A gem here in the Greater Cleveland Area is Myasha Lightning, the owner and creator of Obnoxious Style. This boutique offers amazing, fun pieces that are not the typical items you see on every website. She offers innovative and creative looks perfect for the modern woman at amazing prices. When browsing the site if you see an item that catches your eye but you are not quite sure how to wear it she also offers styling services. I sat down with Ms. Lightning to get her take on being a young female business owner and her future plans for her business:
What inspired you to start your own business?
What inspired me is my passion for fashion. I have always loved fashion, fashion magazines, runway shows, and people watching. Everyone has their own individual style and when you sit in a room you see how their personalities spore out in their clothing. I find that very interesting, and I love self-expression, it is a way to be free and showcase who you are without words.
What are some of the obstacles you have faced?
Starting my own business was challenging due to not knowing what to do, where to start, who to ask, or a budget. It is challenging to promote yourself. It is time consuming to locate all the right pieces that you feel your customers will like and make a profit, also to see if your choices were appealing to your clientele. What reactions will others have when they see your collection?
Is it challenging balancing work and family life?
I am currently struggling with balancing owning a business, working full-time, school full-time, being a soccer mom and daily obstacles. It is not easy but if you are up to the challenge and your passion is doing something that you love why not take a chance? If it does not turn out the way you want the best part about it is that you are your own boss and nobody knows you messed up but you. The key to life is failure, the only way to win is to lose. I say that because once you have lost you know how to win. You know what to do, what not to do, and how to fix it.
Where do you see your business in five years?
My business five years from now will be a fleet of box trucks that go from city to city with Obnoxious Style clothing. I also see a number of boutiques in different cities. That is my goal, which is why I am currently in school studying entrepreneurship so I can run my business effectively and the growth will be implemented properly because I have the knowledge behind my passion.
What advice do you have for other women of color starting a business?
My advice is to not give up, anything worth having is not going to come easy, it is always going to be a fight. Do everything with your full potential and work hard. Work in silence and let success make the noise for you.
What kinds of pieces can women find on your site?
Obnoxious Style currently has a few statement pieces that are for a sophisticated and sassy young woman. The boutique has blazers, dresses, pants, jackets, and unique blouses. We also carry a few accessories.
What other services do you offer if any?
I currently offer a boutique party experience, this is a gathering of young ladies who want to have fun and discuss fashion. I bring the clothing, sweet treats, and games. The clothing is available for purchase and to try on. It is an opportunity to feel more comfortable in their skin and understand whats for their body type. I also see it as a motivational experience for women to empower one another and lay their insecurities out and help one another through the struggle. We are here to uplift each other and if we realize we may all suffer with the same insecurities we may not be so hard on each other. Women love to shop and have good conversation, why not do it while trying on clothing and indulging in sweet treats and bubbly?
Contact Myasha and Obnoxious Style for services and awesome apparel: