When a trend setter or style conscience individual goes to a typical mall they are both unlimited in their choices and confined to those choices. One can choose individual flavors of ice cream, pizza ingredients, ring arrangements and hair styles but for the most part custom-made clothing such as shirts, hats and outfits are not on hand for the typical mall shopper – this is about to change.
In October 2013, HDLV USA will launch a flagship location at Westfield Culver City Mall that will go beyond the typical routine of finding the perfect hat, shirt or outfit and usher in a new concept that will delight and indulge customers by offering in person fashion services directly to everyday consumers, including HDLV USA custom painted hat designs, fashion styling, and an exclusive selection of trendsetting fashion brands. “Personalizing the traditional retail shopping experience provides elite value for our celebrity clientele and makes everyday consumers feel like celebrities,” says Janey.
Benjamen Janey founded HDLV, a creative fashion firm, in 2010; HDLV stands for Highly Distinguished Liquid Value and specializes in creating custom fashion branding for stylish individuals.
Janey started selling clothes as a vendor on Venice Beach in 2008 and fondly remembers having to get up before dawn to stand in line for the 5 a.m. vendor lottery to have a stall along Venice Beach. It was there that Janey made a name for himself as a local designer and entrepreneur by creating his hand painted caps for beachgoers and tourists. He quickly became a known name and brand among the Venice Beach culture.
Referring to his clothing industry start on Venice Beach, “You quickly know if your products are viable or not….I learned how to sell, what to sell and learned different languages,” said Janey. “At first, I got some markers and blank trucker hats and hand painted them with customer’s names or put a funny character on it…from that I developed a whole collection from pop culture icons.” Back then, he sold as many items as possible at a competitive price, “in order to compete in Los Angeles, I designed a product that was unique and affordable and that was how I penetrated the market.”
By 2010, Janey planned to expand out of Venice Beach and into malls, so he attended the Valley Economic Development Center’s access to capital event “Where’s the Money.” There he met Marsel Watts, director of the SBA’s Women Business Center hosted by VEDC. They immediately set up a business consultation and she reviewed his products. She concurred with Janey’s plan to expand out of Venice Beach and recommended Orange County Marketplace in Costa Mesa, California that is one of the largest weekly events in Southern California with approximately two million visitors each year.
Janey applied for and received a $5,000 microloan for inventory and equipment to build out and open the Costa Mesa location. For the next two years, Janey improved upon that location and received additional financing from Travelers’s Safety Risk Management Program to refine his product lines and grow his start-up.
It was around the two-year mark that HDLV also captured the media’s attention and Janey was featured on television shows such as Art Traveler, Fluid Artist and NewFacet TV. He also attended an awards ceremony and met the actress Vivica Fox. But after the blitzkrieg of media attention, Janey went right back to planning for the third phase of his expansion and his most recent milestone as a rising small business owner.
This leads back to the launch of HDLV USA’s flagship location at Westfield Culver City Mall, which would be comparable to an Urban Outfitters or Forever 21. “This grand opening is a huge step and it’s a great launching pad for the retail end of the business…Westfield malls are located in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. In 2015, they are planning to open a mall in the new World Trade Center in New York,” said Janey.
Janey described the business technical assistance and support of Marsel Watt’s at the Women’s Business Center and the financial backing of VEDC, a SBA lender, “like a big sister or brother…they have big expectations and see the business opening in more locations,” said Janey. The deal took about six months to complete with the help of accountants, attorneys and HDLV’s new management team.
At HDLV USA’s new location, anyone can design an outfit and/or hat there, and that young girl or guy who wants to wear something customized but in style will now be able to purchase this at Westfield Culver City Mall’s newest store come October. “It’s the first of its kind. Westfield Group, VEDC and the Women’s Business Center made an investment in the location and I’m looking forward to our grand opening,” said Janey.