We all know Philly is home to some fabulous women (all of you included, naturally), but how often do we take the time to recognize another woman’s awesomeness? Entrepreneurs, PR mavens and all-around-hustlers, we have a city filled with ladies oozing with inspiration. Intro, my newest feature, Philly Ladies You’ll Love! If you have a woman you adore and would like to nominate to be highlighted here, keep reading. Without further ado, meet our first fab Philly lady, Luba Patlakh!
HP: Hi Luba! Please introduce yourself & tell us a little about who you are.
LP: I am 26 years old, and I was born in Kiev, Ukraine. My family emigrated to the states to give me and my brother a better life, and now I’m taking the bull by its horns! I am a go-getter, a soft-hearted party animal, and a creative think-outside-the box-er.
HP: What Philly neighborhood do you live in?
LP: Currently I am living in the Philly Burbs, right outside of the city in Bucks County.
HP: What are some of your favorite Philly spots?
LP: Whoa! Where to begin. I love to go to the Ranstead Room (2013 Ranstead Street) for a speak-easy style night. They have lots of cool drinks. I like to smoke hookah and munch on delicious snacks at Byblos (114 South 18th Street). I am also super into anything rooftop related so I appreciate Vango (116 South 18th Street) and Stratus (433 Chestnut Street) in the summer months!
For good eats I love mussels at Monk’s Cafe (264 South 16th Street), an anytime meal at the Continental Midtown (1801 Chestnut Street), Steve’s Steaks (41 South 16th Street), and Creperie Beau-Monde (624 South 6th Street) … Crepes Suzette never fails!
For shopping, I love to hit the boutiques and brand names in Rittenhouse, but I also love some underground markets like PHAIR (23rd & Arch Streets) and cute boutiques on South Street. From a young age, I was inspired by South Street’s unique items, not-your-average dresses, and wild accessories!
HP: Tell us about your new business! What inspired you to start it?
LP: I have always been super interested in fashion. Before I even got into college, I commuted from Philly to NYC to intern at Miss Sixty (Sixty USA Inc.) where I first learned about what really goes on behind the scenes in fashion and in a showroom. I pulled looks, created look books, worked on compiling tear sheets, and put together my first line sheets. I later got to sit in on some fabric selections and I was hooked! Not only did I establish my own style by then, I was generally falling in love with the compilation of clothes and the process behind it.
I got my undergrad degree at Hofstra University. I was part of planning a bunch of fashion shows, mini TV events, and even hosted a radio show! When I graduated, I spent my time living in Manhattan planning events to learn the ropes of fashion planning.
After a whirlwind of events, media conferences, meeting cool known and up-and-coming designers, I found my way back to Philadelphia for a similar position. I threw a monster mash to host the launch of my website The Posh Review with tons of working parts: hair, makeup, models, and FASHION!
After that event and some not so exciting jobs, I found myself deciding on my next steps. Having always wanted my own fashion line, I decided this was the time! I made some connections overseas with manufacturers, digitized my drawings and style ideas, and voilà! Fluff Apparel was born. I have an eye for what’s going to fly and what’s not. I am a stickler for funky and comfy tops, so I wanted to create a line that was comfortable to lay in at home but cool enough to go out in as well.
HP: What is your favorite piece you’ve designed & why?
LP: Out of the Fluff Apparel eight piece original collection, I would definitely have to pick the Lucky Lucy Crop Top. I’m a huge hippie-vintage junkie and I love the retro style. For this top, I used an image that felt very sweet & would give good luck, the elephant, printed it on our super soft cotton blend fabric, and let the fringe hang! It’s a great top because it lets you show some skin without exposing too much. I am super proud of this item because it’s one of the first I came up with.
HP: What marketing techniques are you using to reach your target audience?
LP: I am a HUGE social media buff. I have been using Twitter since it first came out. I use all the outlets: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Wanelo, Pinterest, etc. I also love participating in events or putting on giveaway contests. People really respond!
HP: What advice would you give to women pursuing their dreams?
In life there will be ups and downs, good days and bad days, and times when you want to give up . . . but the best thing you can do is hang on! Keep your head up, keep working, keep networking, keep fighting essentially, in the best/strongest way you can! Working your hardest will always outweigh the thought of what could have been if you just tried a bit more! Never give up in what you believe in.
HP: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Her Philly readers?
I’m so excited to bring Philly and all cities & countries alike a fresh outlook relating to style! Fluff Apparel is truly about being comfortable while looking great and most importantly being UNIQUE! We want all the ladies and men out there to be the best self they can be and stay true to who they are!
A huge thanks to Luba for her great advice & awesome interview! I love her ambition and optimistic personality. Check out Fluff Apparel for some comfy & cute pieces today!
Karima from Skinny Minority once shared this quote with me: “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” Whenever I am feeling competitive or jealous of another woman’s success, I remind myself of this phrase and it puts things into perspective for me. As women, we should raise each other up and celebrate our successes, not sabotage & judge to bring each other down. If you have a woman in your life you think the ladies of Philly should know about, send me an email. I can’t wait to hear about her. xx