We are sharing our interview with clothing brand USOM (U slept on me). USOM was established in 2016 by co founders Erica Bigger and Melanie Powell.
Pro Media Mag: First of all please introduce yourself to our readers?
USOM: U Slept On Me LLC was established in Los Angeles in 2016 by co founders Erica Bigger and Melanie Powell, from Baltimore, MD. I graduated from college with a dual degree and study abroad in fashion and business. I have worked in the entertainment and fashion business for the last 15 years. -Erica I studied mechanical engineering and mathematics at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and then went on to become a stylist after running two successful boutiques there. I transitioned to L.A. and became a union costume designer where I still work on set seasonally as USOM is growing. -Melanie
Pro Media Mag: What was the inspiration behind launching your clothing brand USOM?
USOM: In 2016 we were sitting in LA as two educated, young black women with extensive backgrounds in fashion. Even with living in a major city ,we still could not get hired for jobs in our industry and it had become somewhat discouraging after applying to hundreds of jobs each week and not hearing anything back. We were having a conversation about how we felt “Slept On” in the fashion industry and really feeling overlooked and undervalued, the underdog. It inspired us to create an apparel brand that day…however we had to build it as a business first.
Pro Media Mag: Where do you look for creative inspiration?
USOM: We look everywhere for inspiration. As co founders, sometimes we have two very different ideas or ways about executing a design but it’s a beautiful thing when our inspirations come together to create our vision. We also get inspiration from our own style and life experiences with our peers and family.
Pro Media Mag: Tell us a little about your products?
USOM: We are an athleisurewear based lifestyle company with a focus on uplifting and empowering thru fashion. With that said, we gear more toward a street wear influence where most of our products feature the our trademarked phrase ” U Slept On Me ™” on the apparel somewhere.
Pro Media Mag: What’s your personal favorite item in the range right now, and why?
USOM: My personal favorites are the biker shorts and basically ALL of our hoodies! They’re so soft and easy to wear. –Melanie
My favorites are our hats, hoodies, sweapant, and long sleeve shirts! They are just so easy to throw on and incorporate with other items in my closet. –Erica
Pro Media Mag: How do you identify and train young design talent?
USOM: We advertise on different job hiring platforms that are heavily fashion driven and influenced like fashion college boards, LinkedIn and through social media as well if a potential designer or any related business professional reached out to us via Direct Messaging. We also use our international connections to direct our design talent.
Pro Media Mag: What’s next for U Slept On Me LLC?
USOM: Right now we are focused on bringing quality product twice a month with our bi -monthly mini collection drops. We are also planning a pop up in Baltimore, MD when the pandemic is over. The pandemic has put a detour on our plans but we still remain focused. One of our major plans is to expand into a dual brand offering luxe ready to wear ; another, continuing on our mission of spreading awareness of mental health illness and treatment through strategic partnerships with nonprofit organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) and uplifting a community of people feeling underrated, overlooked, counted out and Slept On. We also are planning a big project to help Baltiomore bring more jobs and diversity in the fashion, tech, and manufacturing side of business.
Pro Media Mag: What advice do you give young designers?
USOM: I would say never give up. I know it sounds cliche but we have hit so many walls within this process of building a lifestyle brand but we keep believing, keep pushing at different doors and eventually they open and elevation is inevitable. You just have to keep trying new things and don’t give up. Also make sure your business has a solid foundation meaning LLC, Trademark, EIN number etc. This is how you know you take yourself and your business seriously.
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