Written by : Samantha Cee
This week we at Fashion Gxd Magazine sat down with Lacey Odoms. Lacey Odoms is an author and CEO of Lace of Love. After years of helping family and friends with large breast find fashionable and adequate, supportive bras, she decided to open Lace of Love. Lace of Love specializes in full-figured and plus-size lingerie with bra sizes starting at 28D to 54O. Lacey is a certified Bra Fitter and schedules her fittings on the weekends. Living proof, an entrepreneur can joggle a full-time job, run and operate a small business venture while squeezing in time to write and self-publish a poetry book, Conversations with the Heart and Soul.
With over a decade of writing poetry for speaking events and as a freelance poetry writer, Ms. Odoms has a unique powerful voice that sheds light on everyday encounters in her newest collection of poems, Conversations with the Heart and Soul. This collection of poems centers around love, faith, hope, social issues, and being human. Much of her writing is heavily influenced by New Orleans’ culture, issues experienced by individuals around the world, and her faith in Jesus Christ. Take a look at our exclusive interview with the rising brand below.
Author and CEO of Lace of Love
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How did the idea for your business come about?
Answer: My business is two fold. I am both an author of a poetry book Conversations with the Heart and Soul and an online boutique owner of Lace of Love.
I never really thought of writing a poetry book until a few years ago maybe in 2006 my pastor Tracy Cabsy Sr. stated I had books in me and my writing was going to take me places. After getting rejected so many times, through poetry journals, magazines, etc. my pastor words came back to me and I decided to gather up all the poems I ever wrote and find at least 60 of the best to put in a book.
Originally, the book was title The Heart Speaks. I later changed the name to Conversations with the Heart and Soul to reflect these deep conversations I would have with God on the matters of the heart which centered around life.
The lingerie business started out of my need to find bras to fit my large breast and small back and my desire to help other females find their right bra size. After years of helping family and friends with large breast find fashionable, comfortable and supportive bras, I decided to open Lace of Love. Lace of Love specializes in full-figured and plus-size lingerie with bra sizes starting at 28D to 54O.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
Answer: Currently, I take on the multitude of responsibilities for the business by myself and with the help of my close family. When I am working my normal 9 to 5, they package orders or respond to inquires, etc. They have truly been a blessing to me and my company.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What three pieces of advice would you give to other children who want to become entrepreneurs?
Answer: 1. Seek God to discover if what you desire to do lines up with His purpose for your life.
2. If it does, find a mentor who can pour into you that has a business in that same industry you desire to establish a business.
3. The most important skill is to learn. Study and gain knowledge by reading, researching and taking courses or going to seminars either online or face to face that involves running a successful business, marketing, and negotiating, networking and sharpening your skill set in the industry you will start a company within. Never stop learning.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Answer: I would have worked harder to find a mentor in my field. I believe it’s critical to have a mentor to properly guide and direct you. God covered me with His grace until He blessed me with a good mentor. My mentor guidance saved me time and money. Their level of expertise isn’t rooted in a book or YouTube video.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur
Answer: 1. Communication is the blood of the company. If you do not listen to what the customers want or what the employees need, your business will fail because the customers and employees will go where their voices can be heard. God created us to be codependent upon each other to help one another become successful. An individual building a business can be done. But, a team of individuals working together to build a business will become successful at a faster rate because individuals from all walks of life with different skill sets are working toward one common goal.
2. You must be creative and willing to think outside of the box to keep an advantage over the competition. Constantly, challenge yourself to be creative and come up with creative ideas. Take time everyday to write the ideas down.
3. You must be flexible. The blueprint you created for your business, or that marketing plan may not go as planned. When things do not go as you intended, don’t panic, get creative and pray. God will see you through. If you allow yourself to be flexible, challenges will not overtake you but will make you stronger and wiser to overcome the challenges.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Answer: I am a firm believer, failure is our greatest teacher, so a lot of things I learned could have only been learned through my trails. I appreciate the hard life lessons because it made me a stronger and wiser person. But most importantly, the challenges and trails of life and business helped to equip me for elevation.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How many hours do you work a day on average?
