Meet Jalisa Luces-Mendes, founder of Toni Marlow Clothing and recipient of Founders Fund’s Start Up Stage, $3,000 fund:
Who is Jalisa Luces-Mendes?
Jalisa Luces-Mendes is the Founder of Toni Marlow Clothing, an innovative, gender-inclusive underwear brand that serves queer community and beyond. Focused on positively impacting underrepresented communities, Jalisa is proud of the strategic partnerships she’s been able to cultivate for social change. As a mentor and consultant, Jalisa is a community builder and business leader who is passionate about people and strategy and looks forward to opportunities to give and receive knowledge.
What is the ultimate vision that you have for Toni Marlow Clothing?
The ultimate vision for Toni Marlow Clothing is to provide accessible, comfortable, functional underwear options for all genders and body types and sizes. The ultimate vision for Toni Marlow Clothing is for everyone to be able to buy their underwear with ease (not having to find a specialty shop, happen to know an indie brand, spend hours searching online etc). They can just go to the mall, shopping district, or are well aware of the online store that has what they need. On the social cause side, the ultimate goal is to raise a million dollars for suicide prevention in the hopes of helping to fund resources and programs that make accessing mental easier for those who need it most.
When asked “What are things about yourself or your business that you were told has to change in order to fit into the traditional mould of a successful entrepreneur? How have you begun to overcome them?” Jalisa responded:
Usually I was given opposite feedback on the same topics - downplay vs play up the suicide prevention or same thing with the concept that people assigned female at birth who wear boxer briefs is considered non-conventional. I overcame that by observing and learning my audience then choosing which aspects to focus on, rather than downplay any aspects.
Why did you decide to join the Founders Fund?
I joined Founders Fund to connect with other like minded business owners, access new content and funding. Vivian Kaye's promos were helpful too :)