From a fashion and lifestyle blog, Mia Ray has built a brand with sales of over $50 million

BY Preta Peace Namasaba May 27, 2024 6:30 AM EDT

Glam-Aholic Lifestyle has been described as not only a brand but also as a movement, one that prioritizes affordable luxury. Its fashion accessories resonate with women from all walks of life and have sold out multiple times. The business, which began as a fashion and lifestyle blog by its founder Mia Ray, has grown into a multi-million-dollar enterprise, amassing over $50 million in sales.

“When I started the blog it was a snowball effect. More and more people would reach out and tell me they read it or purchased something that I suggested. It was surreal. After that the brand came along and it took off,” Ray said about how she turned her blog into a lucrative business.

Growing up in Detroit, Ray wanted to be a glamorous entrepreneur but she did not see anybody doing it. She juggled a series of odd jobs including as a customer service representative and janitor after dropping out of college. She got her official break into fashion while working as a boutique buyer. Following a friend’s encouragement, she turned her fashion sense and tips which she kept in a notebook into a blog.

Ray’s “Confessions of a Glam-Aholic” blog started as a platform to share the latest in fashion and beauty. As the blog’s following grew, she expanded by adding a shop and began selling shirts, bags, and key chains featuring the Glam-Aholic word logo. She later collaborated with a friend in fashion and entertainment and sent shirts to celebrities who she believed would resonate with the brand. The “Same Girl Different Hair” shirt became an instant hit, and orders started pouring in from across the country.

However, Glam-Aholic Lifestyle really became an “overnight success” a decade after its inception. In the beginning, Ray had neither entrepreneurial experience nor a business background and had to learn through trial and error. She did not have many people to seek help from and often relied on knowledge from her high school Business Administration major and online resources to plan for the business. When the business exploded after ten years in business, Ray did not know how to handle the sudden high demand. She had to think outside the box to move past these setbacks.

“But now I feel like those setbacks taught me how to pivot and how to reassess. Sometimes people are afraid to rearrange their goals and sometimes life happens and it’s okay to change, move around, and then come back. I feel like that’s what my setbacks did for me. They taught me how to help others who have experienced the same thing, and it’s taught me how powerful I really am,” Ray said explained how she overcame adversity.

Glam-Aholic Lifestyle has since expanded its designs to include monogrammed metallic tote bags, toiletry bags, passport covers, and duffel bags. The brand’s luggage line sold out in just under five minutes, bringing in $700,000 in sales.  Ray has collaborated with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, The Lip Bar, and DTW airport to release merchandise to a broader clientele. She has created a niche in the fashion accessories market and has over $50 million in sales to show for it.