Answer: I would say about 4 to 5 hrs a day or more when needed for my personal business.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: Describe/outline your typical day?
Answer: Currently, I have a normal 9 to 5. I work out of state and it requires an hour and twenty minutes commute going and sometimes coming back it may take 2 hours depending on the traffic. On most mornings, I am up at 5am to start my day. Some mornings I may get up at 4:30am or a littler earlier to get a jump start on talking to vendors out of the country. On my breaks at work, I will respond to emails, schedule appointments, order supplies, inventory, etc. for my company and when I get home I continue working for my company taking care of anything that is needed such as packaging orders, etc. which can go until 12am or a little later in the morning. Also, I may have a bra fitting scheduled between 5:30pm and 7pm directly when I get off the 9 to 5. I will soon be scheduling bra fittings only on every other Friday and Saturday to help better manage my time to take on other projects.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Answer: I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My parents and brother have their own trucking company, so growing up with entrepreneurs I have become accustomed to adjusting my schedule when needed to conduct business, cook dinner or engage in family time. Date night with my King is always scheduled every other Friday out of the month. I also make sure my mother and I have Saturday girl’s day at least once a month and family dinner with both of my parents at least once a week. My family is very important to me so I ensure I make time to spend with my family.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What motivates you?
There are many things and people that motivates me. Seeing other entrepreneurs especially females and young blacks working hard building successful companies lets me know it’s possible for me to be just as successful. In addition, my family, friends and pastor motivates me to continue to press in the face of adversity while keeping God first. Writing also helps to motivate me to continue to strive to complete my God ordained purpose here on earth. Myles Monroe gave a sermon and he talked about using the gifts God gave you. My desire is to die empty to where the gifts and talents God placed in me has been used up completely when I leave this earth.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How do you generate new ideas?
Answer: Mainly, I generate new ideas by spending time with myself and God. In addition, I may write or sketch if I have a certain vision in my head, reading, listening to interviews or looking at bodies of works of those I admire.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Answer: I have sacrificed a lot of time in working toward completing deadlines so I could not always enjoy spending time with my loved ones. Time is one of those commodities you can never get back but the return can be great. I try to use my time wisely and things I may desire to do I don’t because it may not be an efficient use of my time.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Answer: In 10 years, I pray that I have a physical boutique and manufacturing products under my company brand. In addition, I will continue to write poetry books or any genre God leads me to write that will inspire and help others while traveling the world pouring into others through speaking events.
20 years from now I see myself continuing to build Lace of Love expanding it into clothing and beauty products for the family and build my personal brand as an author and speaker. My goal is to establish a household brand that inspires, motivates and encourages individuals through fashion and words.
You can find Ms. Odoms poetry book Conversations with the Heart and Soul and her lingerie boutique online at www.laceoflove.com
For inquiries regarding freelance poetry writing, speaking engagements or services related to Ms. Odoms lingerie business, feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
Bottom Model: Shawn Reaves @hourglass_corsetiere | Hair and Makeup: Shawn Reaves Lingerie: Beautiful Black and Gold bra and panties inspired by Nola Saints @shoplaceoflove Lace of Love www.laceoflove.com | Location: Mgriffin Studios, Cypress Texas | Photographer: Morris Griffin | Photographer: Jewel Tolson Kozak Asst. to Photographer: Anita Griffin /
Top Model: Roxy Perez @poproxx428 | Hair and Makeup: Roxy Perez| Lingerie: Sexy Teal with Black Lace Chemise @shoplaceoflove Lace of Love www.laceoflove.com
Location: Mgriffin Studios, Cypress Texas | Photographer: Morris Griffin @moeman34
Photographer: Jewel Tolson Kozak | Asst. to Photographer: Anita Griffin
Picture of Owner Lacey Odoms | Stylist: Lacey Odoms @laceyo_ | Photographer: Tyesha Scott @angless___ | MUA: Mia Paternostro @facesbymiasimone | Hair Stylist: Dana Winfield @hairbydanaw | Hair Extensions: Seven Zen Hair @sevenzenhair | Book: Conversations with the Heart and Soul @shoplaceoflove www.laceoflove.com/book