Tell us about your company. What inspired you to start it?
LOKA.HAUS is a luxury lifestyle brand that creates sustainable, versatile goods in apparel, jewelry, skincare, fragrance, & art. We believe in designing with purpose and offering quality products at an accessible price. LOKA.HAUS is not just “another” fashion brand. We believe in supporting our community and helping to build the female economy. We are dedicated to raising awareness on critical issues such as the economic impacts of fast fashion, pay equity, & proper female representation in the business market. By providing better alternatives and expanding consumer education & support, major brands will be forced to end inequitable and unsustainable practices. Actions like these will pave the way for future small businesses.
Who are your cofounders and what makes you a great team?
I am the single founder of LOKA.HAUS. I am a native Texan with formal training in Apparel Design from the University of Texas Austin, and a background in the arts. My career background has ranged across retail, tech, & hospitality. My most recent companies include Fairmont Hotels, Oracle, & Microsoft. Outside of designing, I am passionate about wellness, sustainability, and giving back to the community.
How is your company making a difference?
BEHIND THE BRAND “Loka” is a Sanskrit term defining the different planes or realities that constitute our universe. Our products are created to suit all your needs, no matter what loka you exist in right now. OUR PRODUCT Loka.Haus designs and produces high-quality, sustainable products with a small-batch, luxury feel. Materials utilized are ethically sourced, naturally derived, or recycled, OUR MISSION Our mission is to end fast fashion, provide luxury goods at an accessible level, and address + educate consumers on economic gender inequities, specifically in retail and business through our community + blog. We also aim to partner with & amplify local businesses with similar missions. OUR SERVICE Aside from our community blog, we give back to the community. 10% of sales monthly go back to a supported non-profit organization. We focus on women’s rights, pay equity, diversity, and sustainability.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
COVID-19 has certainly been a challenge. Securing funding has been extremely difficult, especially for small business owners. Applying for grants, loans, and accelerators has taken up most of my time. Simply getting your message heard is much harder during this time since pre-COVID, there were many more opportunities for in-person events & promotions. Almost everything is online now, so trying to be heard with every other company fighting for the same thing has been very hard.
What is your biggest win?
My biggest win this month was securing a few events to promote my brand. LOKA.HAUS will be one of the featured vendors with the virtual CraftHER Market on 2/20 & 2/21. We will also be in SXSW Startup Village through late March. I also secured the first two blogs featuring my brand! It was a great month.
Who is your role model?
My role models are my mom and grandmother. My mom was always ambitious & career-driven. She rose the ranks at her job for over thirty years, and began/finished her master’s degree while working. My grandmother was always very forward-thinking, especially for the time period she grew up. She wore a navy pantsuit to her wedding (that she made), and was one of the first ladies to wear pants to her school and work. I was raised in a family of disruptors, which is definitely where I get my independent & driven mindset from!
What do you wish you had known before starting your company?
I wish I had known more about the accelerator & investment group process. It is still something that I am learning, and every program is different. But it’s so difficult to tell what specifically these groups are looking for, and takes an incredible amount of time to find out on your own.
What is your CEO superpower?
My CEO superpower is ability to wear multiple hats! I am a solopreneur (with some free labor from my partner!!), and am responsible for every part of my company from top to bottom. I named & registered the business, designed the branding & built out the website, and built our mission/vision/etc. I am also the sole designer & main creator of all our products. I also do the marketing, social media, & press. It can get crazy, but I am glad I have the skills to do everything, and the base knowledge to hire others when I am ready to do so.
What has been your experience with FFA?
I recently found FFA online, and I really like the community aspect of empowering female founders. It provides an invaluable support and resource system that otherwise is so difficult to piece together. I also like that they provide virtual events. It always is very positive and interactive.
Anything else you want people to know?
Even in a pandemic, you can start a business or follow your dream. There is no time like the present to do what you dream of doing.