Today we’d like to introduce you to Lakida Hope.
Lakida, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m originally from Saint Louis, MO. I moved out here as a kid with my mom when she was divorcing my dad (Sad times) but I believe Los Angeles is where I was meant to be so the universe made it happen. I would consider myself to be “The Blueprint” or “The Hood’s Fashion Guru”. I’ve been known for my sense of fashion since High School. (My mom always tries to take credit for it lol she always says, “You know you got your style from me right?” I loved switching up my hair color and trying new things. I always had the big flashy jewelry and stayed with my nails done. Always taking pictures in class & getting sent to the office for using my phone (I would just ditch to my friend’s classes with the cool teachers and take more pictures there instead lol). My friends would always ask to borrow my clothes every time we went out ESPECIALLY MY PURSES (Still haven’t gotten a lot of my stuff back… I won’t mention any names *Cough Cough*) I’m basically my friend’s personal stylist still to this day. I get the facetime calls like “Does this look right? Should I buy this?”.
Currently, I am the owner and creator of www.ShopTheScenery.com. I started that business and created the website on my own in 2016. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING I learned on my own, from creating the website to obtaining the inventory to marketing (Google is my bestfriend), but it wasn’t easy. OK so basically I was at one of the lowest points of my life back in 2015 sitting back wondering what am I doing? Why am I here? (Referring to the security job I was working at the time.) I literally wrote a list of all the things I actually liked doing. SHOPPING was at the top of my list. But how can I make money shopping? I was stuck for a while because I just couldn’t figure it out. Like how does this even make sense? Then it hit me one day while I was out and about minding my business, someone asked me where did I get my outfit from (As usual). I told them what store I got it from and then it was like I had this huge revelation! Literally, every time I go out in public someone asks me where did I get my outfit from or where did I get my sunglasses from, etc. Why am I telling them where to go when they could just buy the items from me? I could start my own boutique. But how? Where do I start? Where do I go for inventory? Where do all these other boutiques get their stuff from? The main thing was that I knew what I wanted to do.
Now I needed to figure out how to do it… So I figured it out. The first thing I did was make the IG page. I already knew a lot of people so it was easy to just tell them to follow my business page and they were excited for me (I was one of the first of my generation to start their own business) then it was a domino effect. I then created the website & purchased my domain. Then I started buying wholesale from DTLA and reselling items which I had stored at my mom’s house in Gardena, CA. If you were local, I would literally deliver the items to you myself. At first, my marketing was just taking pictures of the clothes that I would spread out on the living room floor on top of a white bed sheet lol and post on my website. But people wanted to see how the clothes actually looked on a person (which made more sense) so I started taking pics of myself wearing the clothes or of my friends wearing the clothes. Still wasn’t bringing in a lot of sales. Next I started reaching out to different influencers to send them products to wear, post, & tag on IG which was sometimes a hit or miss (Some influencers would take the clothes and never post or they wouldn’t tag me). Finally, I had my first professional photoshoot, I paid for the photographer and the photo studio all out of my own pocket (Still working a security job). Luckily I didn’t have to pay for the model because she was my friend and she came hair and make-up ready so I saved in that area… had to make it work.
Now that I had these professional pictures on my website, I thought the money was just going to start flowing in. At the most, I was breaking even and I became a little discouraged. So in 2017, I ended up getting hired at the Headquarters of a high profile fashion company which put a small pause on my boutique. But on the bright side, I had an inside look on a thriving fast fashion business. I seen how they marketed, how they ran their customer service, how they did their photoshoots etc. Fast Forward to 2020… The Pandemic hit and my high profile job LAID ME OFF, which was okay because I was planning to quit ANYWAYS. I collected all the knowledge I needed to proceed with my own business and I realized I CANNOT keep working for someone else I have to be my own boss. I relaunched my website, changed the structure of my business, implemented everything I learned and it’s definitely paying off! Next, I plan on moving into kids fashion inspired by my son King. I have a few other things in the works but I’ll keep that on the hush for now… I like to “Move in silence” then pop out once everything’s in place like “Oh yea you didn’t know?” lol. One thing I can say is never give up on your passion. If you put in the work, stay positive, and keep learning, the profit will come. You can’t skip the struggle. Everything is a learning experience.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely was not a smooth road. Money was always a struggle. It takes money to make money. I could only purchase a few pieces of inventory when I first started literally spending my whole check from my security job. You have to be willing to invest in yourself. The creative side was a struggle for me keeping my customers engaged, having to come up with new content to post on IG with limited resources (Inventory). In the beginning, the Shop The Scenery’s IG page was kind of repetitive: Same pictures over and over again. Nobody wants to keep seeing the same thing or they’re going to eventually get bored.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Shop The Scenery?
Shop The Scenery is an online boutique which is mostly catered towards women’s apparel. We carry women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, sunglasses, bags, hats, etc. I wanted this to be a one stop shop for all your fashion needs. I’m also creating a home/tech section which will include home decor items and some miscellaneous things that I think are cool like unique phone cases, etc… Ever heard of Hot Topic or Spencer’s? (Love those stores) Things like that would go into this section. Stay Tuned…
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Google has worked the best for me! I can’t preach this enough. Google is your bestfriend. I didn’t ask anyone for help. Some people get offended when you ask them how to do what they’re doing because they feel like they put in the work, did all the research and you’re just looking for a hand out of information. I’ve purchased e-books and business courses that have really helped me a lot. I did get INSPIRED by people like Ciera Rogers who owns www.ShopBabes.com and Briana Shanee who owns MATTE BRAND. I’ve been following them for years and they both built their business from scratch by themselves. That motivates me still to this day seeing how huge their brands have gotten. Shout out to them! As far as networking goes, don’t be afraid to slide in those DM’s that’s what IG is for and that’s how I got a lot of influencers to wear my clothes and ended up on a lot a cool sets meeting some interesting celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner. Eventually, the influencers started reaching out to me once they seen other influencers wearing my clothes and I chose who I wanted to work with.
- Email: info@ShopTheScenery.com
- Website: www.ShopTheScenery.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prettynarcissist/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShopTheScenery
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PrettyNarcissis
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB9cd1PNI5Y
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/shopthescenery/