Connect
To Top

Check Out Hala Khalaf’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hala Khalaf.

Hi Hala, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Fifteen years ago, I started my journey studying Interior Design – with an extreme love for fashion. This love was obvious because I was constantly mistaken for a fashion student. This affinity for fashion resulted in working alongside an Italian fashion designer that instilled in me the ability to see the future of my creativity. She challenged me to submit work for a silent auction called ‘Power of the Purse’. The ask of the submission was a handbag that reflects women’s history – the cause benefited non-profit organizations. I had never thought of designing a handbag. I had no idea where this one challenge would lead my passion. My design was textured like a shag rug and held images of women in history with a mirror to reflect that the owner is amongst those very women. Since then, the wearable works of art have evolved into what they are now. Shag Couture was established in 2008 and offered women distinguishable handheld works of art -allowing them to make an effortless statement.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
They say difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. It has been a journey, from learning the business to keeping up with a fast-paced, technology-driven life. Learning algorithms for social medial alone is a struggle, especially when it’s constantly changing. I began this Shag Couture journey 13 years ago, and I’m constantly updating, evolving, and refining the product to obtain the utmost quality. Two challenges have been paramount in the evolution of Shag Couture – fabrication and funding. Obtaining quality in the product was the most challenging for me, especially because I didn’t have any experience in sewing. I worked with several fabricators/seamstresses before finding a perfect fit. Doreen Arroyo with More Than Pillows helped get my product to the quality level I always strived to attain. She helped me refine the patterns and improve quality. She even mentored me in learning the patience of sewing. I’m always and forever thankful to have her make my visions come to life. To date, I have not received funding from any outside sources. I have contributed to the business from my own personal finances and any profits made from the business go right back to it. What I’ve lacked in financial funding from others is found through extreme moral support from friends and family. I couldn’t have come this far without them.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Creativity is what I eat, sleep and breathe. It’s what I’m all about and I’m constantly striving to make an impact with it globally. I work for Hard Rock International as a memorabilia designer. I help curate historical artifacts of music history into several locations worldwide. I design the spaces for these artifacts and that’s where my creativity really comes to light. My career at Hard Rock has surely taken me to places I could’ve never imagined. Whenever I have downtime from the full-time gig, I use Shag Couture as a catharsis where there are no boundaries, rules, executive approvals that hinder my creativity. I’m the boss and I love it! Shag Couture gives me the ability to connect to others through creating authentic wearable pieces of art. I have been blessed to have shared these beauties with musicians like Lindsey Stirling, Sydney Sierota – lead singer of Echosmith, Canadian musician Lights aka Valerie Anne Poxleitner, and the iconic pop star Dua Lipa! Last year I expanded the brand and started Shag Couture’s sister brand called Shag Couture Paperie. It’s similar to the wearable art line but on a multi-layered textured paper level!

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
Orlando has so much to offer! You don’t need to go far to experience the world in one city. We have so many special staple places that make it what it is. From its trendy places to eat and shop to the fun adventures of outdoor sceneries that are breathtaking, You can blend in with tourists when you feel like it or explore all the wonderful hole-in-the-walls that give Orlando it’s character. Orlando’s community is constantly developing and buzzing with energy. When I first came to Orlando I didn’t understand it, but slowly I got to know all the parts of it that give it its charming character.

Pricing:

  • Custom Clutch $150-$295
  • Custom Cards/Card Sets $10-$100+

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Christie McQueen

Suggest a Story: OrlandoVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in