How Gap picked up the design of this young graphic designer who started her brand at 13

Dollita Okine November 07, 2023
When she was barely a teenager, Lo Williams started a business with the goal of making other young black girls feel "beautiful and represented" through her brand Lo Designz . Photo Credit: Instagram, Lo Williams

When she was barely a teenager, Lo Williams started her brand, Lo Designz, to make other young black girls feel “beautiful and represented”.

Her illustrations, which are usually found on mugs and T-shirts, show black women with various skin tones and hairstyles. Her brand is now well-known throughout the world, to the point where fashion retailer Gap is using one of her slogans on its T-shirts.

She told the BBC, “I couldn’t go out and buy a black Barbie that looked like me so I had the inspiration to create that [image] for young black girls, to show that they are beautiful, they are out here and they are being represented.”

“Representation is very important; if you don’t see yourself, you don’t know yourself.”

In 2015, the Dudley native launched the company with the support of her mother, and after five years, her design ‘Black Is My Happy Colour‘ was picked up by Gap and distributed in UK stores. She told the outlet that the impact of her creations inspires her, as does watching young girls and children share their creative skills.

Williams revealed that even at a young age, she had to overcome numerous obstacles. “Because I started at such a young age, people didn’t take me seriously, and even now, people still assume that it’s my mum’s business.”

“Also, my skin tone. I’m fully Jamaican Black-British but many people have things to say about me being light-skinned, like they are trying to diminish my blackness,” she added.

Williams said that in addition to running her own successful business, she coaches young artists from the age of four to sixteen. She is creating an empire for herself and other black girls.

Research cited by BBC shows that minorities in Birmingham face challenges in getting funding for their businesses. Still, there has been an increase in black-owned businesses in the city partly due to a support network of more than 20,000 people forming on Facebook.

To raise her brand and attract new audiences, Williams used social media channels and initiatives like Black Pound Day fairs, which feature companies run by people of color.

At the 2022 Black Owned Birmingham Awards, she took home the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 7, 2023


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