 2018. It feels as if our company is sky rocketing, and I personally I am so excited to see this growth over this next year.

I am very goal oriented and it is important to have my seasonal goals, my yearly goals, and my lifetime goals. Every sale from Luba goes back to support women’s domestic violence shelters through the LOVE Foundation. So, one of these goals is to open Luba’s Love Shelters. The main reason there are so few transitional shelters for the victims of domestic violence is because they do not have funding. I dream about the day Luba is successful enough to open and financially support long-term shelters.

What are the top three tips you can offer to an entrepreneur starting out?

Jump In: The first tip I would offer to an entrepreneur starting out would be to do your homework and just jump in. One of the hardest parts of starting a business is the feeling that everything has to be perfect before the launch, but it will never be perfect. There will always be lessons to learn and hurdles to overcome. I have learned so much from the day-to-day tasks in my business, and there is no way I could have adequately prepared for some of these challenges.

Stay True To Your Brand and Yourself: The most well received and successful designers, and companies for that matter, are those that stay true to their brand. I have had people throughout my career suggest styles that resemble other brands and these styles are the ones that are the least successful. It is definitely challenging to follow this tip in the growing years, and especially when ‘free advice’ is given by almost everyone, but being consistent with your brand image is the most important thing, and it is the reason your brand will stand out. 

Be Your Own Cheerleader: It is very easy to become discouraged and disappointed when starting a business, especially if it is not as successful in the beginning as you had hoped. For me, it is crucial that I stay positive! I wake up every morning and tell myself, it is going to be a great day! I need to encourage myself because as soon as I start being negative, my team will become negative. There is such a power in positivity.  At Luba we have had our most success when we all have a positive attitude.

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