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Meet La’Tarica Riley of Boutique Leay in North Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to La’Tarica Riley.

La’Tarica, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Texas and raised in a small town in Arkansas. I have always had a deep love and passion for all things fashion related. I use to re-design my clothes as a child by hand because I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time. My mother wasn’t too thrilled about me recreating and sometimes destroying what she had worked so hard to buy. Looking back I realize that God set me up at a very young age to work in the fashion industry in some capacity. After completing over six years of college to obtain bachelor degrees in both business and fashion, I was determined to put them to good use. I have worked in the fashion industry for about ten years now.  My career as a fashion artist involved retail, TV, film and now business ownership.  A couple of years ago I was fired from a job because I didn’t fit the culture (so I was told). Incidentally, I knew at that very moment I was called for something greater.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road at all. The struggle for me has been financial. I have been trying to avoid the pressure and burden of owing someone, which is some of the reason why my business is moving at a slow pace. Another struggle for me is finding people to work with that I can trust. I have had to find an entirely new team to work with that can develop and produce my merchandise on a level that is reflective of my vision. I currently do not have staff working with me, so it is very challenging to run my business by myself. Everything that we do in life comes at a price both tangible and intangible. My goal is to learn from the mistakes and to continue to work hard to overcome the setbacks.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Boutique LEAY – what should we know?
Boutique LEAY stands for Love Everything About Yourself.  I’ve never been a person who had low self-esteem nor was I arrogant; however, a few years ago I was involved in a relationship that affected every aspect of my being. During that time I felt insecure, unattractive, unlovable and unworthy. I allowed how that person treated and spoke to me sabotage my thoughts about myself.  Although the name LEAY was developed to mend some of the pain I felt in the past, it is a message that has a lot of power behind it. When people think of my business, I want them to feel empowered and encouraged to love themselves no matter what. I want to remind them that they should never let anyone make them feel less than what God created them to be.  I create clothing that makes women feel confident and beautiful. I started with unique faux leather T-shirts; however, I’m currently working on an entire collection. I specialize in making limited edition apparel in the U.S. in select quantities. I am most proud of the influence my company has had on my customers thus far.  I aim for my customers to exude love for themselves, which sets my business apart from others.  I believe when you truly love yourself, you know how to love and treat other people.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role? First, God deserves all the credit for blessing me with my own business.  I’m grateful for God’s favor, grace, and mercy.  My mother (Stephanie Riley) and my sister (LaToya Riley) are my main supporters and cheerleaders. My mother has helped me with my business financially, so thank you so much, mom! They have never stopped believing in me, and they have been rooting for me throughout this journey.  I truly appreciate all my family and friends who support my business.  Last but not least, I want to give a special thanks and shoutout to my good friend Brittany Holmes for encouraging me to tell my story.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Emily Mota

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