Part of a series about Missouri entrepreneurs, their products and their retrospective advice for others who dream of launching their own startups.
Fashion is in Lia Glynias’ blood.
The St. Louis native is the great-granddaughter of Greek immigrants who settled in the city and opened a dry-cleaning business. Their daughter — Glynias’ grandmother and namesake, Olympia — became a seamstress, and Lia said she played in her grandmother’s closet at an early age.
She moved to New York City after rising through the ranks at The Gap, Inc., where she started working in high school as a seasonal employee. From Gap, she went on to leadership positions in a company which helped to develop European brands in the United States and a private-label fashion jewelry company.
She said she incorporated LAUNCH Clothing & Accessories initially to assist an Israeli designer who wanted to import clothing but didn’t have the infrastructure in place.
When Glynias returned to St. Louis, she connected with a local designer who invited her to open a pop-up shop. The successful effort led Glynias to open her own brick-and-mortar store under the LAUNCH name in 2016. The store now has two locations — one in The Hill and one in University City.
LAUNCH offers a variety of domestic and international designers. Glynias calls the style of the items she sells advanced fashion, “because we push the limits in a lot of directions.”
Startup Missouri: What has been your biggest mistake as a business owner, and what did you learn?
LG: My biggest mistake is thinking because I had a lot of experience in the industry, on a lot of levels, that things would be pretty smooth. That is incorrect . . . You go with it. I have to practice relaxing into the reality of what things are, when the plans don’t go to plan, and it’s common that something doesn’t [go as planned] . . . It’s kind of giving myself an opportunity to pause. I just have to accept this is what’s happening and look forward to what the next right thing to do is.”