The Style Capsule and Valente the Label by Adelaidian Lisa Ranieri has gained quite a bit of traction with their beautiful jumpsuits and playsuits that are versatile and can be dressed to suit any and all occasions. With a strong focus on female empowerment and body positivity, Lisa hopes that her fashion labels will be able to reach women with different body types and enjoy the luxury of owning something in their wardrobe that will bring out their confidence in adorning themselves in something eclectic, sophisticated, and oh so comfortable!
After meeting Lisa at the Gathered SA Market in March 2019, I was intrigued by the style of clothing offered by her labels and wanted to get to know her story. In anticipation of her appearance at the upcoming Gathered SA Market on July 13 + 14 at the Queens Theatre, I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with Lisa to learn a bit more about her business – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Lisa?
Lisa: I have always been into fashion from a very early age, which I think was heavily
influenced by my grandmother, who was a dressmaker and still is an alterationist.
Early in my teens, I started a scrap book of unique and different designs with clippings
from magazines, which I added to for many years. I have since gained over 20 plus
years’ experience and have styled women from head to toe, worked in all
areas of fashion from hairdressing to footwear. I launched myself into the fashion
industry by owning my own boutique along Vardon Ave and eventually went on to manage
some of the biggest boutiques in Adelaide, so it was a natural progression to create my
own brand and start up the online fashion hub The Style Capsule.
Tema: How long has The Style Capsule been in business for? How have you found the journey so far?
Lisa: The Style Capsule has been online for almost 3 years and the journey has been tough, but also very fulfilling and I have gained a large amount of knowledge along the way.
Tema: Can you tell us the story of The Style Capsule?
Lisa: The Style Capsule was born to provide time-deprived women with carefully hand-picked, quality pieces that would effortlessly fit into their wardrobe and can be worn and loved for years to come. Featuring Australian labels exclusively, its unique concept gives women the opportunity to have face-to-face fashion styling advice in the comfort of their own surroundings. They also have the opportunity to purchase off of an easily navigated and beautifully constructed fashion website. The Style Capsule was established to allow women to create the wardrobe that they desired in the most convenient, unpretentious and enjoyable way.
Tema: What made you decide on starting up your own business Valente the Label?
Lisa: Valente The Label was established to empower women; no matter what shape or size, so that they can feel confident and comfortable while expressing their sense of style (I design styles from sizes 4 to 18). Fashion is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to making people feel confident and jumpsuits + playsuits are the perfect power outfits that are designed to make you feel stronger! It is the ultimate go-to for chic jumpsuits & playsuits, where my customers can eliminate the time and hassle to coordinate outfits and so that women can move freely in comfort no matter what their lifestyle.
Tema: Do you run The Style Capsule and Valente the Label simultaneously or are you hoping for the two to merge in the future?
Lisa: Yes, I run both businesses simultaneously. I started The Style Capsule to offer women a range of designer labels with a difference and have found a limitation in sizes in these designs. There is much more of a demand for larger and smaller sizes in on trend styles and so Valente The Label was born, nestled under The Style Capsule umbrella!
Tema: How did it go from being a concept to a reality?
Lisa: Through lots of hard work with long days and nights and many ups and downs! It started with forming the brand ~ the name, what I wanted to communicate and the core values, then working on designs that were original and flattering on all shapes and sizes, which led me on to fabric choices and manufacturers. Each garment is carefully designed and constructed with care to create comfort, style and a point of difference. The fabric is chosen very carefully to suit the style of each garment as well as to ensure the highest quality.
Tema: Why did you decide to focus on fashion in particular?
Lisa: I have always loved fashion and looking for unique pieces that stand out from the norm and enjoy styling customers, family and friends to make them feel good.
Tema: What does the creative process look like?
Lisa: It starts with research – I am constantly scanning trend forecasts for predictions of
colours, fabrics, and styles that will be popular in the coming seasons and usually
build a mood board of imagery and inspiration as a starting point for my designs.
Once I have a concept, I then put together designs that are flattering on different body
shapes and that have a point of difference i.e. ruffles/ties and designs that can be
worn in a few different ways to mix up the look.
Tema: Do you have a physical shopfront or do you tend to primarily function as an online store?
Lisa: I primarily function as an online store, however, I take part in numerous fashion markets and offer house visits for those women who like to try and feel the fabrics and need help with styling.
Tema: What do you think helps your business stand out from the rest in the industry?
Lisa: I offer a more versatile range in sizes so that women of all sizes can have fun with fashionable pieces while expressing their sense of style, I am accessible and easily approachable.
Tema: Why should people support your business?
Lisa: Supporting small businesses improves our local economy – you will receive a more personalised customer service and you can experience unique styles/designs that you won’t see in every other store.
Tema: What have you found rewarding / challenging about being a small-scale business in Adelaide / SA?
Lisa: I have found the freedom to control my destiny very rewarding and also challenging. Being able to have more flexibility in a working day is a plus and also being involved in the total operation of the business – from concept to design to creation and sales to business operations and customer response is very satisfying. It has also opened up the opportunity to make a contribution to a cause that I feel strongly about (The Butterfly Foundation) and has allowed me to develop closer relationship with customers. Some of the challenges I have faced with running my own business is the time commitment, risk, and uncertainty of how well it will do in our small and often competitive fashion community.
Tema: How did you get involved with Gathered SA?
Lisa: Gathered SA embraces SA makers of all things beautiful, unique and creative. So, it was the perfect opportunity to showcase my designs and meet new customers as well as other local small businesses.
Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like our readers and your customers to know about Valente the Label?
Lisa: We are proud supporters of The Butterfly Foundation, with $5 from each sale of our Valente The Label Jumpsuits & Playsuits helping those affected by eating disorders and negative body image.
Interview conducted by Fatema Sitabkhan
Photos supplied by Lisa Ranieri of The Style Capsule // Valente the Label