The promotion of body positivity and self-esteem for women was the motivation for LaToya Rozof to start 79Roze Dress Shop. The idea was to provide affordable and fashionable options for women with curves. The average woman is a size 12+, yet mainstream stores have limited dress options. The ultimate goal is to empower women to embrace their bodies and not feel pressured to conform to societal beauty standards.
LaToya’s love for fashion started as a little girl, and she always wanted a career in the fashion world. She holds a B.S. in Apparel and Textile Marketing from Kansas State University and had a quick stint in the retail world working for Talbots and Halls. Wife and mom are other titles that she’s balancing while building her brand and business. 79Roze Dress Shop has been featured in HERLIFE, Kansas City, Voyage ATL, and KC, Aymie and Fashion Gxd magazines, as well as local fashion shows. Giving back to the community, specifically fellow female entrepreneurs, is a passion.
We had the amazing opportunity of sitting down with LaToya to discuss the inspiration behind 79 Roze, her passion for body positivity, her fall look plans and so much more:
In Five Words, Who is LaToya Rozof?
Your Favorite Body Positivity Enthusiast!
What inspired your start into entrepreneurship, specifically fashion?
My love for fashion dates back to my childhood, and I knew that I always wanted to have some form of a career in fashion. I started 79Roze to meet a fashion need for a consumer that had been underserved and overlooked by the fashion industry for years.
Can you remember the moment you first realized you had a passion for fashion, was it a specific creation or look you saw?
I’m probably dating myself with this, but I remember as a young girl looking forward to the monthly Ebony Magazine coming so that I could review the Ebony Fashion Fair looks. I knew then that I was going to do something with fashion at some point in my life.
Tell us about 79Roze Dress Shop?
79Roze is the premiere boutique for curvy girls! Our mission is to empower and promote body positivity and self-esteem by empowering women to embrace their curves. The average American is sized 12+, but still can’t shop freely at mainstream stores and boutiques. We solve that by providing fashionable and affordable options.
What can women expect when shopping at 79Roze? What do you hope they take away from the experience?
Customers that shop at a brick and mortar location can expect a judgment-free shopping experience. We don’t talk about weight or dress sizes; we start with a beverage of choice, listen to your favorite music artist, and you get to play dress up and try on clothes and leave like the queen you are. Online customers can expect fast shipping and excellent customer service.
What would you say is your current favorite summer trend?
I like seeing the slip dresses and skirts. They are versatile and can be dressed up or down for any occasion.
How do you prepare your store for Fall, and what does your lookbook include?
I follow trends and listen to insights from my customers on what they’re looking for. This fall, we plan to focus on separates that can be worn to work, business functions, etc.
Tell us about the work you are doing to promote body positivity and inclusivity?
79Roze will be launching body positivity products this fall (t-shirts, hoodies, body affirmation cards). We will be starting a body positivity podcast soon. Currently, we send out a weekly newsletter that covers a body positivity message and a product of the week. We also started a weekly IG post focused on body positivity.
Why do you believe it is important that brands offer clothing options for women of all sizes?
The average American woman is sized 12+ and should be able to shop anywhere she wants and have the same amount of options as others.
What is next for you, where do you hope to see your brand in the next 2-3 years?
I’ve been in business for 5 years, and I get to connect with women from all demographics and backgrounds, and a negative body image is a common denominator. I want to become a certified body coach and empower women to accept themselves just as they are. In the next 2-3 years, I would like my brand represented nationwide and known for creating a sense of belonging as we take this body positivity message on the road.
What advice do you have for upcoming boutique owners?
Find a niche or value proposition that your customers can only get from you. That will keep them coming back. Network and collaborate with others. It’s not only good for business exposure, but you need a network of fellow entrepreneurs to keep you encouraged.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A pretty woman who hustles inspires those around her to do the same. It’s not just about looking pretty but creating a sisterhood. There’s no competition as she sees her fellow woman as someone she can learn from. She knows her worth and value and aspires to leave a positive light to everyone she encounters.
Connect with Latoya: