Think of clothes. Now, think of the word PRIIINCESSS! Yes, spelled that very way. It’s an online clothing company owned by Atlanta-based fashion entrepreneur Cindy Lafalaise. Being the founder of an online company should be easy right? You sit back, and watch as the sales rake in? Well, it so happens that there’s a little bit more to it than that. Follow along…
Kreyolicious: Tell us about yourself.
I am the face and owner of PRIIINCESSS.COM, an online clothing company. My customers are busy working women like myself who are fearless and die-hard fashion lovers…As a personal style blogger and self-proclaimed fashionista, I live for a great dress and great dresses is what the PRIIINCESSS brand is all about. My business is my baby. Most of my time is spent working, processing orders, returning emails, updating the site, connecting on social media, ordering new products, creating newsletters—and of course working on marketing strategies. But, I am a strong believer of the concept, “Work hard, play hard”—so I make sure to squeeze in me time, go to church, read, workout, hangout with loved ones and of course, travel!
Kreyolicious: I think that when we’re little, often times it’s a family member who makes us aware of fashion and dress. Was that your case?
My case was actually the opposite. I like to think fashion is in my blood, but growing up I hated the clothes my stepmom bought me. I was always coming up with creative ways to style them to make them more stylish or more me should I say. And as I got older, and was able to shop for myself and truly find MY personal style. Even though my style has evolved over the years but somethings will never change, like my love for bold prints and bright colors, or my shoe obsession. I currently own over 100 pair of shoes and counting. [Laugther]
Kreyolicious: What’s it like running your own fashion line?
Not easy. But rewarding. Finding my way in such a saturated market is one of the most difficult part of running my own business, but I’ve learned to focus on the work. I am literally obsessed with my brand. I’m never not but working. When I run into roadblocks, I simply stop and go back to the beginning of it all and remind myself of why I love what I do.
Kreyolicious: For those of us out there who have been vacillating between playing it safe and pursuing entrepreneurship, what advice do you have to offer?
Go for it. Honestly, the time will never be right. And really, there’s no such thing as playing it safe anymore. Time has changed. Nothing is guaranteed. Not even that 9-5 most people once saw as the a safety net after spending thousands of dollars on education. Building your own wealth is the new “playing it safe”…
Kreyolicious: In fashion, individuality isn’t always encouraged. You are expected to be unique, but at the same time you are expected to keep up with trends. How do you stay balanced in both areas?
As much as I love keeping up with what’s in and what’s hot, I also understand the importance of staying true to my brand and keeping its identity intact. I’ll shy away from the overly trendy pieces, but go for some of the current seasons hottest colors and prints.
Kreyolicious: Your parents support you in your career?
Of course not. Haitian Parents normally have their own perception of a “real” career path, and let’s just say I’m what most people will call a rebel.
Kreyolicious: How do you stay connected to Haitian culture?
I’m very connected to the Haitian culture. I’m quite active in the Haitian Community in Atlanta and Over the years I’ve been a member of multiple Haitian organizations such as The Georgia Haitian American Chambers of Commerce, International Women of H.O.P.E and many more…I do not travel to Haiti as often as I should, but I do hope to make my way home within the next year. I’m a beach girl, so I’m most definitely looking forward to visiting some of those beautiful beaches in Haiti.
Kreyolicious: Determined entrepreneurs always have a bucket list of goals. Where do you hope to take your brand?
That’s very true. I do have 100+ goals I hope to accomplish but some of my plans for the PRIIINCESSS brand is to, of course, remain an online retailer but become an household brand. When a woman needs a dress I want her to think of PRIIINCESSS.COM. Eventually, I will be designing and manufacturing everything in-house. In my very own warehouse to be exact and be able to offer wholesale options and services to other online retailers and local boutiques.