This is more than just a founder’s story.
Shaina Loria, the mind behind Loria, has come a long way before establishing the clothing brand. In fact, it all started when she was an Atenista. Since the Katipunan-based university is prominently known for not implementing school uniforms, her school became her runway.
This became her opportunity to express herself. She enjoyed picking outfits every single day until she discovered her love for fashion. But just like many of us, she had to overcome her greatest fear: talking to people.
Shaina narrates, “I was rushing to go to my next class after the bell rang when the girl in front of me stopped and said, “Hi, I don’t know you but I really love your outfits.” Being a shy person, I just stood there not knowing what to say.”
Being an introvert, Shaina was unable to say a word. But surely, that compliment from a total stranger made her ecstatic. On the same day, she was inspired to share her outfits with others in the future. Little did she know that the future's already happening.
The Birth of an Idea
In 2021, Shaina began to pursue what was first an idea during her college years. She gave birth to Shop by Shai L, where she sold carefully hand-picked branded overruns on Instagram. It was her mission to help fashion enthusiasts save money by providing basic pieces they can use in the long run.
While reselling earned her ample revenue, it wasn’t enough. She explains, “The sales were good, but I felt like something was still not right. Selling items with tags from famous brands like Zara, Cotton On, Forever 21 was not fulfilling compared to having your own brand.”
Soon, she started creating TikTok videos. But she faced another problem: the industry’s highly competitive market. Being the innovator that she is, Shaina brainstormed on ways to distinct her brand apart. Then, she had her Eureka moment.
“I have this favorite sleepwear that I wear a lot at home. It's a hand-me-down top from my aunt. The reason why it's unique among my other clothes in the house is that it has built-in pads. It's very comfy because I don't need to wear a bra at home. I don’t need to cover myself with a towel whenever I claim my deliveries. However, I just find it frustrating that I can't wear the top outside the house. Then, I had a light bulb moment. I will sell tops with built-in pads which can be worn outside the house!”
The Making of Loria
Having an idea is easy, but designing it to become tangible isn’t a walk in the park. So Shaina reflected which top is difficult to wear with the usual underwire bra. With simplicity and elegance in mind, she designed her first product as a one shoulder top.
But then again, she encountered another challenge. To market her padded top, she needs to reveal her face on her TikTok videos. Battling her shyness and introverted personality, she consistently posted contents until she achieved her first viral video, which featured the first-ever sample of the padded top. In fact, some of Shaina’s friends who didn’t know her business watched it. Ultimately, she named the item after her first name, “Shaina.”
Soon, she identified more solidified goals rooted from her experience as a woman in creating outfit designs. Focusing on slow fashion, Shaina’s philosophy encompasses three qualities. All her products must be pocket-friendly, innovative, and of high-quality.
For Shaina, the Loria experience doesn’t end in purchasing padded tops or bottoms. She continues, “A high quality product would be nothing if not paired with high quality service. We listen to our customers’ feedback - positive or negative. We make sure that our customers get what they pay for.”
During this exciting progress, Shaina rebranded her clothing business from Shop by Shai L to Loria. Explaining Loria’s logo, she said that the vertical line is an opened closet door that signifies that Loria products won’t only last for a long time, but can also mix and match with other outfits. Meanwhile, the flower-like symbol at the back came from the first letter of Shaina’s name, which is arranged to form a cycle because Loria clothes are made to last long.
Loria is the brainchild of fearlessness.
Today, Shaina looks at her progress as a big win. As an introverted person, gaining thousands of followers on TikTok is a huge achievement. At first, she was afraid to be judged by the people around her. But eventually, she outgrew her old self. To try what you want to do is fearlessness in action.
Get to know more about Shaina by following her TikTok page.