Shalai Studios was started just over two years ago by Maryland native, Alasia Shalai.
Shalai was working as a styling assistant in New York, when she noticed that brands were not offering fashionable streetwear for women. As the founder, creative director and photographer behind Shalai Studios, Shalai hopes to create streetwear that women can feel both comfortable and beautiful in.
“You can be that boyish, rugged girl and still be the baddest bitch,” said Shalai.
Now, Shalai Studios has grown into a sough-after clothing brand, with over ten thousand followers on Instagram. Most recently, Shalai released the “Tomboy” collection, featuring “Tomboy” bedazzled across sweatpants and t-shirts to highlight the fact that women can be both comfortable and stylish.
When starting her own business, Shalai had dreams of fun photoshoots and glamorous events. However, Shalai soon learned that owning your own business was much more technical than fun, and that you often have to put business first.
“The business part of it is very important. It’s easy to look back and be like ‘Damn I didn’t make the profit I should’ve made.’ It goes beyond designing and photoshoots. There are real technical things behind it," explained Shalai to SiKK Magazine.
Nevertheless, Shalai believes that the work is worth it. She said, “I never want a job or opportunity to make me feel like I can’t express myself fully. That’s why I love being a business owner, because I can express myself fully and my customers can see all that’s in me.”
In the future, Shalai hopes to watch Shalai Studios grow into a booming and profitable business that will allow every woman to feel like their most authentic selves. Shalai Studios is also in the process of creating its first men’s clothing line — stay tuned!
View clothing from Shalai Studios below: