How Tawana Got Over Her Fear Of Failure & Started House of Chic LA
She’s the stylish mastermind behind the brand and is just getting started with building her boss ass empire.
We talked to Tawana about how the idea for her brand stemmed from a quarter life crisis, how she got over her fear of failure, and what’s in store for House of Chic.
What made you start “House of Chic LA” and what was your initial plan for you company?
Starting House of Chic LA stemmed from a good ol’ mid-life crisis. I had just turned 29 and I’d always vowed to myself that I would walk into 30 successful.
A few years before I pursued the competitive field of styling. Through networking and building relationships, I was able to land some pretty amazing jobs. Two years into styling I realized I was not fulfilling my true passion for fashion and it was time to pursue my next dream. Opening a Boutique had always been a dream of mine but after the rise of social media (Instagram) the boutique world seemed oversaturated and I’ve always had a burning desire to stay different.
After long deliberation, I decided to go for it. After all, it was my dream. I was introduced to my now business parter who was a photographer and model at the time. We had coffee one day discussing our future plans. Long story short, we decided we’d make an amazing team and went for it. Within two months, House of Chic was born.
When did you fall in love with fashion and how does that reflect in your brand?
I fell in love with fashion around seven years old. I’d always been a pretty independent child. I would dress myself for school and even (when my mother allowed me) do my own hair. As far back as I can remember my outward appearance was always important to me. My love for fashion and personal style are a direct reflection of HOC. I like to give my customers the feeling that they are shopping out of one girl’s closet. I want repeat customers at HOC to feel like they are building a cohesive wardrobe with us.
What was most challenging about starting your own company and what advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
I believe the most challenging part about starting my own company was getting out of my own way. I’ve always been afraid of failure and to this very day I’m a over thinker. I’ve always had different business ideas, but continuously found ways to talk myself out of them. Always thinking “I can do something better” or “I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.” One day I just decided to go for it. Either it will work or it won’t.
I finally decided to put one foot forward and believe in myself and it was the best decision I ever made. My advice to young entrepreneurs is to go after your dream and don’t stop. If you try something and it happens to not work out, try something else. You just have to keep going and never get discouraged. Don’t let fear and doubt hold you back from your greatness.
What advice do you have for someone looking to find their own style? How long did it take for you to find yours?
My advice for someone looking to find their own style would be watch other women whose style they admire. Follow your favorite fashionistas on Instagram and fashion blogs. I believe the most important factor in finding your own personal style is wearing clothes that make you feel good. I discovered my current personal style sometime in high school. I simply chose a style that felt most like what I felt on the inside. Simple, chic, girly, and classy.
Why do you feel you’ve grown to be so popular on social media?
Honestly, I ask myself that question daily. I’m still in awe when I realize how many people watch me through social media. I think people see authenticity when they see me. My fashion sense plays a big part in my following. Not only fashion, but all things beauty. Fashion, hair, makeup, you name it, I love it. I think people use me for inspiration as I do the same by following my favorites on Insta.
You post many inspirational quotes on your social media, when did you start doing this and why?
I’m obsessed with quotes. I’ve been posting them since I first created an Instagram account. Quotes can be so inspiring. Sometimes I’ll stay up late at night reading and screen shooting good quotes. Its almost therapeutic for me.
What motivates you to keep pushing towards your goals when things get tough?
When things get tough I always remember the woman I want to be. I want to be successful and inspirational. I cant give up, even when the going gets tough I know it’s only temporary. I have to keep going because I want to continue to inspire girls like me. I want them to know that if I can do it, they most definitely can.
Do you plan on expanding House Of Chic? If so, what are some locations you would love your brand to expand to?
As of right now, we sell online worldwide. If opening up a storefront, it would most definitely be in NYC.
Do you ever see yourself adding plus size to your brand? Why or why not?
Absolutely! Once we start our private label, plus sizes will most definitely become available.
What would you love your supporters to take from this interview?
I would love for my supporters to take from this interview the confidence that they can do anything they put their mind to. I hope this interview inspires someone that is trying to find their niche to look within. I hope it inspires the girls like me who are only in their own way. Success is on the other side of fear. Remember all you have to is believe in yourself and start.