Alara The Label is an up-and-coming home decor and lifestyle brand based in the heart of Fort Worth, Texas. After leaving her corporate America job at the start of the pandemic, Alara Stuckey seized her opportunity and finally started the business she had dreamt of for years.
For most of America, the coronavirus pandemic has been spent on the couch, in sweatpants, doing nothing overly productive. Many binged watched TV shows and ate lots of potato chips, but not Alara Stuckey, a 25- year-old entrepreneur. Instead she left the marketing business last spring and used her spare time to finally start the business she had dreamt of for many years.
Alara The Label sells “customizable, handcrafted and high-quality home decor and lifestyle products that are inspired by memories, events, people, and places that span the globe,” according to Alara. She and her mother Ayca Stuckey co-founded and launched the brand together in August 2020. Their products range from home decor items like pillows, coffee table books and ottomans to accessories like purses and shoes.
“I’ve always wanted to be in home decor and fashion, and a huge influence of that was my mom because she’s been an interior designer for over 25 years,” said Alara. “I’ve been daydreaming about this for literally four years. It was a huge learning process and I’m still nowhere near where I want to be or what I want to do, but I am just so grateful and super thankful to finally be starting this.”
For many, opening a business during a global pandemic sounds like a suicide mission, but the Stuckey mother-daughter duo jumped in feet first. They have had some exciting initial success, but it didn’t come without its challenges, says Ayca. Because of the unique and handcrafted textiles they use, half of their products are made in Turkey. This made receiving shipments incredibly difficult while the international borders were closed.
“A lot of the popular textiles we use are these handwoven, silk, ikat fabrics that are literally made in Turkey so getting those over to the United States took incredibly long because of corona,” said Alara.
In the beginning of 2020, powerhouse retailer Anthropologie reached out to Alara The Label about selling their first popular product, the valet tray, in stores and online. Many shipments were delayed, but fortunately their fabric arrived on time. They were able to supply three colors of their valet trays to Anthropolgie, which were sold online and across all stores in the United States starting in August 2020.
“When Anthropoligie saw the valet trays, which was very random and right out of the gate, they thought they’d be a good fit for their stores,” said Alara.
“It was really nice exposure for Alara The Label to be featured at a major retailer. That was a really nice positive reinforcement for us,” said Ayca Stuckey.
They also recently had a pop-up event at Virgin Hotels in Downtown Dallas on Feb. 11, where shoppers were able to buy items right off the floor or order customized pieces. According to Ayca, there were about 70 attendees and the event was a huge hit.
“Cocktails, food, and several of Alara’s items featured for both purchase directly off the floor and custom orders,” said Callie Kumler, a loyal customer since the launch, when describing the event. “I love ATL because every item sold elevates a room, home or outfit. There is truly nothing like Alara The Label out there. Together, Alara and her mom have become a duo that is constantly creating and catering to their customers’ visions.”
With the success and expansion of their brand, the Stuckey duo is now opening a month long pop-up shop at the start of May in Fort Worth at The Shops at Clearfork. Alara The Label will be featuring their characteristic home decor and lifestyle pieces, both available to buy on spot or have customized.
“We are working hard with our new summer colors to make sure our collection is ready for May,” said Ayca Stuckey. “We are super excited, and hope to do even more pop-ups in the future.”