We had the good fortune of connecting with Sofia Amburgey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sofia, what is the most important factor behind your success?
After launching a month ago I keep reflecting on what I hold value in during this whole process. One factor that I feel holds the most importance to me would be maintaining an organic presence. Creating an identity for a brand takes time so I vow to get comfortable and allow TOCA to take its form with the friends we meet along the way. There is a community involved, there are real people helping me build this and I want us to all learn together. Being pleasant to the people who are making this happen for you is not hard. Making them feel seen – the consumer, the manufacturer, the photographer, etc. – without them I don’t have a piece to my puzzle. To sum this all up, keep it very real with your viewers + collaborators – I plan to make a big effort on keeping this alive and well as growth and changes arrive.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I very recently launched a brand called TOCA Textiles. TOCA is an exploration of textures and the depth texture brings through textiles. Hands have always been my favorite part of the body. They connect us and are what aid us in feeling our way through life. Hands have fed my profound love for textures and the little moments it creates, physically and visually. My first collection developed by coming in contact with a terry toweling piece and falling in love. I couldn’t get over how it felt and how timeless it was to me. The idea then furthered to create micro moments like this throughout collections -highlighting different textures. I aim for TOCA to be interpreted by each consumer as their own unique experience and I am already so excited to share the next texture!
While TOCA is not even 2 months old, I have been working on this in the background for about a year now. I was hesitant to start a brand; not only for the expected fear of failure and judgment but of my opinion on the saturation within the fashion world. After sitting with it for a month or two I had fallen so in love with the development of my vision as well as conversations with supportive friends that led me to diving in head first. I never second guess my decision because while it’s only a year into fruition I have already learned so much not only within business but within myself. I have had to sit down and trust myself, make game time decisions, and really stay true to what I wanted to represent. I am able to create pieces that feel like forever without sacrificing my standards.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love to start off a visit with a tried but true lunch at Salazar. Their handmade tortillas are what keep me coming back and I love anywhere with a patio ambiance that you could sit at over the span of a few hours. I’d hope the visit is during Dodger season to enjoy a game and a michelada. I have a few favorite places as well to lay a blanket down and enjoy some sunshine, wine, and an italian sub – Huntington Library, Barnsdall Park, or Silverlake Meadows. Barnsdall also has the Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright on the hill which is an added architectural plus. Grabbing a drink in Chinatown is always a colorful and warming time, Oriel and Melody Lounge are both great options.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my boss (+ friend!) Ryan Westberg for pushing me to do this in the first place… TOCA would absolutely not be a thing without his support, insight, network, and optimism. I also owe so much to a hometown friend Aisling Gallagher – she has helped me make my creative visions possible and really my go-to when getting everything in line for launch when it came down to it. If there is something creative involved it was bounced off of her – I love her brain!