Tao and Ollie Holloway are spontaneous self-taught entrepreneurs, which lead them to the creation of La Rosa Fashion. La Rosa is a men and women’s fashion boutique located on Hampton Ave. They have clothing, jewelry, and shoes for a large variety of people except children. There is nothing in La Rosa Fashion that is priced over 45 dollars.
They first started out with their own lawn care business then after a couple of years they decided to go in a different direction, which was in the pool industry. After having a casual conversation with her husband one day about opening a clothing store, a few months later that dream became a reality. Being self-taught, finding a wholesale distributor and a building was the easy part. However, Tao’s biggest challenge in the business industry was learning the sales taxes and selecting items for the store. The Holloway’s describe their journey as entrepreneurs as a learning experience and are still learning new things each day.
Part of the reason for selecting Aiken as their home for their business was to expand the diversity in the community by having a black owned business. They wanted to use their story and success to encourage other African American entrepreneurs and peers that having their own businesses is possible.
The Holloway’s have been participating for two years in Shoutfest. Shoutfest is a huge gospel music celebration where there are gospel performers, activities for children, and is a place where local businesses and vendors have the opportunity to sell food and other items. Toa describes this event as a “great place to gain exposure and network”.
Toa and Ollie have an event planned on November 17 called Thanksgiving Dinner. This event will be held at Bea’s Place – beside Save A Lot in the shopping center right next to their store – and will be giving back to the community by providing people with a Thanksgiving dinner for free.
Down the road the Holloway’s would like to expand their business by designing their own clothing line, opening up another clothing store, and opening their own restaurant in downtown Aiken. As far as the future for La Rosa, they would like to establish La Rosa Fashion to a point were their business can be passed down to their children and the next generation after that.
*Tao Holloway loves to eat! Her favorite restaurant is Texas Road House in Aiken and she enjoys going there with her family and grandkids.
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