We had the good fortune of connecting with Lovell Cox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lovell, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Ever since I was little I wanted to start my own business. Back in 2012 when I was a sophomore in high school I discovered Etsy and saw how other artists were able to sell their own creations. I saw high-waisted shorts were becoming in style and ventured to the thrift store and added my own unique artistic touch on denim shorts and created my own Etsy site. When word came out that I was selling high-waisted shorts, I was quickly known as the shorts girl at my high school. I loved the freedom of creating something that people wanted to buy. That’s where my entrepreneur spirit sparked and I knew I didn’t want to work for someone else’s dream, I wanted to work for my own. Through college, I got the opportunity to sell more of my upcycled vintage clothing at a student run store that promoted student entrepreneurs. In college, I started as a business major and after one year decided that I needed something more creative so I turned to the fashion side of things. My major taught me more about the fashion industry and how to construct garments. I absolutely fell in love with getting handed a couple of yards of fabric and being able to make something new out of it. In my last semester of college, I created three dresses for my capstone project. I knew there was a market for custom design, especially in the bridal industry. After meeting with a couple of designers that specialized in custom design in the Dallas area I knew my dream was to open up my own custom design studio specializing in special occasion in Dallas.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My custom design business specializes in special occasion so basically I design anything from a graduation dress to a bridal gown. I love the custom design process because I get to collaborate with my clients on their custom design ideas for a garment. A lot of my clients come to me when they have searched online and in stores and can’t find the exact dress they are imagining. They will come to me with initial inspiration and with my background in fashion design I help them design their dream dress. I sketch out different ideas and then make a sample dress and have them try it on until it is the perfect fit. Then we talk about different fabrics and designs and I make the final garment. I love getting to use my creative side and coming up with new ways to make art out of textiles. Whether it’s dying fabric a certain way or embroidering a special design on a dress, every dress I make is one of a kind meaning no one else will have a replica. I love being a designer because I have my own design aesthetic and my clients will originally come to me because they like dresses I have designed before. I officially started my custom design business right before the pandemic which was not an easy task, since I was designing special occasion dresses for people that were supposed to be wearing them to events that weren’t happening anymore. Also, I feel like people don’t realize how much work it is to start your own business. No only do I show up every day and design, I also have to do all my marketing, answer emails, keep track of my inventory, schedule fittings, the list goes on and on. I overcame my challenges by thinking about my end goal, having the freedom of working full time for myself one day, and having my own studio. I wake up every day and tell myself to work as hard as I can because one day I will be thankful I put all the hard work in at the beginning.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
What I love about Dallas is that there are so many different neighborhoods you can visit and if you want to get out of Dallas you can also venture to the surrounding suburbs. One of my favorite places at the moment is Katy Trail Ice House because it’s outside and my friends can bring their fur babies with them. I also love west village and the uptown area because of all the different places to eat and drink. Deep Ellum is also a fun neighborhood to walk around in because they have a lot of local artists and shops.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends that have been there for me since the very beginning definitely deserve a shoutout. Whether it was my friends letting me use them as my models or my family members that helped me package and ship all of my orders and source new clothes to upcycle. During the pandemic, my family also helped me pivot my business by making masks. Another person who deserves a shoutout is my friend Braylee Flaska for letting me sleep on her couch in NYC while I was trying to navigate my way through the fashion industry and got the opportunity to intern under a well-known bridal designer.