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How Loeffler Randall Made It as an Indie Brand

There's more to being successful than just being cool.
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Since launching in the fall of 2005, Loeffler Randall has become synonymous with downtown style. The independent shoe and handbag line has gotten nothing but cool girl cred since its inception, but there's more to becoming a fashion hit than meets the eye. 

At our "How I'm Making It Conference" on Friday, founder and creative director Jessie Randall explained how Loeffler Randall has managed be the cool girl's "It" brand almost a decade after launching. Read on for her tips on how to have a career as an independent designer. 

1. Have a buddy. Randall founded the company with her husband, Brian Murphy, and said having a partner was the one piece of advice she'd give all young designers. Murphy is the brand's chief financial officer, handling the business side of things and the art direction, while Randall works on the brand's creative pursuits. The two are so committed to having a cohesive vision, they hired a life coach to help them get it together before launching the brand in 2005.

2. Don't splurge. "Being frugal is really important to being successful," Randall admitted. She and her husband saved all the money necessary to start their company by cutting back on their personal spending, and still keep a tight budget to this day. 

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3. Have good inspiration. Randall divulged that she's a huge vintage shoe hoarder (but really, what else would you expect?) and explained how she mixes her nostalgic references (men's briefcases inspired the brand's now iconic Rider bag) with her desire to see something new on the market. 

4. Hire smart people. Randall admitted that when she launched the label she tried to hire people who felt very on-brand, but that didn't always work. "You need someone who knows Excel, you don't need someone in the cutest outfit," she explained.

5. Do Instagram right. You probably already know that Loeffler Randall's Instagram is literally perfect, but finding that balance between product shots and fun photos wasn't easy. "It's not an ad—it's not just about our product, but about our lifestyle," Randall said. And, yes, she does post every picture on the feed herself. That's dedication, folks.