Telia Gerry

Teyah Glenn | July 19th, 2021
Telia Gerry (Photos by Lechele Jackson)

Telia Gerry (Photos by Lechele Jackson)

Entrepreneurship, fashion, and perfection. Those are three words that pretty much shapes the life of Richmond, VA resident Telia Gerry.

In addition to having her own line of sunglasses, Lux Lenz, she coordinates fashion shows for the Werk It! RVA platform, another creation of hers. Amazingly, she still finds time to serve as an Active Duty Recruiter for the Virginia National Guard. With each endeavor, the one constant is Telia’s determination to be a better version of herself than the day before.

Originally from Augusta, GA, Telia set her sights on making a mark in the fashion world at a very young age. She launched Lux Lenz as a response to her love for accessories and their role in regard to fashion. It also made sense for Telia because she has often found comfort in wearing stylish specs. She shares, “I’ve always loved how sunglasses made me look. I’ve always been kind of shy and would put on sunglasses to calm my nerves while talking to people.” While there are styles for both men and women, her goal is to expand her brand to include purses, earrings, and more.

Werk It RVA is a boutique fashion collective that introduces new fashion designers, videographers, photographers, and models to the city of Richmond. Along with providing talents a platform to showcase their brands, it also offers valuable exposure, which helps them gain some notoriety.

“I know Richmond has RVA Fashion Week, but not everyone can be a part of that, especially when you are just starting,” Telia explains. “I know models, fashion designers, videographers, and photographers who are all good at what they do and believe their work should have the chance to be shown in front of a bigger crowd. So I decided to create an event on a smaller scale for those same people to get their brand out and build up clientele. A lot of times with RVA Fashion Week, you have to be a little well-known in order to be a part of it. I knew how it felt to run a business and meet the requirements for something and still be denied for one reason or another. That is why I pushed so hard for WerkIt! RVA. If this was a way to give people eyes and opportunities to look at other upcoming brands, then great.”

Consistency will carry you to places and open doors that money can’t. And Telia has been consistent. With the introduction in 2018, the same year that she moved to Richmond, Telia has followed up each year with a show, with her third one recently completed this year.

As time goes on and business continues to bloom, she wants to make it to where she can take Werk It RVA on the road, forming a “Werk It D.C.” or “Werk It 757” in the near future. “I know that there are other designers in other cities too that would like to get the same opportunity to get their work out there,” she says. She also hopes to expand down south to areas such as North Carolina and Georgia.

For now, much of the workload involved with producing her fashion shows fall on her. Due to COVIDn 19, strategizing how she wanted things to play out was a little difficult at times. “I never got a manual on how to run a business, so that means I’m always learning along the way. I had an idea, and I just did it. I stepped out on faith and just did it. I am doing most of the work all by myself, such as reaching out via email or direct messaging on social media to local designers and business owners. Once I get a solid team in place, I’m hoping to involve more people with Werk It RVA,” she says.

Telia is looking forward to holding another event in October 2021. She also hopes to collaborate with more college students and allow them to get their brands out in the community.

While entrepreneurship isn’t an ideal path to take for everyone, Telia shares that you can be successful with proper planning and having a sound vision. Some advice that she offers to people interested in running their own businesses and building their brands would be never to give up. “Everybody will not believe in your vision. Some might even question you, but if it’s something that you want to do, then go for it, and remember to set your standards high,” she says. “I didn’t have any formal training on operating businesses, I just had an idea and ran with it because this was something that I’ve always wanted to do.”

As life moves forward for Telia, her focus is transitioning on her retirement from the military. She is more experienced with the [in’s and outs] of running a business and is happy to take on her dream full-time.

Check out her sunglasses business on IG @luxlenz and visit her website for more information.

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