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Meet Heather Roma of The Westside Collective in Topanga Canyon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Roma.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Heather. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Starting The Westside Collective was a decision I made while pregnant with my son. In 2014, I was taking a hiatus from the fashion industry after shutting down my swimwear business AMORROMA and was making my income by being a flight attendant on private jets and traveling the world. I knew I couldn’t do that after I had my son, so I thought hard about what I could do while living the lifestyle I wanted. I had always been in the fashion industry and had launched brands, worked in retail, development, and wholesale for 15 years. I had been giving advice to friends for years about the business and never charged for it. So I decided to start a consulting company. The same day I made the decision, I created a website, posted about it on Facebook and got my first client by the end of the day.

Around the same time, I was still itching to be in the retail industry again. I wanted to have a pop-up store on the side so I bought a 1979 trailer and renovated it with all wood interior, a turquoise paint job, and a wooden herringbone door. I launched the shop in Northern California and did pop-ups for the next three years in Northern and Southern California. I sold ethically made American brands.

During the time since I launched both parts of The Westside Collective, it’s grown organically and exponentially. The consulting side of things grew into an agency of sorts, with all of my team being freelancers who I and my clients trust and love working with. We offer services for brands and do everything from concept to consumer and everywhere in between.

As the retail industry deteriorated since the election of Trump, I shut the store in 2017 and now have the trailer as an extra bedroom at an Airbnb property I manage in Topanga Canyon. Still having a love for products, I created a program where I curate ethical and local goods available for purchase in my Airbnb as well as other locations that are owned by friends.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As many things in life, business has not been a smooth road. I had to learn to not push things even when times were tough. To trust the process and the timing of things. The hardest part for me has been budgeting and balancing time for myself to get the busy work done while still being able to spend time with my son. Mostly I found that growing my network and building my relationships was the most important to my personal growth and in turn, the business’s growth.

Please tell us about The Westside Collective.
We are a collective of creatives who offer an array of services to launch and grow brands. We work with our clients at whatever stage they need us. From developing a product and producing it, creating the branding, building websites, producing ongoing content, digital and social media management and advertising and last but not least launch parties and getting the brand out in front of their customer. We are master storytellers and have the kind of team that spans all parts of business growth.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I always look at life like if it wasn’t a win, then it was a lesson; so I really wouldn’t have done anything differently because I wouldn’t have learned all of the things I have learned. There is one thing though. Hiring a business manager and bookkeeper. I still need that!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal photo and photo with colleagues: @mskateegrace, Content for kids brand @levijamesco: @prescribedthesun, Content for CBD brand @taylorandtess: @marshalldavid11

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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