Houston's Own LeToya Luckett Talks 'Business, Boutique's & Branding'

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Letoya Luckett

Check out this incredible article from our great friends at The Atlanta post on R&B singer, actress and business woman LeToya Luckett, where she talks about her endeavors post Destiny’s Child.

by Dejuan Galloway

LeToya Luckett may have established her worldwide fame in the music business as one fourth of the original Destiny’s Child but it is her entrepreneurial endeavors that define her in her hometown of Houston. After departing from the group, Luckett invested her time and energy to opening up her Lady L  Boutique in 2004. Now, she maintains two stores and is riding high with her reinvented entertainment career. She is currently preparing a new album and is co-starring in this summer’s action-comedy, “Killers”, alongside Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher.  For an industry veteran of 10 plus years, her drive is reminiscent of someone who has just arrived. She hopes that quality inspires her supporters to take a driven approach to achieving their own success. TAP caught up with Lady L to discuss her brand, boutiques and beats.

Why did  you begin Lady L Boutique?

Honestly, it came from having a shopping problem. My mother and I sat down and I said, ‘Mom I really want to open a boutique’. I thought it would be a great way for people in Houston to get the fashion they see on the runway and worn by celebrities. My mother has a background in accounting, so she managed the business side of it.  I have learned so much from watching her make the deals.

How much did you initially invest in the store?

Our initial investment was between $30,000 and $50,000. I didn’t want go on the credit side of financing; I wanted to pay cash for everything.

What is your role in the store?

I am the boutique’s buyer. I also organize the charity events and fashion shows we host.

As the buyer how do you ensure both quality and affordability for the customer?

In terms of quality, I not only consider what I like but I touch the fabrics to ensure their durability. I have worked with many stylists throughout my career, so I am able to distinguish between higher quality and lower end pieces. I also make sure that my employees acknowledge the customers because providing great customer service is another part of quality assurance.

On affordability, I talk to and observe my customer. If they’re in my store and look at the price tag then place it back on the rack, I will say ‘let’s talk about it.’ Sometimes when I am buying for the store, the asking price from vendors is much more than I think it should be. So I never do huge mark ups on clothes, the customers are getting items very close to cost. Since I chose to do higher end denim, my tops are less expensive, so they can walk out with the whole outfit.

Check out what LeToya had to say about people bootlegging music and branding herself in more ways than just being a recording artist.

In the new digital media landscape where album sales have suffered because of people downloading music for free, what is the main source of revenue for recording artists?
Many artists make money by doing live shows and having plans A and B. With albums not selling well, you can look to those other plans as additional income. Artists shouldn’t depend on one source of revenue.

Are there any new forms of revenue for artists that did not exist 10 years ago? If so, are the profits sustainable?

Absolutely, there are different routes you can go to generating revenue online with various websites. Ring tones are another new form of revenue for artists that didn’t really exist 10 years ago. Whether the profits are sustainable depends on the specifics of the artist’s deal.

The same technologies that caused record sales to plummet, also introduced artists to new ways to interact with their fans. Have these technologies developed your relationship with your fans?

Absolutely, Twitter has brought me much closer to my fans. I am able to answer their questions and/or get feedback on what they want out of the next album. It has definitely bridged the gap between my fans and I. I love it.

Are lower record sales a fair trade off for increased fan interactions?

Not really. I love the fact that I am closer to my fans, no question. But when you spend months, sometimes years of hard work creating an album and someone can download it for free, it’s like working all week and not getting your paycheck. Imagine, if someone worked all week and approached their boss about not getting and he said, ‘You know what, I think we are going to turn this into an internship,’ and you are not compensated, that is exactly how it feels.

LeToya is also in the new Ashton Kutcher film, “Killers” with Katherine Heigl, here’s information about her character.

What can people expect this summer in your forthcoming movie Killers?

Killers is action/thriller/comedy led by Asthon Kutcher and Katerine Heigl. I play a character by the name of Amanda, she is Katherine Hiegl’s colleague and best friend. I am very spunky, fun and remain optimistic about life. It will be in theaters in June.

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