Glam-aholics Luxury Bags Are Redefining The Accessories Industry
Entrepreneurship Fashion & Beauty Lifestyle Women

Glam-aholics Luxury Bags Are Redefining The Accessories Industry

Mia Ray, Glam-Aholics, entrepreneur, designer luggage
(Image: Courtesy of Bre'ann White)

Mia Ray is successfully redefining what it means to build a luxury handbag brand.

Her multimillion-dollar Glam-aholic Lifestyle brand launched another hit with its mesh bag collection. The Glam-aholic Lifestyle bags, which typically range in price from $40 to $250, are on track to bring in $25 million in revenue this year, a major feat for the Detroit-bred entrepreneur making waves in the billion-dollar luxury lifestyle space.

(Image: Monogram Mesh Tote Black)

BLACK ENTERPRISE spoke with Mia Ray about her ascent in the luxury handbag and luggage market, challenges along the way, and keys to building a successful brand.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue luxury handbags and luggage?

I had the vision of creating my lifestyle brand about 15 years ago. In 2009, after I established my fashion blog, the opportunity presented itself for me to develop my first tote bag. From there, I decided to pursue my wildest dreams by creating things I wished existed for my brand and my customers.

How did you get started in the handbag/luggage industry?

In 2010, I was a full-time fashion blogger, looking for another way to extend my brand and bring in more income. I met someone in manufacturing who planted a seed in me that helped take my ideas from paper into reality. From there, the growth of the product line has somewhat grown like a snowball effect. It keeps getting bigger and bigger by the year, and now I have a full line of affordable luxury products ranging from scarves, blankets, luggage pieces, and more!

What are the biggest challenges you faced while growing your brand?

I had no experience being an entrepreneur. I was clueless… I had no background or degree in business. I learned a lot of what I now know through trial and error. Being the first to have done this, I did not have many people to seek help from, so I had to figure most things out on my own. My business plan was to use God and Google to get to where I am today.

The fashion industry is forever evolving. How do you stay ahead of the curve?

Being a fashion lover, trend forecasting and paying close attention to style has always been something I have done. Staying ahead means knowing what the customer wants and filling the void of fashion necessities.

Who inspires you?

So many people inspire me. My top three would be Oprah, Beyoncé, and Kimora Lee Simmons. I also have a long list of everyday women whose drive, accomplishments, and hustle inspire me.

What are the keys to building a successful and strong brand identity? 

Being authentic, being consistent, and knowing who your target audience is. You must know who you are talking to—connect your product to the consumer.

What advice would you give to women of color who want to build a brand in a space without many people of color?

First and foremost, Black women belong everywhere. It’s also knowing and believing that you do. You have the right to create and do everything you dream of. Remove yourself from what was, and think beyond what people say we should and shouldn’t do. If you build it, develop a strategic plan, and stay consistent, customers will come. Believe in that!