LaTasha Duncan or better known as Madame L in the world of design and fashion is a fashion designer you can’t help but love. She is devoted to helping women feel empowered and find confidence through personal style. Her designs invoke a sense of timeless elegance and help women show the world their fierce confident selves.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always been a bit entrepreneurial but I remember waking up one day and feeling really lost and thinking…
- What am I here to do?
- What is my purpose?
- What is my passion?
At this point I had began experimenting with sewing and buying all kinds of patterns and fabrics. I think I shocked myself a bit when I realized how much I really loved it! There was something therapeutic I found in sewing and I loved the idea of having the freedom to create literally anything my heart desired.
I also love women and helping them feel good about themselves so it dawned on me one day that I need to pursue a career in fashion. Fashion for me checked off every criteria I could have for my dream job. I’m making a positive difference in the lives of other people, I have freedom of creativity, and I am my own boss – there is no better feeling.
I think I have to credit my inner awareness and own consciousness for inspiring me to do something different. I’m a big believer in following your own instincts and intuition, rarely is it wrong and it will send you on the most miraculous journey.
Tell us about your business.
My mission is to help women find empowerment and confidence through personal style and appearance.
I accomplish this through simple, elegant, and timeless designs. Blending the old with the new, forging a new path of confident empowered women. I create upscale, quality womenswear apparel manufactured in the US.
All of my designs are made in exclusive limited quantities to ensure you stay unique and fierce. I don’t believe in mass producing, it causes a lot of environmental waste and I want my clients to feel special every time they slip into one of their favorite Madame L styles. It’s hard to feel special when all of your neighbors have the same dress.
My products are made to inspire women, help them find power in their personal appearance, and to be confident in themselves. My clients are at the heart of everything I do. It is my mission to inspire you, encourage you, and instill an unshakable confidence in your everyday style. This is true empowerment.
I want my designs to embolden that fierce feminine all women have inside. Image is a very important factor and how you feel in something can have an even more important impact. Your image is your individual communication to the world about who you are, how you feel, and what’s happening in your life. It is your creative story to the world and is also the first impression you will make on others.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Yes! If you visit madamelstyle.com and leave your email, you will be entered to win a $1000.00 gift card. This is part of our Fall/Winter ’18 collection launch and nobody knows about this yet except for you, good luck!
Where is your business based?
I live in Oklahoma/NYC. My business is all online except for my custom design clients, which I have to meet in person. I usually meet my custom design clients at their homes or places they feel comfortable meeting.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The best advice I can give you is to just start. Start anywhere, doing anything.
I started buying fashion books, all kinds of them and familiarizing myself with the world of fashion then I started learning how to sketch, looking up content online and attending trade shows, doing literally anything I could to learn about the industry.
It’s all about making progress, even if it’s 10 minutes a day. Create goals and work to master each of them, soon you will be on your way to running a business!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I would have to say getting yourself in front of people. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, even if you are not expert, you have to start somewhere. Be open and honest about where you are in your journey.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The fashion industry can be intimidating. It is a tight community. The biggest challenge for me was knowing where to start, who to talk too, and understanding my next steps.
You just have to take it one day at a time and do something that moves you closer to your goal every day. You will get there!
How did you overcome these challenges?
Research, research, and create an action plan. I started researching everything, taking notes, and I created a plan of action.
I worked on my action plan every day, in fact, I still work on my plan every day. Hard work is hard work, but it can be incredibly rewarding.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I believe in myself. I trust myself and I know my worth. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I play to my strengths and hire out the rest.
Knowing yourself and believing in yourself will take you so much further than relying on other people’s opinions.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I think staying focused on yourself and knowing what you do well will help you see how different you are compared to others.
Sometimes when you become so focused on watching others you can get lost and then find yourself doing things the exact same way they are doing them.
Always trust yourself and focus on you. It’s important to know what your competitors are doing, just don’t lose yourself in their shadow.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I have two quotes that have stuck with me recently.
The first one, pardon my American, “Let sh*t go” and the second “Above all else, love.”
I love both of these because it reminds me not to hold on to things that drag me down, just “let them go” and the second quote reminds me to do my best to see everyone as myself.
We are all on a journey, we are all human, and we all have beautiful qualities and dark moments. We are all here trying to do this thing called life together.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Know yourself, love yourself, and be relentless in pursuing your passion. Work towards your goals every day even if it is only 10 minutes, small steps lead to big successes.
Don’t quit, never give up on yourself, and trust your instincts, there is a reason they are there, use them.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I love to read, so I will always have to go with books as my favorite business resources. Of course, this can vary depending upon industry but one of my favorite marketing business books is Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. This book is helpful when you are looking at marketing or advertising and what could propel your business.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I am reading lots of good fashion industry books, mainly on trend forecasting and color, however, I did just finish a book about Coco Chanel, Her Style and Her Life by Janet Wallach.
It is a beautiful read about Chanel and an intimate look at her life. I find there are some similarities between her and I and that fascinates me. Maybe it is our similar personalities or maybe it is an eye for style, maybe it’s a bit of both.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am always learning, I think that is a key to success. To be more specific I am learning more in-depth about trend forecasting.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months are to get my Fall/Winter ’18 collection online and successfully to my clients, while of course preparing for the next season. Fashion never sleeps!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Instagram @madamelstyle, @iammadamel
Hashtags #madamelstyle #empoweringwomen #madameldesigns #madamelfashion
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