The past month I had an opportunity to interview with the founder of The Vitamin M Box, Kerry Croft. The Vitamin M Box believes in serving the community by supporting local brands produced by people of color. They were recently named one of the top subscription boxes catering to women of color. Gwen Beloti Collection products have been featured in their boxes and you can find a GBinStyle item in their upcoming November box.
In addition to curating a box of cool items, The Vitamin M Box also supports various charities and causes. Last year Kerry was kind enough to donate two boxes to our Annual Holiday Fundraiser raffle. I was happy to catch up with her recently and update her on how the Gwen Beloti brand has evolved and the role my life experiences have played in shaping its' mission.
Update: Since this post the #HER: Real Woman campaign has launched the second edition, #HER Real Woman Holiday.
The Vitamin M Box - Gwen Beloti
Who is Gwen Beloti in 2018?
Gwen Beloti 2018 celebrates the real woman. I founded GB 10 years ago this year, and it’s been a rollercoaster of challenges and highlights. I don’t know if I really had a true grasp of the “why” and the purpose behind creating the brand or the impact it could have. This past year however, on a personal journey as I sought to learn more about by myself I learned a lot about my brand as well. These revelations prompted the recent #HER campaign which is dedicated to real women.
Real Woman and the #HER Campaign?
#HER is about not disregarding what makes #HER feel good in her skin and her clothing, but instead celebrating those things.
I myself have worn a variety of sizes in women’s clothing with my weight fluctuating over the years. When I started making my own clothing I made things that were accommodating for me fit and style wise. I didn’t realize that so many other women were looking for the same accommodations. For example, I like to be feminine and sexy but not always wanting to show a lot of skin, but look for sexy by way of fit or subtle cut outs and splits. I also prefer dress options with sleeves and it can be difficult to find cocktail dresses that give you that option.
The #HER campaign is about acknowledging that women have real thoughts and concerns about her wardrobe. I wanted to show that through the lens of the amazing everyday woman you see out and about headed to work or hanging with her girls. The women in this campaign aren’t industry models, they’re real life models by virtue of their being.
To share more about my personal style philosophy and the factors that have influenced Gwen Beloti Collection today, I launched a new lifestyle site. The creative in me, the person behind the brand wants to talk about how I let color and art live in all spaces.
Who are selling to?
The woman looking for stylish feminine reliable options. We carry up to size 16/18.
Business structure & Price Points?
For the most part we are a one-woman show and outsource for some services including production. Some of our items we mass produce and others are made to order. We source locally, our items are Made in NYC, which is great because we can support the community and monitor quality control.
That does effect cost as you can expect, producing locally verses oversees. Our goal however is to still offer competitive prices that are comparable. We also want to always prioritize quality by way of style, fit and reliability. We only carry a select number of designs and inventory which offers our customer some exclusivity when they shop with us.
With our current business structure our order processing time for customer orders is 3 weeks. This time frame is conducive to our current structure and we are up front about that. Gwen Beloti 2018 is about transparency. You can be of better service when your terms are clear. We hope our customer will find enough value in our brand to have their continued support.
What’s up next?
We’re working on our next shoot that will highlight more real woman. I enjoyed watching the real woman models of the #HER campaign. To watch these ladies enjoy themselves and feel beautiful in Gwen Beloti apparel was so cool and I want to be apart of that excitement again. The apparel the models in our upcoming shoot will be wearing, will be available for sale on gwenbeloti.com this October 2018.
We get to connect with our customer on another level by having these “real” woman shoots. Building community is a part of our brand mission. Connecting with our customers and the greater community as well through or philanthropy initiatives is truly a gift that I look forward to.
For the woman who finds what she needs & wants in our clothing, I want the brand to be a staple for her. When she has an event coming up or gets the itch to buy something new and exciting I want Gwen Beloti to come to mind. Our mission is to be of service and provide a platform for empowerment through fashion.