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Rising Stars: Meet LaToya Rozof

Today we’d like to introduce you to LaToya Rozof.

Hi LaToya, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
79Roze Dress Shop was created to provide fashionable and affordable dress options for curvy women. The average woman is a 14+, yet mainstream stores provide limited dress options. Our mission is to promote body positivity by empowering women to embrace their curves. Women are always worried about their weight and we want to let our customers know that your worth is not determined by your dress size. It’s not about the number on the tag, but how you feel when you wear the dress.

Fashion has always been a first love. I have a B.S. in Apparel/Textile Marketing from Kansas State University and had a quick stint in the professional world working for Talbots and Halls KC. A trip to the LA fashion district and going down the wrong block is where it all started. I went down the wholesale block and was quickly schooled on the process of buying clothes. I then came home with the idea to start a boutique. An episode of Shark Tank in which a boutique was pitching their strategy inspired me. I knew early on I had to niche and every girl needs a great dress. The focus on curvy girls was a blend of advice from an entrepreneurial program and complaints from family and friends about lack of dress options when shopping the mall, etc.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey has not been smooth but worth every headache and I’ve learned so much along the way. So you have this great idea and you think the sales are going to flood in because everyone will think the same… wrong! You have to brand your company and getting your name out there and gaining credibility is a struggle. Small businesses don’t have the same funds for marketing and branding as an established brand and it’s so hard when you’re starting out. It’s more than just a social media post. It’s being strategic with emails, texts, timely follow up and so much more.

The market is saturated with small business resources, but I found most of them want you to be a profitable business with so many dollars in sales before even talking to you. Which I found to be frustrating, how will one learn to get “there?”

Save for the “rainy days and/or pandemics.” Be able to change the strategy if it isn’t working. If 2020 taught us anything, we learned that we must be nimble and able to stretch ourselves and think outside the box if you want to sustain.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I have knack for getting my customers out of their comfort zone and finding items they would have never considered. I focus on finding garments that fit and flatter your frame instead of what’s popular or trending at the time. I love seeing the look on the customer’s face when they love what they’re wearing. I started my professional career working at Talbots, so I know what size you are at first glance without measuring you. Women are always hung up on the dress size anyway, so I stopped asking all together. Remember it’s about how it fits and the confidence it gives you, not the number on the back of the dress.

I’m most proud that 79Roze has been featured in 4 magazines with the most popular being in the August 2020 best of Kansas City Magazine edition. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with many local brands and businesses.

I feel most accomplished when I’m able to make my customers smile and feel confident in their bodies. They come in feeling some form of being “body shamed” for not conforming to society’s standards of beauty and leave feeling like a queen. We talk about the total look with hair, makeup and accessories. They send me pics or videos when they’re getting dressed to get my insight on shoes, etc. At that point, the relationship turns into a friendship.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Contrary to popular belief, I’m a behind the scenes type of gal and really don’t like being in front of the camera or spotlight. I love clothes but hate shopping for them and trying them on. Crazy I know…

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photo of me in the chair courtesy of RemyMartell Productions, LLC Headshot courtesy of HerPersective Photography Group Shot courtesy of Jenn Robbins Creative House

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1 Comment

  1. Iness

    June 30, 2021 at 6:13 am

    Wonderful interview!!! So proud of this woman’s concept and her tenacity to bring it to fruition. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The photo perfectly states how important Latoya’s vision is – these every-day-beautiful woman all look amazing, fashionable, and elegant! I have a few pieces from 79Roze and I can attest to feeling splendid in them. I’m ready for more for sure!

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