Founder: Anny Sanchez
Anny Sanchez created her lifestyle brand, LolaSpirit, to be more than a collection of colorful, artistic clothes, shoes and gifts.
“I wanted to make a brand that helps women to respect each other. Wearing some Lola is part of a movement of women supporting other women,” said Sanchez, a Cary resident.
Positive messages and personal affirmations frequently appear on LolaSpirit T-shirts and social-media posts, encouraging women to feel powerful and to bring out the best in others.
Growing up in Merida, Venezuela, Sanchez’s mother had a children’s clothing store. “All my life I wanted to have a store,” she said.
Now her shop reaches customers worldwide.
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of LolaSpirit this August, Sanchez designed a diamond-themed collection, acknowledging that the best results often come from the hardest challenges.
“In this difficult world, under pressure, we can become diamonds,” she said. “I want Lola to be a vibe, not just a cool T-shirt.”
Bestselling painted sneakers are the shop’s headliners. Each pair is printed on demand, so customers have the ability to personalize their design.
“Getting to know the customers and their stories and why they want custom shoes is my favorite part,” Sanchez said.
Many LolaSpirit offerings feature artwork, phrases and motifs that reference Sanchez’s native country.
“When you are far away, it’s nice to feel a little bit of home.”
Founder: Rhonda Lynette Mapp
Raleigh-based fashion brand Rhonda Lynette, caters to “the tall, chic woman that’s on the go, who loves to dress up and dress down,” said founder and designer Rhonda Lynette Mapp.
Mapp herself is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and understands how challenging it can be for women to find stylish, properly fitting clothing outside of the average sizes.
“My business mission is to allow women to feel beautiful, confident and independent in the clothing that they wear,” Mapp said. “I want them to know that there is a brand out there that is catered specifically for them, and to let them know that they are beautiful in the tall bodies they are in.”
Mapp’s sophisticated-casual designs include allowances in the waist, torso and inseam to accommodate longer lengths. Her typical customer can range from 5 feet, 10 inches to over 6 feet, 4 inches tall.
Mapp’s designs were featured in 2019 New York Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week earlier this year, experiences she describes as “very emotional.”
“I was happy; I was all the emotions mixed together,” she said. “Being a small business, it can get overwhelming, but the reward is so much better. Those two events made it feel like I’m really getting there.”
Maria Maria Mexican Trends
Founder: Ana Ramirez
In and around Puebla, Mexico, the hometown of Apex resident Ana Ramirez, there are many skilled artisans creating vibrant jewelry and accessories. Hailing from remote villages, these artists often trek hours to reach a market and sell their wares.
“I always loved to wear Mexican jewelry and accessories,” said Ramirez, who moved to the Cary area 15 years ago. Ramirez founded Maria Maria Mexican Trends to support the artists from her native country and showcase their beautiful work to U.S. customers.
Hand-painted tote bags, beads and key chains, intricately embroidered necklaces and fluffy pom pom bag charms are some of the colorful accessories offered on the Maria Maria Etsy shop.
“I wanted to select some unique things with great quality and great design,” said Ramirez. “I always try to bring different items. It’s not repetitive. If I bring a necklace, that’s the only necklace (like it) I bring.”
Through her shop, Ramirez is able to support Mexican artisans, both in their craft and financially.
“My main goal is to continue helping more and more artisans so they can provide a better income to their family. Every purchase made with Maria makes a difference in someone’s life in Mexico.”
Special thanks to:
Bless Your Heart Boutique
242 S. Main St., Suite 106, Holly Springs
2112 Werrington Dr., Holly Springs
- Meg’s Smile Foundation
- For Good: Nonprofit Guide
- Zach’s Toy Chest
- Wake Enterprises
- Military Missions in Action
- Mama’s House
- Holly Springs Food Cupboard
- Fuquay-Varina Emergency Food Pantry
- The Good News
- Money Matters
- Great Take Out
- Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale from Big Boss Brewing Company
- Frilly-Dilly! The Crown Imperial Fritillaria
- There & Back: Pittsboro
- Fashion with Heart
- Meet & Greet: Wanda Holloway
- Meet & Greet: Marty Woodward
- Thanksgiving 2020 is Coming
- FACES (Family and Community Empowerment Services)