We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Toby Morgan. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Toby below.
Toby, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today To kick things off, we’d love to hear about things you or your brand do that diverge from the industry standard
Hi. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to share. LUSCA was actually made with the intention of shaking up the fashion industry’s bodysuit norms. Deviating from the current standard of placing buttons and hook-and-eye clasps on women’s bodysuits (in inconvenient and uncomfortable locations) we have invented a magnetic clasp that’s placed higher up on the mons pubis so women can *gasp* actually see what they’re doing. It always seemed to not make much sense to me to place such tiny clasps between our legs. I was like “there must be a better way”! After years of product development and testing we found that that thin flexible magnets were the solution! Our bodysuits make life infinitely easier, no longer do women have to struggle to undo and redo tiny clasps between our legs throughout the day. Our bodysuits are literally as easy as a snap. No more embarrassing moments in public bathroom stalls: women can finally get in and out and on with your day. No more acrobatics while getting dressed either! LUSCA’S magnetic closure concept is so simple but yet undeniably brilliant. Finally a solution to a age old problem.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m the Founder & President of LUSCA®, a company featuring a thin flexible magnetic clasp, eliminating the struggle with hidden snaps and buttons. The innovative patent-pending closure naturally comes together creating a strong, long-lasting hold. Built to keep up with a woman’s busy lifestyle, designed for simple transition with hand-selected comfortable and slimming fabrics that highlight the body for a stylish silhouette. I started the brand because I became frustrated with the way women’s bodysuits are designed, LUSCA® is a true work of passion and strives to change the way people think about functional apparel. We apply a detail-oriented, thoughtful approach to each phase of our design process and add a personal touch to every garment I get.
Okay – so how did you figure out the manufacturing part? Did you have prior experience?
Our garments are currently manufactured by a female run factory in Mexico. Hiring women was a key decision that I made early in the company’s birth because I wanted the company to be uplifting to women across the board. I am an attorney and have no background in the clothing industry so breaking in and figuring out where to source fabric, get samples, do manufacturing was beyond challenging. I honestly didn’t know where to start and decided to go with outside consultants. Enter another all woman fashion consulting team who helped me source everything I needed to get to the manufacturing process. I found my manufacturer ironically through my patent attorney. I told him I was having trouble finding a factory in the United States and he put me in contact with a company in Mexico that helped me tremendously. My takeaways: you don’t know what you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, hire help if needed and never think someone may not be able to help because of their industry or background. Remember, you never know! Oh, and don’t give up! I tried 3 or four options before I went to Mexico. I was disappointed but never discouraged. Believe in your product and that the market needs what you have to offer. If you believe that, you won’t let anything stop you from bringing your product to life :)
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
I guess this would be a good time to share how I became the founder and president of a clothing company, well I would say a tech company but I realize that we still have many products to go before the industry will recognize us as such. But back to your question, I was an attorney for 10 years before I started this company and honestly I am still an attorney today because I am still practicing while I build LUSCA to where I need it to be. However, back in 2017 I recognized that there was a need to update and improve the current market availability for bodysuits in general and also for closures on bodysuits and other kinds of garments that are difficult to take on and takeoff. Sidenote when I had my idea for a bodysuit company Skims did not exist lol. Going from being an attorney to trying to develop and source a clothing line was a “pivot” to say the least. In fact, I used settlement money that I earned from a trial that I won for a client to jumpstart LUSCA. That was a huge decision for me it was very scary to decide to put that money into something that could be a complete and total failure but I was excited about this it was something I couldn’t stop thinking about and I decided that I wanted to try to make this happen and instead of playing it safe and you know putting it towards a home, more savings or retirement. Let me say this: it is incredibly expensive to start a company in general particularly so in the fashion industry so while I had these ideas for a long time I wasn’t actually in a financial position to begin sourcing and actively trying to manufacture the products for about four years, however, that was OK because I was in product development and I was trying to invent something new I wasn’t necessarily sketching or creating items that were currently available on the market. I had to source magnets I had to figure out the strength of the magnets the size of the magnets where the magnets would be placed how they would be placed there how we would get them into the fabric etc. etc. so it was a process just to get the magnetic area to where it is today. I’m sure during that time most people who knew about the products probably thought this was just a hobby for me. I don’t think they really saw where this could go because, like I said, I wasn’t really in a financial position to launch a clothing line and I was still a full-time attorney. However, that time of product development afforded me the opportunity to stay excited about the product even though I didn’t have the money to actually manufacture and make the product at that time. I say that because if you have an idea right now but you’re not sure where the money is going to come from do everything you can to get the product to the final stage before you really need that big bulk of cash and I promise you’ll find the money. You’ll figure out a way. Whether you take out a loan or “beg, borrow or steal” as they say you will find that money. But, if you don’t begin the process of making whatever it is that you want to make chances are you’re never going to make it with or without money.
- Website: www.shoplusca.com
- Instagram: @shop_lusca
- Facebook: ShopLUSCA
Katie Parker: model images Santiago Vega: product images