We had the good fortune of connecting with Tasleem Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tasleem, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my own business as a creative outlet. I went to college for fashion design and I had no luck getting an industry job actually designing. At the time I was working odd jobs, interning, and I asked myself would I let all these skills I have go to waste without even trying? So I decided that no matter how long it would take me I would learn along the way and give this whole business thing a shot.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My company is called LUCKY CRIMINAL and I am most excited about seeing it grow from basically nothing. I tested different markets where I was selling my products and sometimes I made no sales and lost money which was excruciating but beneficial to me now. From the beginning of this journey I took time to work on my brand’s visual and conceptual identity. It was not easy by any means but it never feels like work because I am enjoying the work I create without seeking a reward or accolades from anyone. One of the challenges I had to overcome was startup capital and knowing exactly who my customer is and where I could find them. I worked at jobs that I hated so that I could be able to leave without having to return to positions and companies that didn’t align with where I wanted to be. I want people to know that I’m not in this to be famous, if that happens that’s cool but its really about fashion and creativity for me. I’ve been in work environments where there are not a lot of black women in leading roles and it bothers me, so I am taking my place to bring light to our voice and our innovation in fashion and trend setting.

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?
There are so many places that I love here in LA which is probably why I can’t ever seem to leave for good. First I love going to the beach it could be Manhattan Beach or Santa Monica, early in the morning or after I’ve had a bad day to recharge, blow off some steam, and connect with nature. Another scenic view to hike or workout that I love is the Culver City stairs, parking is an absolute mess so the earlier you get there the better is for you. I love getting fresh juices and smoothies and two of my go to places are Simply Wholesome on Slauson and Rainbow Acres Grocery Store. I’m vegan so all my homies know my diet is different but one of my favorite places that’s close to home is The Grain Cafe on Pico. I love going by myself or ordering in when I’m too busy to leave the house. If it’s a cheat day I might go to Earl’s Grill on Crenshaw to get some comfort food and run it off the next day. Leimert Park will always be one of my favorite places to chill and run into people I know. There are lots of new businesses there and there is always something good going down in Leimert.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is shoutout is dedicated to God who makes a way for me out of no way and places the right people in my path to assist me and make me better! God is the real MVP.

Website: https://www.luckycriminalshop.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luckycriminalshop/

Image Credits
First Three photos shot by @drew_v600 Last Three Photos in the Red Room shot by @the.poeticpointofview

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