Ashley Williams, the brainchild behind online fashion boutique, Couture Luv, didn’t always want to work in the fashion industry. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, she was on a career path of becoming a lawyer, until she realized she had a strong desire to combine her love of styling with her desire to be an entrepreneur. Williams now exercises her instinctual knowledge of what women are looking for in terms of fashionable clothing and affordable price points with her online clothing boutique, Couture Luv.
From trendy tops to colorful leggings, the online store, which launched in March of 2012, offers pieces that super chic and trendy, and feature unique clothing and accessories that you are going to “luv.”
How did you decide on the name?
Because of the love I have for couture and vintage fashion, I decided upon the name couture. Luv is because of my personality and how I present myself. I am a very ‘luving’ and caring person. I have a deep yearn in my heart to help others, and the best way to help is to spread the luv.
What motivated you to start your business?
My love for fashion and design lead me to starting my own business. I loved to style others based on the things that make them unique. I always feel that how a woman feels inside should be reflected through her clothes, so I wanted to start a store that carried things that could be beneficial to all women in their own unique ways.
How did you come up with the concept for Couture Luv? Any specific reason behind why you choose to use “luv” vs “love”?
I chose ‘Luv’ instead of ‘Love’ because I thrive to be unique.
Is this your full-time job?
Yes this is my full-time job.
Do you have any employees?
No, I do not currently have employees. I only have interns who are working towards a career in the fashion industry. I do look to expand in the future.
How do you find the models for your website? What do you look for when selecting someone to model the clothes?
I have not held any model searches, I hand-pick my models randomly. I see someone walking in the mall and find the perfect model. When selecting models I look for everyday body types. I don’t typically cast models who are a size two, because the majority of women aren’t that size. I try to find models people can identify with. I love all nationality and races. I thrive for diversity when choosing models. I am currently searching for plus-size models. Finding plus-size models is my biggest challenge when searching for models for the site.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of launching the site so far?
The most rewarding aspect from Couture Luv has been the positive feedback I’ve gotten from my happy customers. Just knowing I made someone’s day, is very rewarding for me.
What has been the most challenging aspect?
The most challenging aspect has been marketing the brand.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from within. The artist that lives within me paints the pictures that I bring to light.
What is the company’s best-selling item(s)?
All of our unique tights/leggings are most popular right now.
What do you look for when selecting items for the website?
Sometimes I look for creativity and sometimes I look for simplicity; it depends. My fashion intuition has many different sides and angles. I look for everything from bright neon colors, strips, and patterns; to old English button ups, and pearls. I like to be out-of-the-box.
Do you have any advice for young women looking to start their own business?
For young people wanting to start a business, my advice would be to be determined and unafraid. You have to market yourself well, sell yourself and your brand. I am very open to others emailing me with questions about my success in such a small time frame.
Are there any special promotions going on now that you would like to highlight?
In July 2012, I am giving a percentage of my sales to the Barack Obama campaign 2012. I would love for everyone to come on-board in knowing we’re supporting a good cause. We also do hour deals which there are promotion code discounts from 10% to 50% that is available to those who are following us on twitter. ‘Fam28’ is the permanent code that will give you 10% of on every purchase. This code can be obtained once you register with the site. The code can be re-used.
Is there any additional info you would like to provide me with?
Our slogan is ‘Pretty Girls Rock’. We are a vendor at many events in the South Florida region, so if anyone is in area, they can find out where we will be selling from our Facebook page. We update regularly.
Follow us on twitter: @Coutureluv1