Have you ever encountered a person who can just walk into a room and light it up with their smile and personality? Well meet swimwear designer, Shaquoya Jackson - Ishman, CEO of ShaLaJa Swimwear. She has it all: beauty, brains, and her business is all the way together! With her impeccable style and knack for network and capturing a room, she is growing her brand in every area. I caught up with this mogul in the making to get her insight on her brand and how she has stayed so consistent in her journey!
I get so many inquiries from aspiring designers, what advice would you give them in regards to
getting started and branding themselves?
The advice that I would give to aspiring designers would be to start off with a legitimate business plan (you can get an outline from google), gather all sources possible to help you along the way, do as much research as possible to know the tricks of the trade, and have a financial budget set aside strictly for the business. Have a clear vision of what your goal is and stick to the mission. There are many ways to attack it!
As far as branding yourself its all about creating the image you would like for your brand and pushing it out to the world.. Sounds easy right? Well it’s so much work and so many ways that you can brand yourself. Word of mouth and socializing/interacting with people have been my best form of advertisement/branding. Always have a mind frame to network when you’re out. Introduce yourself and mention your business. Try to pass out as many business cards as possible. Branding takes time so don’t expect to jump out there and be known right away. It’s a process that you’ll have to figure out what works best for you, but Consistency it the key!
As the face of your brand, how important do you think confidence is when you are starting a new business and marketing yourself?
Confidence is definitely a key factor in marketing yourself. If you are not confident enough in your own product why should anyone else be? You have to be confident and strong enough to make it through any struggles before you can mentally take on any task.
You have held a number of successful fashion shows and events for Shalaja Swimwear, what is the secret behind your longevity and consistency?
The secret behind my successful shows and events are planning in advance. As soon as one event is over immediately plan for the next year’s event. The more ahead of things you are, the less stressful everything is.
What would be your advice to another woman who may be thinking of starting their own business and what are some steps you think they should take to get ready?
The advice I would give to a woman starting a business is much like the advice I would give to an aspiring designer. All the work is still necessary. There are events for women though such as the women expo’s and luncheons. It’s always great to connect with other like minded women to keep you encouraged and help you expand and enlarge your territory!
When it comes to marketing, what has been the best vehicle to get your message across and really draw in your audience? Social media, video, speaking engagements….
When it comes to marketing, for me the best way to get my message out there is by actually going places and socializing with people and hosting events. Social media for me is just and extra boost. People want to actually engage with you and get to know before they really start interacting with you on social media.
What are you future goals for Shalaja Swimwear and how can people support your movement?
My future goals for ShaLaJá Swimwear are to eventually expand to storefronts and boutiques, introduce other lines that will cater to different markets and continue to make my customers happy. You can definitely help support ShaLaJá Swimwear by visiting my website at www.shalajaswimwear.com, liking my FB page and follow my instagram to keep up with the movement at @shalajaswimwear