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Conversations with the Inspiring Lonnette Nicole Miller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lonnette Nicole Miller.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My story actually begins at a very young age. I was about nine years old. My mother decided to open a retail store called Fashion Variety, and I was her associate. She didn’t have any other employees, just me, and she paid me. I remember our frequent travels to Memphis, Tennessee to shop for merchandise in the wholesale district. I watched her build her business from the ground up – from negotiating with vendors, to merchandising the store and selling through to customers. I learned it all from her. I sold merchandise for my mother at stores, casinos, festivals, and even at the swap-meet; I’ve done it all.

Later, I attended a career community academy in high school, where the students were allowed to have majors their junior and senior years. I majored in fashion design. While there, I learned industry terminology, how to source fabric, how to cut patterns, and how to sew. We even hosted fashion shows and modeling the finished project was one of my favorite things to do; It was a proud moment to wear my finished garments. This was a pivotal moment in my life because as a high school student looking for employment, my first instinct was to go with what I know, retail sales. I’ve worked for many retail companies. I only recently stopped working retail because I didn’t have the capacity to continue, but the ultimate goal was to own a clothing store. I wanted to make my own rules, I wanted to buy and create what I wanted to sell, and I wanted to build my own empire. I’ve talked about opening my own clothing boutique for years. If I’m being honest, I will say that fear has held me back, but in 2017, My pastor, Bishop TD Jakes, did a special sermon on business. During the presentation, he said, “Go Scared.” They were the words that I needed to hear because for years I had been paralyzed and had allowed fear to inhibit me from pursuing my dream but after this session, I knew that I had to do it. I had to go scared, and that was the beginning of my planning process. I went into 2018 determined to see it through. While I had a few hiccups in the beginning, I never allowed it to deter me. It’s only made me stronger.

Has it been a smooth road?
When I knew I was serious about starting the business, I asked one of my closest friends to be my partner. She quickly obliged. I just knew it was the perfect partnership. We’ve both worked retail together, and she currently works in PR, so I’m thinking oh, she’s going to be great with social media, marketing, advertising, etc. I, on the other hand, have a background in business, customer service, and fashion, so I can handle all of the backend of the business. For reasons out of my control, we didn’t move forward with the partnership, so this changed things drastically for me. I was still determined; there was no turning back, so I had to do it alone. I moved forward with amending the legal documents, start-up budget, and business plan. This forced me to push my launch date back from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019. While this was a small setback, I wouldn’t change anything. I needed that lesson. I needed to know that I could do it on my own, and that lesson taught me how to stand up and move on when things don’t go the way you’ve planned. My advice to other entrepreneurs would be to either not go into business with a friend or to pick your partner wisely because it can change the dynamics of your friendship and potentially your business. You are no longer just friends, you’re business partners, and it can be difficult to turn the business portion of the relationship off because there is a financial element attached to the success of your business.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Kind Of Woman story. Tell us more about the business.
The name of my business is Kind Of Woman, and we just recently launch. The name was inspired by both my own lifestyle as well as my professional experience. As I look back over my life, I can clearly see the evolution of my fashion taste – from the gym shoes to heels, from very fitted clothes to more A-line dresses and kaftans and comfy attire. My goal is to have space where women can explore different Kinds Of Women they’d like to be or are currently. Our socialite suite has looks that will turn heads. Our idea of a socialite is the life of the party and is someone everyone wants to know or more importantly, they want to know what she’s wearing. If she’s having a date night with her man, she can go directly to our night out section for more sexy attire. If she’s looking for day to day easy wear, she can explore our Bohemian looks. Kind Of Woman was created to evolve the woman’s shopping experience by providing looks that will inspire her to explore different Kind’s Of Women. I’m most proud of the fact that I get to share with women. I get to inspire women, and I want women to know they can be whoever they want to be whether it’s a connoisseur, a socialite, or a boss lady, and this is one of the ways I can convey that message without being on a physical stage. This is my stage.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
This is my purpose project. Nothing about it is random. I could’ve invested in any business that I wanted, but the seed of entrepreneurship was planted 23 years ago when mother became an entrepreneur and allowed me to be her apprentice. She taught me grit, grind, and hard-work at a very young age, and it’s never left me. My friends will tell you, “Lala is a hustler,” always have been, always will be. I’m happy she followed her dream because the seed that she planted has harvested into something beautiful that I can proudly call my own.

Pricing:

  • Prices will range from $19.99 to about $150

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mikeisha Tresvant of Thirtythreefifteen Photography

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