Category: Queens Designer Published on Friday, 08 July 2011 01:11 Written by SwaggaKings.com Hits: 1401
To me she came across as shy and assured. She had this sexy allure and I thought it was her look that grabbed me, but I notice it was what her models were wearing that held my attention in suspense. Hot fresh designs that started from dancewear in Tampa, FL. are now making a mark on the swimwear market and getting noticed by Lady Fashion. Swaggakings.com has a sit down with 29-year-old rising fashion designer, Shanikki Peterson of Lu'Jeanik Designs, pronounced (La-Jeah-nek).
SK: Well hello. Can you start off by tell the readers your role in Lu'Jeanik Designs?
Shanikki Peterson: As C.E.O I do it all from design to creating samples and marketing the product and anything in between.
SK: What was the one single event that you can think of that got you to actual start the company back in 2007?
Shanikki Peterson: I used to sell dancewear for local bars in Tampa then one day someone asked me to do a photo shoot with the garments and its been all up hill since then.
SK: Wow, so all it took was a photo shoot? You never know where inspiration will come from. Since you handle seemingly everything how hard is it truly to be your own boss?
Shanikki Peterson: Yes, it is very challenging at times sometimes I wonder how I do what I do.
SK: Your product line is now swimwear. Why did you make the switch from dancewear?
Shanikki Peterson: Its kind of a fine line because here (Tampa Bay Area) most bars are "bikini bars" so that is what the dancers wear. So it is kind of like doing the same. Lujeanik is sexy so some of the garments may still be worn in that way.
SK: What’s the largest size in your product line? In other words is there a one size fits all policy?
Shanikki Peterson: The sizes I offer now are S-XL. Right now XL, but I do have in the works a plus size line so be on the lookout.
SK: How soon do you think it will be before your plus size line drops?
Shanikki Peterson: Hoping within the next year...right now working on pushing the product and name across the USA.
SK: Is your manufacturing done here in the States?
Shanikki Peterson: Yes it is...in the Tampa bay area.
SK: I see you are keeping it local. Lujeanik Designs, is there a meaning behind your company name and how did you come by this name?
Shanikki Peterson: Yes, the name originated by me coming up with something unique and having meaning. So, the name itself includes my mother's name, my Grandma name and my name.
SK: Kind of like naming a baby these days (I chuckle), in this case your baby. How did you get in to fashion design?
Shanikki Peterson: Yes, this is my baby. I always had a thing for fashion, so I decided when I graduated high school I would study fashion design. That is what brought me to Tampa. I attended the International Academy of Design and Technology. This is where I obtained an Associates and Bachelors degree in fashion design and marketing.
SK: Impressive. From 2007 to present what type of percentage of growth has your business seen?
Shanikki Peterson: I would say a 50% growth. Everyday we continue to market and find new avenue to promote the company.
SK: That is a nice margin for any industry. Now going back to your college days, what’s your one thing of advice about college to in coming freshmen?
Shanikki Peterson: Yes, Take what you learn and apply it to life. Not always when you get out of college you will land that perfect job. Be creative and optimistic and you will see things happen.
SK: Ultimately what is your company's goal?
Shanikki Peterson: To be in stores across the USA then later incorporate other items.
SK: What has been your greatest hurdle since starting your company and how did you overcome it?
Shanikki Peterson: Finances...I just spoke about the brand to different people I knew and God put the right people in front of me. It’s hard work in this business and very costly.
SK: And what plan of action did you take to over come funding issues in your start up?
Shanikki Peterson: Just a lot of hard work...working on my business as well as working a full time job.
SK: All work and no play? You are single. Does this mean you are not married or not involved?
Shanikki Peterson: That is correct, I am single.
SK: Does this mean you are not married or not involved?
Shanikki Peterson: Correct
SK: LOL, We will take that as next question please. (laughing) As a single businesswoman, do you find it easier or harder to now be on the dating scene?
Shanikki Peterson: It’s somewhat a challenge as far as time, but if the Guy can get pass that then its not really an issue.
SK: I see so he would have to fit with in your schedule or it’s a no go?
Shanikki Peterson: It’s like having a kid, like u said earlier. So we would have to compromise.
SK: Outside of fashion is there anything else you wish to venture in to?
Shanikki Peterson: No, fashion is my life (laughing).
SK: She lives for it. (laughing) Sounds like someone would like to be married one day?
Shanikki Peterson: (Laughing)
SK: Well Mr. Right, will he be cooking or be cooked for in your world?
Shanikki Peterson: Both...Mr. Right has to be able to cook
SK: And your favorite dish is?
Shanikki Peterson: Well I love anything with pasta and seafood.
SK: Great choice. Now in ice cream, is it a cone or cup? Why?
Shanikki Peterson: Cone, got to have the sweet part of the cone to finish.
SK: Oh to enjoy suga…..
Shanikki Peterson: Yes! (laughing in her girlish flava)
SK: What is the biggest misinterpretation of you?
Shanikki Peterson: That I am stuck up.
SK: Hmmm. Why do u think people feel this way?
Shanikki Peterson: Because I’m shy until you meet me. People automatically assume that I think I’m all that.
SK: Interesting, try smiling more (laughing) last words, what would you like to tell the SK readers?
Shanikki Peterson: Yes, smiling definitely works ...Please visit my website www.lujeanik.com to shop online and follow Lu'Jeanik on Facebook and Twitter. It’s been a pleasure doing this interview and I hope you enjoyed it.
There you have it SK. A not so fresh face in fashion, but full of fresh ideas and determination Shanikki Peterson, owner of Lu'Jeanik Designs is sure to press on, promoting her way in to a store near you.