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Life & Work with Eloise Lapidus and Ina Soltani

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eloise Lapidus and Ina Soltani.

Eloise and Ina, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
EL: I grew up in France in a creative environment. My mom was a model and my dad owned a fashion business which allowed me to learn the craft of design firsthand. After relocating to California for school, I launched my own clothing line in 2011 and soon after had people reaching out for help with their own lines, especially in manufacturing. I decided to give it a go since I knew the ins and outs of making clothes. Ina grew up in Bosnia and came to the US in the early nineties to study Fashion. She grew up in a very colorful culture and carries a lot of emotional influences from her European background. I met Ina a few years ago through mutual friends and knew about her amazing fashion line. We decided to put our knowledge and resources together and start a consulting business with a focus on manufacturing.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
IS&EL: Money is always tricky in this business and growth is difficult. When running a label, it’s definitely a constant challenge. Most people expect that being a designer or working in the industry is all fun and glamorous, but it’s a lot of hard work and high stress. Making beautiful things is only a small part of the business. There’s production, product development, web development, accounting, copywriting, marketing… it’s endless. Lots of people are trying to get into fashion, including those not originally from this industry. Some of our start-up clients are from completely different industries, but they’re able to spot a gap in the market and have the necessary entrepreneurial skills; but they don’t necessarily realize how complex this business is and how much finance is needed to succeed. Also, sustainability has to become a way of life. Sadly the fashion industry has left very negative footprints in our ecosystem so we have to embrace new techniques and focus on better, not more.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
IS&EL: There are certain mistakes and pitfalls many entrepreneurs make when launching their own brand. Designers are usually interested in the creative side but not the business side, but you can’t have one without the other. What separates us from the rest is how we solve those problems and move forward. The key to our success is to be able to guide the brands through the process, be straightforward and always stay on top of things. The bigger brands have a very rigid schedule and have a very clear idea of what is realistic and what’s not. So we tell them, the more concrete their vision is, the easier the process will be and the better results their brand will have. Like anything in life, we all have a learning curve for anything that we do for the first time. It is essential to growth and we’re especially proud of how much we’ve learned through the years from the first time we started a garment from scratch.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
Stay authentic and never give up especially in a world that can be technically and visually overstimulating.

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