beauty & fashion
Jael Roumain: The Face
The Broward County art world has always been overshadowed by its glitzier sisters in Miami and Palm Beach. Where is Broward’s Art Basel? Its Wynwood district, its Norton Museum of Art? You can find cool pockets here and there, like Flagler Village in Fort Lauderdale and a few street corners in Hollywood, but as South Florida’s geographic middle child, Broward has always had to fight a little harder to get noticed.
Muurswagg is a Black-owned and Woman-led online clothing boutique that is taking over the fashion industry. Fashion Nova and Pretty Little Things should be watching out for this powerhouse of a brand – and the inspiring, strong,
entrepreneurial woman who is running it.
Can you tell she's a hustler?
How the Brand Took Off
Muurswagg moved from Miami to Atlanta early on and became very popular within the Black community. They even hosted events to not only promote the brand, but bring a lifestyle aspect into it. They were more than just clothes, they were a community. While they were already doing well, a big catalyst for this business was the attention they got from Taraji P. Henson (you may recognize her from big films like Baby Boy, Hustle and Flow, and many more). She absolutely loved Muurswagg and started promoting them on Instagram, on her own accord, even taking photos in her Dashiki print dresses while on vacation. This took Muurswagg "off to another level". Jael also attributes their growing success to connecting with their fans through social media and events, catering to all sizes, and homing in on the photos she takes in her clothing (have you checked out their Instagram page?).
Muurswagg as a lifestyle, not just a clothing brand:
One of the unique parts about this brand is that they don't just sell clothes. One of the most fun parts about Muurswagg is the events they throw. Jael says that it's fulfilling to be able to truly connect with her community – and to be able to see people transform through their style! First it was with hair,
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jael Roumain, the brains and beauty behind this million dollar e-commerce brand, who also happens to be a Miami native. We talked about why she started Muurswagg, how she created the success she did, and how Muurswagg isn't just a clothing brand, but a lifestyle.
It's Always Been About Style, But it All Started with Hair…
Jael's creative journey actually started with hairstyling. She's always been big on dressing right, but she's also an amazing hairstylist (she does her own hair). She actually went to school for hairstyling and worked in a salon straight after that. Being the entrepreneur that she is, she realized how successful her personal booth was at the salon and decided to open up shop on her own. She owned Identity Hair and Nail Salon for 3 years before selling it and doing hair out of her apartment as a more personal mobile stylist in Miami (she even worked with some celebrities). After that she decided to pursue something in fashion and started to create a brand centered around African Dashikis. The name of the brand itself highlights the black community as "Muur" means black. Thus, Muurswagg was born. If you know the brand, however, you know they don't sell just Dashikis. They were doing so well that other business started taking Jael's photos and branding them as their own! This is when Muurswagg decided to shift to the more trendy brand that you see today. They started off with 10 styles and are at over 200 now…
now it's through clothes. One of her favorite events is their Swag Bag event where girls pay a set price of $100 and have 3 minutes to stuff their bag with as much clothes as they can (apparently you can fit about 15-20 outfits in that time, each one retailing at about $50). They've also hosted "Garage Sales" where they discount items from the previous season to make room for the incoming season's styles. More recently they hosted a Valentine's Day social in Wynwood at a bar called Totem. Sounds like the people at Muurswagg knows how to have a good time…
Jael on Being a Successful Entrepreneur
According to Jael, "Life isn't so serious, you can have fun as an entrepreneur." She talked about how Muurswagg is always on trend, always trying to find what people like, and always giving people something to rave about. She always caters to what the people want. She also talked about just how much effort was put into this brand in the beginning – her partner (husband and co-owner of Muurswagg) and her used to handwrite every single label and ship them out, then started printing, and now have a close-knit team of people to be as efficient as possible. Her biggest struggle has been delegating tasks to other people as she's always been so hands on with her brand from the start. Luckily, her team is like family to her and she's given them a lot of trust (the best way to have it, right?). She says her favorite part about the job is visiting the warehouse where all the clothes is shipped and working one-on-one with the team.
Next Steps for Muurswagg Probably one of the most exciting additions to the brand?
Fuurswagg. Yes, they'll be adding in a line of clothing for pets so you can both walk the streets in style. Set to launch this year so keep your eyes peeled. Besides this, watch out for more Swagg-ful events and possibly even catching Jael on Youtube…I was surprised she wasn't there already!