Tenacity, determination and passion are all unique attributes that go towards describing entrepreneur Jacqueline Rogers, the founder of the exciting maternity wear company, Label of Love. She is genuinely on a mission to create the most beautiful clothes that make any mum-to-be feel special during this important time in their lives, whilst at the same time designing each garment to be comfortable, practical and long-lasting. Her brand is winning fans in large numbers who have been on the look out for maternity chic wardrobes that make them feel and look great.
LoA spoke to Jacqueline Rogers this month and found out more about this wonderful company and brand.
What does your company do?
Label of Love designs feminine comfortable maternity wear. We take the stress away from dressing your constantly growing bump by designing garments that grow and shrink with your body. Our garments are designed to be worn before during pregnancy and after baby has arrived.
"Label of Love designs feminine comfortable maternity wear. We take the stress away from dressing your constantly growing bump by designing garments that grow and shrink with your body."
"Its been very hard at times keeping my business and dream alive - I wanted to give up a million times. But today I am so thankful that nothing else worked out for me and I had to keep my focus on my business and pushing forward."
What inspired you to start your company?
I fell pregnant with my daughter, and always being a fashionista myself I just couldn't satisfy my own fashion needs during this beautiful time of my life. After a lot of research, I saw the gap in the African market and took on this mission as mine to fulfill.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Our service and brand represents exactly what our name says. We are a clothing label creating garments out of love for fashion and love for our clients. Our mission is to make our clients feel and look comfortable but yet super stylish and effortlessly chic. Quality is very important to us as a brand, we develop garments that should last a very long time, in quality and in style.
"Our service and brand represents exactly what our name says - Label of Love. We are a clothing label creating garments out of love for fashion and love for our clients. Our mission is to make our clients feel and look comfortable, yet at the same time super stylish and effortlessly chic."
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
When I saw the gap in the market I bought a R200 second hand sewing machine and my journey with Label of Love offiicially started. Initially I had 7 product styles to introduce to the public - I wouldn't phone maternity boutiques because they could easily say no to me. Instead, I bought a strap-on tummy and would make sure that the correct person was available - and then I did fashion shows for them, so they agreed to consignment. The local magazine stylists started hearing about my garments, and as a result, my garments started to featured in their editorials - free publicity! Since that time, my garments have been featured in more than 60 local magazines. My goal was to get my garments into a big local chain store - I started emailing and phoning a specific chain for three years trying to get my products in there. I also approached another chain store and emailed them for two and a half years - eventually, I supplied 16 000 garments to them. I would try anything and everything to get my brand in or just to create new products like Maternity Uniforms. I have approached so many big companies with lots of pregnant staff, doing proposals and just trying to build my business in any possible way, and always looking and creating new opportunities for myself.
Its been very hard at times keeping my business and dream alive - I wanted to give up a million times. But today I am so thankful that nothing else worked out for me and I had to keep my focus on my business and pushing forward. My garments have sold on online platforms such as Spree and Take a Lot. My garments can also be found in boutiques around the African continent. The Great Expectations show on eTV in South Africa did a live interview with me and also featured Label of Love's garments as an Urban Fashion show. I did an entrepreneurs course at the Branson Centre and got picked to introduce my business to Richard Branson himself. We featured in the magazine Baba en Kleuter's January issue as the Mom Entrepreneur of the month. I am also a client of SEDA - they are such amazing business advisors and have helped me put together my website and other branding materials for my company.
Another highlight was that in January 2016, Standard Bank notified me that I had won their New York Fashion Week competition which they had launched for local entrepreneurs. As part of the competition process, I had to tell them about my company’s obstacles, achievements, journey and vision, and how Standard Bank could assist me by helping to take my business to the next level.
I don't come from an entrepreneurial background, but I definitely feel that my whole life has prepared me to be a strong independent woman, able to push this business through and make it a success. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone and determination, focus and tenacity are needed for any business owner these days. I am also very grateful for the journey that is me and my business. During our time together, I have learned so many valuable life lessons. Its been a hard journey but every minute and obstacle have been worth it. I wouldn't want my life to be any other way.
"When I saw the gap in the market I bought a R200 (US$15) second hand sewing machine and my journey with Label of Love officially started."
"I don't come from an entrepreneurial background, but I definitely feel that my whole life has prepared me to be a strong independent woman, able to push this business through and make it a success."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I have so many, currently I am busy with potential funding applications and investors. I want to start my own factory. I currently supply a franchise group, Kids Emporium - they have 26 stores and want me to supply all their stores. The Maternity industry is still so desperate with not many people tapping into this market. I am going to take on this industry and make my product accessible to all pregnant woman. I have a website and want to make the eCommerce part live - I just need to get my factory first. I want to create a range of swimwear, active wear, work wear and a hospital nighty set. I also want to sell my products at all the baby and mommy expos. In addition, I have a furniture piece - an eating chair with multiple uses, and I also want to bring out hand-printed fabrics and embroidery baby decor. I have so many ideas and can't wait for the next level for Label of Love.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I feel empowered, and proud to have been able to achieve the things I have done so far.
"I wouldn't phone maternity boutiques because they could easily say no to me. Instead, I bought a strap-on tummy and would make sure that the correct person was available - and then I did fashion shows for them, so they agreed to consignment."
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Just to be open to adapt to change - you might have one plan in your head but your journey or business might have another plan for you. You need to adapt to where your business and journey goes. And just never, never, never give up. I still have to push and work hard to keep my business alive and push to the next level, and most of the time its not easy, so its important to realize that. But when your hard work and effort comes together, it makes all the pain and sweat worthwhile. And ask for help, ask anyone and everyone that can help you - put yourself out there and talk about your business - you never know who might hear you or your story.
Contact or follow Label of Love
Why LoA loves it….
There is something truly life affirming about meeting women entrepreneurs whose determination to succeed and passion for what they are doing overcomes all challenges and obstacles along the way. Women entrepreneurs such as Jaqueline Rogers, who has a real vision for her brand and a real love for what she does each day. She never stops creating or thinking about the next big idea and how to make it a reality - as a result, her passion for her company and her brand touches so many other people, whether they are her retail customers or the moms-to-be who buy her products. She is winning new fans in all spheres of her entrepreneurial life. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa