Rose Paulino is the brainchild behind the brand of the same name, a custom women’s apparel line for all shapes and sizes and one that helps women have a bold voice by helping them feel confident. The brand is community driven and was founded in September 2018 when Rose decided to move away from being a foster carer to follow her dream of launching this brand.
Still in the early days of business, Rose has created quite a stir in the fashion world and has already had many accolades that she can proudly shout about. Here, she tells us more about the journey to where she is today…
Tell us about the journey you had which lead to your launching your own brand…
I think I have always known that I have wanted to have my own company. It was just a matter of time but when I hit rock bottom that caused the entrepreneur in me to break out and finally be brave. Many times we tend to not do things due to fear. Truth is, instead of backing down, use that fear as fuel to do what you never thought you could. People tell me I am crazy all the time for starting my own business in this era. Many even tell me I will not succeed, but that fear of them possibly being right is what drives me to keep my company moving forward. One day my faith, hard work, and dedication to make a difference will pay off.
I worked for Steve Madden for 2 years and I learned so much! I started off as a customer service rep and then was promoted to the Madden girl design team. I had no idea how to design shoes, but as a natural designer it was something I was able to pick up fast. I feel in love with it! I thought my whole life that if I went to college and got an amazing job it meant that I will have succeeded. Sadly, that was not true. I started designing shoes on the side, shoes that I thought were amazing and contemporary and that complimented my designs at home. Eventually I started getting depressed because I felt unheard in my career. I was working for someone and helping them become rich. I was always burnt out for someone else’s benefit. It was then that I used my grad school classes at South University to make my business plan and have my own company. I carefully planned a company that did both, made me feel heard in the fashion industry through my designs and helps the foster care community. I am a foster care success story and a portion of my sales is donated to the kids in foster care.
If you could turn back the clocks, is there anything you would do differently?
If I could turn back the clocks I wish I invested my first 30k into marketing and advertising. I thought that doing fashion shows and attending events was the way to build my brand awareness. Brand awareness via PR doesn’t necessarily bring sales. Although I did different to what I would now, I do not regret it. Good PR has opened many doors for me. It has given my brand a public value that allows me to be a good competitor in the industry.
Tell us about a recent BossBabe moment that you’ve had…
My recent BossBabe moment has been getting into Macy’s . Macy’s is a big account and I feel honoured to be there. I feel like I did something right. Also this month I announced the “BEST REALITY TV SHOW OF 2019” at the National Television and Film awards. I feel like god is guiding me in the right way because this opportunity has opened up for me.
What sets you apart from other fashion and swimwear brands?
What makes my company different is that we are on a community driven mission and upcoming virtual fitting technology. I have found a way for women to build an avatar on my site of their bodies and virtually try my clothing on. This will reduce returns and create trust with the customer. The customer will be able to see how the clothes will look on them before they arrive in the mail. My company is not just a one where I showcase my designs, confidence, and body acceptance it is a company that represents hope. Foster kids grow up thinking they are a statistic and will not succeed due to lack of love and a support system. My companies’ mission is to show the foster care kids that they too, can be entrepreneurs and strive to the top. If there is one thing, we foster care kids know how to do, is HUSTLE! I want to to teach them to use that passion to survive to create!
What plans have you got for the brand in 2020?
In 2020 we will finally be setting up the virtual fitting technology. I have partnered with Logical Position for marketing and advertising along with TLK Fusion . Bigger things are coming now that I have the right team.
Our readers love to travel, if you could get a one way ticket to anywhere, where would you go?
I grew up knowing my mom abandoned me. I spent a whole lifetime mad at her because I have always felt alone. I recently found my mom and spent some amazing times with her. I would love to go to Italy to expand my brand and be with my mom.
Did anyone offer you any business advice during the early days of the business and if so, has any of that advice stuck with you today?
I attended so many seminars to get some kind of mental structure. The seminar that stuck with me the most was the Break through Wealth Seminar. I learned that the power of being broke will inspire the hustler inside you and make you achieve the impossible.
Outside of work, what do you like to do to relax?
I like to have a drink of wine in the jacuzzi with my boyfriend.
Have you made any mistakes that have lead to learning curves?
Yes! I learned to find myself as a CEO, I am very shy when telling people what I do because I don’t know how they will act or respond. The truth is when you start a business you are the boss and you have to represent that title even if people you hire do not like what you ask them to do. That is okay, people will not always like it.
For anyone aspiring to have their own brand one day, what advice would you give?
I would tell them to apply for business grants and always have a plan B and C because the business plan you prepare doesn’t happen as you expect most of the time.
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