Based out of NYC, Tizita Balemlay describes the inspiration, challenges, and what sets her a part from other designers. Read about how she started her brand!
Estée: What is the name of your brand?
Tizita Balemlay: PluggedNyc
E: What inspired you to create PluggedNyc?
TB: Fashion and beauty has always been my specialty to say the least. I wanted to be more than a pretty face on social media. I wanted to start something that I would be proud of and something I was passionate about. I didn’t have much encouragement from my family. So it was something I had to really put my foot down and stand for as a woman. I never want to rely on a man or anyone for anything I want to be able to have my own.
E: What is the aesthetic behind your brand?
TB: My aesthetic is “Street Chic” I want to represent women that can be strand also editorial. I don’t think there is a limitation on how one can dress. Some days I want to look swaggy and some days I want to slay. I wanted to create a website that every women can at least find one thing they could say “Thats so me” to.
E: We love that you chose women of different shades and shapes as models for your website! Would you say your brand speaks to every woman?
TB: Yes, I’m very particular on the models I choose to represent my brand. I want women that I would be proud of, women that I considered respectable, classy, and strong. I am not bias on size, I want any woman to look at my website and be able to find a girl that looks similar to them.
E: What was the inspiration for your current collection?
TB: The inspiration behind my current collection is sleek and edgy. All around women. A woman has a strong side and a sweet vulnerable side. I wanted my clothes to show that.
E: As a magazine based in NYC, we understand how challenging it can be to stay afloat in this industry with competition everywhere you turn. How do you focus on staying true to yourself and your brand, without allowing any outside competition to sway the direction of it?
TB: That’s one of my biggest things I work on every day, not comparing my brands to others. In some ways it makes me want to push harder and in some ways it puts me down. I try and remind myself that I am in competition with MYSELF and that I am in my own lane. At the end of the day there are a million brands, and comparing mine won’t get me anywhere. Just stay focused on what YOU are doing, and the best brands will last at the end of the day everything is in God’s hands.
E: Are you currently working on a new collection? If so, how different is it from your current collection?
TB: I’m always working on something new. I actually have seasons of clothing remade just waiting to be dropped! I’ve had things lined up for months!
E: Lastly, can we expect any upcoming PLUGGEDNYC pop-up shops or events?
TB: For my one year anniversary I Will deff be having a pop up event in NYC and DC. I’m really excited for that. We will also be restocking all Backwood Mami gear in stores.
Interview by Estée P