We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Teal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
When I think about or look at success behind my brand, I see the confidence in others when they find a pair of sunglasses that catches their eye or match their fly. I chose the the name Le Shade to mimic the term used as “Throwing Shade”, my customers caught on and when I post new items and say “Come Catch This Shade” they know exactly what time it is.
I always look for unique pieces so sometimes I know the sunglasses I offer are not for everyone but the fact that I get more customers saying they love them then not, it makes me so happy.
So seeing customers post their pics on social media using different terms: “I caught some SHADE from Le Shade, “Throwing Shade” or “being Shady” is what success looks like for me. Because it’s more than just a sale, it’s the customers enjoying my brand and my name. I love to see how the customers accessorize their sunglasses with their personalities and style!
What should our readers know about your business?
I am from Tulsa, OK, the home of the Original Black Wall Street 1921. Knowing what my ancestors built from absolutely nothing reminds me as an entrepreneur that this day in age with many resources and outlets that I to can continue the legacy they created 101 years ago. I am the owner of Le Shade, a sunglasses and apparel company.
Which I started in Houston TX in 2018.
I’ve always been known as the girl that wears sunglasses in school and my family always made sure I had a pair growing up as a child.
So when I founded Le Shade it wasn’t just something to do, it’s the passion behind a good pair of shades and an accessory I need when completing a fashion statement.
It was definitely scary starting in a new city/State coming from Tulsa, OK by myself but the journey and experience was much needed and appreciated for me. Because I used to let fear hold me back from many things but going through this process aloud me to stand bodily behind my Vision, my brand, my passion and stand out of the crowd.
Because I love a big pair of bold sunglasses I quickly learned that it doesn’t mean that everyone else would. So I had to make sure I had a variety of styles and sizes when it came to selecting sunglasses. Being a vendor in many events was also scary because you saw so many other great vendors offering similar items but I learned that just like the bread or chip aisle there are many brands selling the same thing, it NEVER stopped anyone from purchasing.
I’ve always traveled a lot as a kid growing up so I got to experience many things through fashion so I would always take a piece of things I leaned or saw from where I traveled from and add my own twist. So when I’m advertising for my brand it’s not always something you see the next person doing or wearing.
This beautiful, yet emotional journey have helped me to be more confident, be bold, network with so many other Black owned business owners as well as different ladders in corporate. Don’t get me wrong entrepreneurship is not for the faint, there’s so many days you want to throw in the towel and give up, but when it’s a vision or passion you have it doesn’t always feel like work. I thank God everyday for my path as a full time entrepreneur!!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend loves to eat like me so I would definitely take them to different Black owned restaurants in the city such as The Breakfast Klub, The Taste Bar & Kitchen, Kulture, or Lucille’s, Upper Kirby Bistro for breakfast/Brunch Check out the food truck park for lunch & drinks
In between time shopping is always a MUST, so mall or outlets would also be included
For dinner depending on our mood: Esther’s Cajun cafe & soul food, O’Taste & See Eatery, Grace’s, Soul Food Vegan, Sleepy’s Po-Boys, Raggae Hut
Party vibes: Lost & Found, Turkey Leg Hut, Phil & Derek’s, Thirteen
We’re not really the club scene type so dinner, drinks and/live music and getting dressed up will always be go to for us!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My dad and his side of the family are full of entrepreneurs and have always included me and my cousins in on so many business endeavors from a child. My aunts & uncles have always told me, even still to this day that they have been grooming me as an entrepreneur. They’ve always seen it in me and tell me God isn’t through with me yet.
When things get tough and there are MANY days as entrepreneur where you want to give up, I can always call on my aunts because they totally understand what emotion I may be going through on that day.
So I definitely want to shout out my family for EVERYTHING while also not forgetting that absolutely NOTHING is possible with out God!!!