Founder Spotlight

“Every [Love, Vera] purchase creates opportunities for Black Women in fashion.”

The instant loads on your screen, you realize you’re shopping somewhere special. Launched in 2018 by Vera Moore and Nate Johnson, the online boutique is a celebration of black women, black entrepreneurship, and black cultural influence. The site is actively building a community around its customers, supports fellow black-owned businesses and pours resources from sales into their marketing program that employs diverse women.

Love, Vera is an exciting, beautifully designed and one of the most innovative e-boutiques we’ve seen grace our social feed. Today, we’re thrilled to share our Q&A with Vera giving our readers a chance to learn more about the site and Vera’s journey.

Q&A with Love, Vera’s Vera Moore

Vera, how did your lingerie journey start? Was there a tangible “A-HA!” moment in which it all clicked for you?
My partner and I began working on the brand during the summer of 2018. We toyed with a number of different business ideas and ultimately landed on lingerie because we felt that there was a great deal of opportunity in this particular space.

I had actually created an online swim boutique with my twin sister years before this. At this time we were both enrolled in college and so we eventually had to give up our little side hustle to focus on our studies. Fast forward to 2018 and I knew I’d be interested in doing something similar. This is how we ended up with the idea of an online lingerie brand.

Did you already have a background in lingerie or fashion? 
I have always had an interest in fashion and been in love with lingerie but did not have any background in this particular space besides the swimsuit line that I mentioned earlier. I am an accountant by trade and so my expertise lies more on the business side of things. Much of this is brand new to me, it’s been quite an exciting journey and steep learning curve.

My partner, however, has quite a bit of background in fashion and was an integral part of the launch of another fashion brand.

We love your story and these two sentiments stand out:

“Love, Vera is a celebration of black women, black entrepreneurship, and black cultural influence.”

“The name stems from the love that Vera maintains for others and its limitless power as a problem solver, peacemaker, and unifier.”

For those who might not be familiar with your site, how do you put into practice these two sentiments through your business?
We are building a brand and a community as well. It’s honestly as simple as that. Through our social channels we engage heavily with customers, promote other small black owned businesses, and keep our customers in the know with whatever is going on in popular culture. We are not just pushing product on customers and this is felt and evident through our approach.

Please tell us a little bit more about the origin of the site’s name.
We toyed with a number of different names before we finally landed on Love, Vera. My partner, Nate, actually came up with the name.

The love part of the name stems from the love and positivity that we spread through our business and to our community every day.

And my first name, Vera, means a lot to me as I was named after my grandmother and given this name by mother. It is, in my opinion, beautiful and distinctive. I am extremely proud of what we’ve created and proud to have my name attached to it.

Your photoshoots are some of the best we’ve seen in years. I’m especially fond of California Love with its mix of lingerie and ready-to-wear. Could you tell us a little bit about the creativity and planning that goes into these shoots? Could you tell us your role and the team members involved?
Our creative process improves with practice and by doing which, for us, means taking action, making mistakes, breaking convention, and using inspiration to bring our own vision to life. Our willingness to act coupled with a great team of collaborators has allowed us to put together content that people enjoy.

Demetrius Ward and Xavier Albert captured most of our lifestyle content. The models deserve recognition as they work extremely hard and are creative in their execution of the concepts. Nate and I scout locations and discuss creative inspiration that we’d like to incorporate. It really takes a team to create the great photo and video content.

My role is as much leadership as it is creative. I have to marry our creative vision with the actual brand through execution. The creative part for me is during the planning phase and leading up to the actual shoot and the day(s) of I’m focused on executing each task at hand in coordinating the effort.

What’s been the most challenging obstacle you’ve come across? How did you break through it?
Well, as you know, we use black models for all of our shoots to champion diversity and inclusion and unfortunately have been consistently held to a different standard as compared to our competition in a lot of different ways but mostly in terms of advertisement and promotion. This discrimination definitely impacts our business as well as our opportunity to compete.

We’ve broken through the adversity with persistence in creating change but more importantly the love and support of our customers and community. They definitely make us stronger and keep us going.

“I love the design, fit, and detail of Gabrielle. The cut out style of it is very sexy and the shimmery metallic lace is just gorgeous.”

If you had to pick one style from the current selection to represent Love Vera, which one would it be and why?
I am in love with so many of the pieces in our current selection but if I had to choose just one I’d pick the Gabrielle Lace Halter Bra Set (pictured above). I love the design, fit, and detail of Gabrielle. The cut out style of it is very sexy and the shimmery metallic lace is just gorgeous.

What kind of feedback have you been getting back from the Love, Vera community?
The feedback and response that we’ve received has been overwhelming, to say the least, and we are extremely grateful. A lot of the women in our community are excited to have a brand specifically catered to them.

A lot of people are also really into our content as well which has played a big part in us going  viral on both Twitter and Facebook.

From day one we’ve been  extremely open and active in receiving feedback from our customers. We are still new and so all of this information is valued and used in order for us to grow. Connecting with our customers on a deeper level has been one of the biggest keys to our success so far.

What’s next for Love, Vera?
Our “next” is the daily work of building out a complete platform to reflect our community’s wants and needs. We are delivering more curvy options, body types among models & influencers, cup & band sizes, and varieties of intimates that people have been requesting. We are humbled by the amount of great constructive feedback we get from people who are rooting us. We listen to that and incorporate it into our business.

Making our next steps into a reality parallels with our goal of continuous learning and self-improvement. We strive to be better leaders, innovators, and community members and believe that it takes constant learning through relevant relationships, articles, books, conferences.

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