April 2013, Previous Issues

Young entrepreneur shows early success is achievable

As Saint Augustine’s students consider life beyond graduation, young entrepreneurs like Paul Connor may offer guidance and inspiration. Connor is co-owner of Lumina Clothing, a store in downtown Raleigh. He began his business career in college, where he started a company engaging in water conservation and auditing. Recently he joined partners Barton Strawn and Justin Carry in the Lumina venture. Falcon Forum reporter Isaiah Johnson caught up with Connor for a recent interview.

Falcon Forum (FF): What’s your definition of Style?

Connor: Being creative in the way you live your life and adding character to it in a way that makes you feel.

FF: What inspired your Brand?

Connor: Our love for where we grew up (NC), the rich textile history of our state and the appreciation of high quality goods.  In addition, the drive to make stylish, American-made more obtainable.

FF: The do’s and do not’s of style and fashion?

Connor: This is one of those questions where I could comment but…. I would have to eat my words a few years from now.

FF: How does your Brand stand out from others?

Connor: High-quality clothing, great customer care, made in the USA, fresh product line that is always releasing new items, user-friendly website, online rewards program — our store offers a boutique experience, we show our customers the process of how their clothes are crafted, our company was built on hard work, not deep pockets. Lumina offers all the above at a price that is matched by none.

FF: What’s one thing you would take out of Fashion World and one thing you would add?

Connor: I would personally like to remove critics, all the magazines that line the checkout line at the grocery store.  I would add more companies that don’t try to post up an image but actually follow through in the way they do business. As the North Carolina state motto says “Esse quam videri (To be, rather than to seem).

FF: Tips for men who looking to refine their style?

Connor: Look at photos of your grand fathers and your great grand fathers, take notes.

FF: What’s going to be big this Fall/Winter season?

Connor: Rugged fabrics such as waxed canvas, bull denim, heavy wools, tweeds and, as always, leather.

FF: What’s your dream job?

Connor: Honestly, what I’m doing now. Growing a brand name that I believe in and that has the ability to do well.

FF: All time favorite item can be a shirt, shoes etc.?

Connor: My blue oxford shirt made by LUMINA. It is a shirt that I can wear at a wedding or while working on my motorcycle. It seems to be my most versatile piece.

FF: Who’s your style icon and why?

Connor: I truly enjoys what Billy Reid is doing. He creates a style that is comfortable and refined at the same time.

For more information about Luminca Clothing, visit their Facebook site.