Being your own boss and making a brand that reflects who you are as a person is a dream for many in the business world. This week I caught up with 21-year-old owner of Ludovica, a boho-inspired boutique in the heart of Westwood, New Jersey who turned that dream into a reality.
Name: Lara Henawi
CollegeFashionista: Tell us about the style of Ludovica.
Lara Henawi: As far as style inspiration, I’d say Ludovica falls in between boho-chic and modern trendy. People say they get a Free People/Anthropologie feel when they come into the store. On the other hand, I do carry those essential basic pieces.
CF: What influences your own day-to-day style?
LH: My personal inspiration definitely comes from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The whole baggy, hobo, garbage man look is my favorite because it’s chic and comfortable. Layers are also a huge part of my everyday fashion inspiration. I use my own fashion inspiration to influence Ludovica as well.
CF: Today’s Ludo’s one year anniversary, what have you learned in the boutique’s first year of being open?
LH: The number one thing I’ve learned is that I didn’t know everything as well as I thought I did coming into this new world of owning a boutique. I’ve made numerous mistakes, but that’s a given in any business situation. I also had to learn about my clientele, target markets and the types of clothes and styles they are interested in. Lastly, I’d say that I learned owning a business isn’t easy at all. It’s something you take home with you every single day, so you really have no days off.
CF: What advice would you give to any other young adults trying to start their own business in the fashion industry?
LH: Advice for other young adults trying to start their own business is to step out of your comfort zone. Take charge of what you want in life and do it – do not be afraid of the risk because you’ll get nowhere. Second piece of advice would be to use your surroundings aka social media. It’s the number one advertising tool today and it’s free. Get connected with other young adults trying to start a business or company and help each other out—I teamed up with Chris Reid when I first opened Ludovica and starting selling his clothing line, Youthful Minds. I also sell jewelry that’s made by a 22 years old girl trying to launch her own company called Stone Cooper (check it out). Lastly, I’d say don’t let the hard work intimidate you. It’s going to be really hard, but it’s so worth it.
Learn more: For today’s one year anniversary, Ludovica is having a 20 percent off storewide sale today and tomorrow at 170 Westwood Ave., Westwood, New Jersey. There will also be an anniversary party tonight starting at 7:30 p.m. Come out for music, refreshments and fashion! To keep up with Ludovica’s awesome styles make sure to check out her shoppable website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.