Fashion Designer, Omni Chic Owner
LaToya Williams is a designer, writer and an all around creative person. Since the first time she picked up a pencil and paper, her love for creativity has flourished. LaToya graduated from Radford University with a double major in fashion design and business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship. One of her fondest memories as a fashion student is receiving the Designer of the Year Award and Best Day Wear during the annual department fashion show.
Life has taught LaToya so many lessons with the most important one being, things will not always turn out the way you want them to. Her dream was to move to New York and become a fashion designer. Only one part of that dream came true. She obtained the degree, but the career in New York City never came. After several years of working in retail and feeling like she was in a continuous rut, LaToya decided it was time for her to pursue entrepreneurship. It came to her as she was walking around in a craft store (of all places).
She came across a candle making book. You may be asking yourself, "what do candles have to do with fashion design". Absolutely nothing, but I promise it will all make sense soon. LaToya took the book home and turned her basement into a candle making lab. She practiced and practiced until she got the right formula. The candles smelled amazing and she enjoyed making them. The crafting bug had bit her and she was feeling very inspired. Next, LaToya rediscovered jewelry making. Slowly, she was stepping out of that rut. She decided she would try selling her candles and jewelry at vending events. She would go to the local community market and other events. She didn't make thousands of dollars, but she did reconnect to that creative, entrepreneurial spirit. She decided to make her side business official and named it Omni Chic.
A year or two passed and she was still creating candles and jewelry. She had expanded from just selling her creations at vending events to creating business relationships with local boutique owners. One day while working her day time job, an old acquaintance that owned a formal wear boutique stopped her. He told LaToya that he remembered her coming into the boutique for prom and discussing her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. He wanted to know if she had pursued her dream at all.
There it was. That question. The reminder. She had been to school for design, but no career came from it. She kindly explained her situation. Surprisingly, he asked her if she would be interested in providing alteration services for his customers. She was nervous. It had been years since she had done any sewing. But he believed she could do it. And the rest is history.
By the next year she had leased a store front where she sold her creations and provided alteration services.
Her plans did not turn out the way she thought they would, but with the help of her tribe and the inability to stop dreaming she brought her New York City goals to Danville, VA. That little candle book gave her the opportunity to dream and create again. It sparked a flame that had dimmed a while back.