Grass-fields would like to start this week's feature on the companies we love by introducing you to Li Li's Creations. The fashion brand was started by the fabulous Malacia Anderson, its owner and designer.
For some people, the expression 'choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life', is more than just a platitude. Malacia Anderson, founder and designer of clothing brand Li Li's Creations, is one such person.
We sat down with the OG Li Li Girl to talk about her brand, the trials and tribulations of running your own business, and what she has learned from taking the plunge.
When did you start Li Li's Creations?
'Li Li's Creations was founded on 8/6/13 as a birthday present to myself. Opening an Etsy shop was a goal of mine for a long time.
Although that is when it was founded I have been sewing since the age of 10 and provided personal seamstress work for many, many years before founding Li Li's Creations.'
What is your brand's mission?
'The mission of Li Li's Creations is to return femininity, vintage shapes mixed with culture, into the fashion aesthetic. The Li Li Girl Brand is for the elegant, unique woman who is not afraid to be different.'
What is your favourite piece from the current collection and why?
'I have so many from my fall Hariri-Na-Nta Collection but then one that stands out the more to me is the Mstari African Print Blouse and the Hariri Belle Skirt. These to pieces are the catalyst for the collection which means 'silk and wax' in Swahili.
This collection I used fabrics that I have loved across my sewing career. The Hariri Belle Skirt is made from embroidered silk dupioni and is just beautiful paired with the Mstari African Print Blouse. It's a unique and simply stunning ensemble.'
What inspires you?
'My mother is my biggest inspiration and the reason that I sew today. As a little girl she would make us clothes overnight to wear the next day. I wanted to learn that magical process because of her. Other designers that I love are Stella Jean and Johanna Ortiz.'
What plans do you have for Li Li's creations in 2018?
'I will continue to do more in person marketplace, as well as bring back the Li Li Girl Brunch in honor of my brand and birthday. Along with that I will be debuting my new Spring Collection which will come out early Spring. The process of fabric selection for it has already begun.'
What would you say to someone who wanted to start their own brand but was unsure?
Regardless of the kind of brand started the advice I would give is to be true to the gift God has given you. Walk in integrity at all times and stay focused. These things coupled with consistently focusing on it will yield positive results.'
What have you learned from running your own business?
'My greatest lesson in owning my own business is that it takes a good support system to be successful. Prayer and faith in God as my foundation and staying focused on the tasks in front of me. The other person is consistency. You cannot be successful without it.'
All of the brand's clothes are handcrafted by Malacia herself, and for sale on the original Etsy store and at the website Li Li Girl. Typical prices are from about $90 for a blouse made of African print wax fabric to $186 for an embroidered silk skirt.
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