Today we’d like to introduce you to Layla-Joy Williams. Them and their team share their story with us below:
Layla-Joy Williams has become recognized for her ability to translate trends in a way that feels both feminine and edgy…. as evident in the creation of her luxury brand, IYLIA, with which she’s delivered her signature footwear collection to the world – and she’s continued to use that same acute attention to detail and drive to produce a phenomenal collection of product in the creation of her luxury IYLIA brand.
Encapsulated within the IYLIA wine collection is the same signature style for which Layla-Joy is known and the inspiration to create a delicious variety of wine that can be enjoyed by everyone. In life, she believes, your glass should never be half empty, and the IYLIA wine collection is too good to be bottled up.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As the Founder and CEO of my company, I oversee and am responsible for every single aspect of my brand, including:
• Working with my team developing strategies
• Product production approval
• Coordinating with our distributor to get our merchandise into the United States from Europe
Culture and politics play a crucial role in doing business anywhere you are in the world – especially as a woman, and it is key to how you will be Received and Perceived as it relates to first impressions.
Face-to-face (in person) meetings are crucial in business, often when you are doing business abroad. It’s imperative! You want to have face time with the leaders of the organizations with which you’re working.
You want to be able to review all aspects of your product in person before production.
It will aid in circumventing production errors, and more importantly, it shows your team that you care. You care about the project your team is doing for you and that you are serious about the business you are developing.
Another essential facet to be aware of while conducting business in different countries is the importance of understanding each country’s cultural practices to avoid unwanted attention (as a woman).
I know it’s not ‘politically correct to say this, but sometimes I’ve just found it simpler to ask the men working for me to deal with or take over in certain situations or act as ‘the face’ of certain areas of my business.
Sometimes men of some areas of the world cannot grasp that a woman (or a black woman) is at the helm of her own company, and for whatever reason and because of this, it has caused unnecessary roadblocks. It becomes an impossible task – and time is money!
In a case like this, I’ll ask someone like our CFO, a man, to step in and get involved. And sometimes by doing this tasks get done smoother, quicker and with more efficiency…. I’m not relinquishing control. I monitor the situation, and then I’ll come in when needed!
I’ve moved beyond wondering why or even feeling the need to prove my gravitas as the CEO. I have to get the job done, and however I can complete it, I will.
I consider myself a business-savvy individual and someone who takes great care to make the most well-thought-out decisions possible. Being Quick on my feet has aided me a great deal in circumventing certain issues un-scathed. I’m incredibly driven, passionate, hard-working, and diligent. Unfortunately, owning your own business requires that you realize that the unexpected WILL happen. And oftentimes, you don’t know what you don’t know!
I could never have imagined all of the stops and then starts I’d have to endure in creating my company. I had NO clue what I was in for. There have been so many situations and circumstances that I’ve been faced with that were beyond my control. No amount of preparation or planning could’ve prepared me for the type of circumstances and setbacks I’ve encountered over the past seven years.
So, what I’ve learned is you have to take the lesson from the circumstance you’re faced with, prevent as much damage as possible, and quickly move on to your plan B, C, D, E…. as needed.
I’ve learned it’s equally important to create a team of people who are an extension of you….. that are just as vested in your business as you are.
You must surround yourself with people who are in it for the long haul. You want people who will get in the trenches with you, and you want to surround yourself with people who are dedicated to seeing the team WIN.
It takes a while to build your team. Even if you know lots of (good) people, it does not mean everyone’s gifts will translate and be ‘right’ for your needs or your business.
I now surround myself with a core group of people, and I trust these individuals implicitly. They can often see the ‘Forest from the Trees’ when I’m mired in the minutiae of the day. They’re like oxygen, and most importantly – they’re honest with me.
On the other side of hard lessons learned, I have been exposed to a lot. A lot more than I could’ve ever imagined! Obviously, I wish I could have avoided all of the pitfalls. I’m, however in a better position to be able to navigate my business, as I finally have the team and the resources in place to Scale ultimately!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about IYLIA?
We believe good wine should be an affordable indulgence.
Our signature IYLIA collection is too good to keep bottled up. Our collection is created in the Valencian region of Spain, which produces an incredibly creative, diverse and varied assortment of grapes. Valencia is known worldwide for its long days of warm sun and position next to the Mediterranean Sea, which combined with its topography, creates dominant grapes, which result in an array of very different wines. Valencian wines tend to be intense with body, structure and a relatively high alcohol content. With the creation of IYLIA, we start with exemplary product and work with generationally -skilled artisans. Our collection is both modern and timeless. It’s elegance you can taste.
Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
We can be found at www.IYLIA.com/ @iyliacollection and they are welcome to connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our wine is $25 per bottle
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.iylia.com
- Instagram: @iyliacollection
- Facebook: @iyliacollection
- Twitter: @iyliacollection
- Youtube: iylia collection