When I first met the ladies at Lotus Premium Denim, I was blown away. By their premium denim product, their energy and their positively electric dynamic with one another. So when they agreed to meet with me at a local San Jose Starbucks and share their start-up story, I couldn't be more ecstatic. I could sing their praises, but I think their interview speaks for itself. Let's meet some of the masterminds behind the brand (listed from left to right in the picture above, skipping myself in the middle):
Sarah Coronado - Co-Founder & President
Marie Coronado - Director of Sales
Elaine Reyes - Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Riamae Marquez - Creative Director
Here is Part 1 of these ladies sharing pieces of their amazing journey that began with an annoying shopping experience and ended with a premium denim line.
Thessa: Tell me how you got started with Lotus Premium Denim.
Sarah: It started with a personal pain point. I was introduced to premium denim and loved the construction and the closet investment, but the fit wasn't right for someone with my stature. I had to re-purpose premium denim ankle jeans for skinny jeans or hem them. I researched and researched for the right jeans, but couldn't find anything. So, I decided that if I couldn't find them, I'd just have to start it myself! We researched aspects like where to get the source denim, how to find the right manufacturer, everything involved in the denim production process.
Thessa: That sounds like a lot of work! How did you keep your motivation?
Sarah: It was. I met with Marie on May 6th and she asked me how it was going. She really helped pick up the momentum, trying to understand the obstacles and hurdles. We had relationships with the other ladies through previous work on start-ups and non-profit work and assembled them as part of what would become the LPD the team. They all brought their skills to the table and that's when the brand began to build. We went from team formation to product launch in 6 months.
Elaine: Each member brought skills that helped different aspects of the company bigger and better. Sarah had the vision. Riamae developed the concept for and designed the label. Len knows the operations process. Marie and I talk to people everyday and love interacting with them, so we're good at event organization and have a lot of connections.
Thessa: Who is the LPD girl? What does she do? What inspires her?
Sarah: She's us. Someone who's determined, a go-getter. Effortlessly beautiful -- she doesn't have to worry about looking too good, because she already does.
Marie: She's strong and has inner beauty. Lotus represents strength and beauty within struggle, rebirth. It's not just the jeans for me, but the lotus itself.
Riamae: It's a lifestyle.
Elaine: The brand is about strong women who have undergone a lot of things. Whether school, motherhood, being a business woman or a single woman, she overcomes obstacles.
Marie: Lotus is changing the world one denim at a time.
Elaine: Lotus is changing the world of petite fashion.
Thessa: Why did you pick the lotus as your logo? What does it represent?
Marie: It represents quiet courage. The woman who wears our jeans may not say much, but you can see that there's something inside that's really strong.
Elaine: She's powerful, humble. We wanted a positive symbol.
Riamae: We really wanted to create a logo that could represent the brand without words underneath it. Something simple, elegant.
Sarah: We want to promote positivity as opposed to just selling sex. The brand is about appreciating "real" beauty.
Thessa: Tell me about the jeans and the fit. How did you determine what would work for your customer?
All (Everyone contributed to the answer): It starts with the inseam. Not a lot of people know what the inseam is and why it makes such a difference. Based on our research, we decided to offer both a 28" and 30" inseam. We wanted ladies to be able to walk out of the store wearing the jeans instead of hemming them. Then there's the sweetheart yoke. It emphasizes the bum, make them look enhanced and more proportioned. We went with slimming colors, clean lines. Stretch was incorporated into the jeans so that they mold to your body. Pocket placement was critical for creating ideal proportion on a woman's body. It was important that the jeans could work universally and be staples in a woman's closet as opposed to trendy. They should be the go-to jeans!
Thessa: Your first line of jeans was called Inspire. What do the names of the lines mean to you?
Marie: We were all inspired by Sarah's dream, so that was the first line name we went with.
Sarah: We wanted one word that represents our vision of positivity. We didn't want [something trendy] like "Midnight Roxbury in Manhattan".
Elaine: The names should represent the Lotus woman. Maybe the next line is "Empowering" or "Dream".
That concludes Part 1 of this Two-Part Interview. What do you all think? Are you inspired by this go-getting group of women? I know I am! Part 2 will talk about LPD's contribution to the community, start-up advice, and up and coming plans for the company. Plus, reactions to their first TV spot on Adobo Nation!
If you're interested in learning even more about Lotus Premium Denim (besides reading Part 2 of this interview!), you can check them out here.
If you are local to the Bay Area, you can try on LPDs in person at the following locations:
241-B E. Campbell Ave.
241-B E. Campbell Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
865 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
You can also keep track of their Lotus Style Lounges around the Bay (champagne and cupcakes whaaat?) by following them on Instagram (lotuspdenim) & Twitter as well as Facebook .
I've actually worn my jeans nonstop the last week or so, but for some reason I didn't take enough pictures. You can see me wearing my LPDs here. I have the Vintage Wash in size 28 with a 28" inseam. For those that use my size as a reference, I think I could've gone down to a 27 for a closer fit.
Have questions, comments, hard hitting questions? Share in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!