Taquiela Wright is a fashion designer and engineer located in Houston who is the owner of the luxury lingerie brand Delisa Rose. The brand incorporates fine lace, velvet and chiffon in its designs. The upcoming launch of her new line, Primrose Collection, is all about celebrating women and bringing out their confidence.
Wright opened up about being a small-business owner, how she balances a full-time job in engineering alongside her lingerie brand, and the process of incorporating engineering in the designs and details of her own business.
How do you incorporate engineering into designing and scaling your business?
When it comes to engineering it wasn’t hard incorporating that skill from a technical standpoint as a designer, because I deal with it in my day to day. I’m dealing with manufacturing so I’m already bringing that to the table. I’m a different type of designer due to my engineering experience, 23 years in manufacturing. I’m hand to hand [on the designing process], and I have a certification that allows me to audit our suppliers. So, all of this I [have] acquired while working as an engineer in this industry has helped assist me in becoming a designer and making sure that my products are coming out with quality.
Can you give us some tips for small business owners looking to scale their business in the first year?
The first year was challenging. What I do is custom, I [like to] source. When I was explaining to you the process of cutting and sewing, I think for me in any business you have to know your target audience, you have to have budgets, you have to be realistic with how many people can be on your team, what all you can take on as far as the scope of work for your projects, and just making sure that you stick to the budget. That is my advice, but you are learning too so allow yourself to make poor decisions.
I made poor decisions, I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t easy getting to this point. I had to go through many factories, once again sourcing the right suppliers, so I wasted a lot of money. Understanding your material and its composition, if you’re taking this route as a designer, it’s very important to understand who’s the most important on your team to help you to get to those levels. So, you’re not going through five and six people that are not adding value, and here you are already paying a salary. Again, that’s all a part of scaling your business such as marketing and strategizing. I think a lot of that is where I kind of had to learn and mitigate a few risks within my business to make sure that we are set up properly, and moving forward I can make some money.