Rising Brand of the year, how did that feel? Why do you think you won?
It was an honor to receive the 2020 Rising Brand of the year from The Los Angeles Business Journal presented by fashion icon Ilsa Metchek. This award is for everyone who has been part of our communal growth. It felt great and we appreciated it very much. The Los Angeles fashion scene is a very tight-knit community intertwined with manufacturers, fabricators, media, models, events, etc. SITA Couture is very proactive within the community and within the industry. We have been giving back since conception and I think people see this involvement and passion and want to celebrate it.
How has Entrepreneurialism fed your spirit throughout growing your business?
Entrepreneurialism feeds my soul by knowing we’re making a difference and creating great energy. Entrepreneurs have the talent to drive, lead, fuel, educate, and share! We don’t rely on others to act on things we see needed development. Working with a teamwork mentality, the ebb and flow with my manufacturers, customers, models, and collaborators is strong and it’s uplifting. We are creating more than just garments; we have found paths to provide confidence, community, education on sustainability & style, and other roads to inspire. This is an incredible feeling.
What does the Rising Brand award mean to you?
This award and the entire event is a way for the city to celebrate LA fashion ..rising brands as well as extremely accomplished brands who are doing great things.
A “Rising Brand” is a company that started with a concept and was able to conquer the challenges and actually get into local and global marketplaces. It signifies and celebrates the resilience and focus it takes to make it past the monumental trenches, and keep growing. This award represents the encouragement and support of my industry and city to “keep on keeping up!” as my dad would always say.
Tell us about what you wore to the Gala?
I wore our Sophia Maxi Dress, made of DryFlex workout fabric with a criss-cross chain back. I topped it off with the Ilona Women’s Cape. Yes, the sexy Sophia Maxi is an evening gown made out of athletic material! Who would have ever guessed? The bold silver chain design on the back is a tad heavy but adds a fierce element to the garment. The Ilona Women’s Cape is a heavy weighted hooded cape made from organic chenille. It’s lined in modal and has a plush outer later, faux fur collar, and an antique button that pulls it all together.
If there’s one time that you’re gonna be sweating bullets, it is when you are anticipating receiving an award. The microfibers of the Sophia Maxi material are designed with a cross weave that allows the skin to breathe. Sitting there waiting for the announcement was a very glamorous and comfortable experience thanks to my Sophia Maxi (coming soon!)
The inspiration for the Ilona Women’s Cape comes from my beauty queen grandmother and her classic elegance. It brought old school glamour to the platform. She always shared the necessity for the skill to design, cut, and create your own clothes because “you never know when you won’t have the money or luck to find the perfect dress for special occasions”. Growing up in the Great Depression, that was her main reason for making sure we all knew how to sew and make our own dresses.
Did you feel confident that you were going to win?
Not at all! There were so many outstanding and talented individuals at the event. Just to be nominated is something to celebrate! The Los Angeles fashion industry hosts so many fabulous brands, LA is one of the great creative meccas in the world. We are a multi-dimensional city and we are constantly evolving our art. Anything new and exciting is gonna be found here, in LA. To be acknowledged in this city is a stunning honor.
You’ve been speaking a lot on your work in ‘the community’, can you elaborate on that?
Throughout my years of growing my business, I’ve simultaneously been nurturing my roots within the community through different platforms such as Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Pacific Coast Regional (PCR), Small Business Association (SBA), California Fashion Association (CFA), Green Spa Network (GSN), We Caribbean, etc. I am committed to and maintain these relationships. Within these groups, we are a community together, no matter the industry. Relationships have always inspired me. I love people, and I love sharing.
I give by investing my time and resources. I’m also one of the founders of a recent Facebook group known as the International United Sister Society (IUSS). We formed in March when everything shut down. The purpose of the group is to have a place where we can work out, do art, music, and group discussions to keep each other inspired and healthy. The group consists of women from all backgrounds; fashion, legal, media, athletes, housewives, grandma’s, students, business owners, etc. It’s all about the importance of “being there” for each other.
Closing out, do you have any advice for next year’s Rising Brand nominees?
The main elements I would share with future nominees are to be proactive within the community, to produce really good work, and to be very transparent with your employees and contractors. Treat them well and appreciate them. They are the backbone of your company. I feel it all boils down to doing your absolute best to keep growing YOU…People will see this. I highly recommend keeping your media platforms up to date, on-brand, and active so people can find you. Lastly, I feel being engaged in public speaking and events is great whenever possible so that your community can watch your growth. Because when you rise, you also SHINE!