And as the owner of The Ice Cream Lady Haute Fishnet Hosiery, Latrice Smith continues to supply the ‘sexy’ with over 7,000 demands nationwide of stylish fishnets within the past two years.
Since August 2012, Smith (also known as ‘The Ice Cream Lady’) has encountered much popularity throughout Chicago’s top tastemakers and celebrities such as: Sherri Shepherd, former co-host of The View; Tamela Mann, Gospel recording artist and actress; Syleena Johnson, Grammy nominated R&B singer/songwriter; Kym Whitley, actress and comedian; and Kimberly Kimble, celebrity hairstylist.
When asked what’s her key to running a successful business as an entrepreneur she has this to say: “I have learned never take NO as the final answer, it simply means not right now,” stated Smith. “No one could promote my product better than myself because I AM THE BRAND. I live, breathe, sleep and wear my brand everyday.”
RowASeat1 had the opportunity to catch up with ‘The Ice Cream Lady’ during the holidays to bring you the inside scoop on why The Ice Cream Lady and her haute fishnet hosiery is Classy, Sassy and Sophisticated. She is YOU!!! Take a seat and check out the interview below…
RowASeat1: When did you fall in love with fashion?
Latrice Smith: I was born loving fashion. My mom loved to sew and she never wanted me to look like the other babies at the daycare. I had custom clothing since the age of six months. By the age of seven, she began purchasing my clothes from children boutiques and Marshal Field’s. My parents enjoyed dressing up and of course I did too. I was voted ‘Best Dressed’ in grammar school and high school. In college, I was known for being the only freshmen that wore a different pair of heels to class. Although I love fashion, I know the importance of how to shop, where to shop and how to mix high/low end pieces together.
RowASeat1: Tell me the story behind the name ‘The Ice Cream Lady.’
LS: In 2003, my husband and I created an adult ice cream novelty, Sex Scene Ice Cream, created by a married couple for married couples. The product was not developed until 2009. When we started to attend various vending events I would wear all black attire and fishnets. When asked our names we would always say Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which is actually our initial last name. But, for some strange reason people didn’t believe us, so they began calling me, ‘The Ice Cream Lady’ and he became ‘The Ice Cream Man!’ (Laughs)
RowASeat1: What sparked your interest to design hosiery?
LS: As I previously mentioned my attire has been all black and fishnets for over 10 years. I have been a huge fan of hosiery since 2000. I became irritated with the nylons that would run after one wear. I did a little research and learned that fishnets were durable, long lasting due to spandex and maintained longevity in wear. I was sold and have been a huge fan ever since. While promoting the adult novelty I would receive numerous inquiries in regards to my leg wear. Ladies had me purchasing multiple pairs of fishnets for them on a weekly basis. Finally it just made sense for me to sell them myself and then ultimately start my own line. In August 2012, The Ice Cream Lady Haute Fishnet Hosiery was launched in Atlanta, GA.
RowASeat1: And I love this term you’ve coined for your clients, tell me which Chicago tastemakers have been ‘hosed?’
LS: Oh my, where do I start? We have been fortunate to ‘hose’ the following: Val Warner, the co-host of Windy City Live; Darlene Hill, co-anchor of Fox 32 News Chicago; Micah Materre, co-anchor of WGN News; Jeanne Sparrow and Melissa Forman, anchors of You and Me this Morning; Robin Robinson, former co-anchor of Fox 32 News; Cheryl Burton, co-anchor at WLS-TV; Chaz Ebert, wife of the late Roger Ebert; Sun Dance, Chicago’s legendary radio host at Crawford Broadcasting, Sonya Blakey, radio host at I Heart Media; and Barbara Bates, fashion maven/owner of Barbara Bates Designs, just to name a few.
RowASeat1: Describe the customer response to your couture hosiery?
LS: The response has been overwhelming, and the ladies love it. For the past 2 years, we have hosed over 7,000 classy ladies nationwide. The curvy ladies are our best customers because they have found a product that is durable, comfortable and a great fit to their voluptuous bodies.
RowASeat1: Give me some product knowledge about the hosiery.
LS: The hosiery comes in two sizes: Regular (up to 200 lbs) and Curvy (Up to 300 lbs). The hosiery can be purchased via our virtual store www.hautehosiery.com or at the various Authorized Agent locations. I have approximately 15 different boutiques and establishments that carry the hosiery. My top three Authorized Agents are: Divas N Dogs, 7142 S. Exchange; Curve Culture Boutique, 2140 W. 95th Street; and Fashionable Addiction Luxe, 130 Madison, Oak Park, Il. The prices range from $20-$25. We also have weekly sales for $10 on Wednesday also known as ‘Hose Day’ and Friday also known as ‘Fishnet Friday.’ It is also noted that we have an agent in Indianapolis, In.; Columbus, Ga. and Kennesaw, Ga.— Livi Rae (as seen on Lifetime’s Double Divas). Currently, we’re in the process of securing more agents. Our goal is to have an agent in every state.
RowASeat1: As an entrepreneur, what are some trials you’ve come across that has improved your business?
LS: I have learned never take NO as the final answer, it simply means not right now. Initially, I was looking for a publicist to promote my brand. I met with a few individuals and decided that no one could promote my product better than myself because I AM THE BRAND. I live, breathe, sleep and wear my brand everyday. I believe in obtaining assistance when needed, but I also believe that we need to come out of our comfort zone in order to find our gifts and talents.
RowASeat1: I’m loving ‘The Ice Cream Lady’ truck, how did that come about?
LS: The Get Hosed on the Go Vehicle became a dream after I saw how successful the food trucks have become. I like to be a leader, a trendsetter and always doing something different. The pink truck with zebra stripes is definitely a conversation piece and leaves an indelible impression.
RowASeat1: Congratulations on all of your success thus far — Where will we see The Get Hosed on the Go Vehicle next?
LS: At this time, I am doing a Hot Chocolate & Haute Hosiery Tour with the truck. I am traveling to each one of my Authorized Agent Locations and promoting their business while bringing more awareness to the truck. For 2015, I plan to obtain a license in Chicago and park in the same lane as the food trucks downtown and hose the ladies on the GO!!!