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Happiness has arrived. – DAYO

Stylish, chic and comfortable are the first words that come to mind when I think of DAYO, the latest luxury loungewear to hit the fashion scene. Designed for the everyday woman, the meaning and mission behind DAYO is to be applauded. Recently, HelloBeautiful met with the powerful team building the brand from the ground up. At The Gathering Spot in Atlanta, GA, HelloBeautiful connected with CEO Yolanda White and Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas to discuss DAYO’s fabulous entrance into the lingerie arena.

Discuss the inspiration and background of DAYO.

Yolanda White:

I have been a marketer all of my career. I spent 17 years at Coca-Cola. When I was there, it was all about creating opportunities for brands and making sure that I could accelerate growth for them.

Why I started DAYO? I literally started having conversations with a girlfriend about her marriage. As we talked, one of the things that really struck a cord – she felt like she failed herself in the process, because her marriage had hit a really rough point. As shallow as I was – sitting there listening – I was like well do you want to save your marriage? So, I asked – well what do you wear when you get home with him? Literally, when we started talking, the idea was birthed. It was that simple. I think underneath it for me – it was all about the fact that I started hearing a common theme. We are doing so much as women that we are forgetting about ourselves in the mix of it. From there, I came up with the name DAYO. It’s a name that already exists. It’s an African name that means happiness has arrived. That is exactly what is at the forefront of this brand. I always say it is more than fashion, it is really about creating a movement that is rooted in self-love. It’s about ensuring that women do not forget about themselves.

This is the story of many women right now.

Yolanda White:

Yes, this story is so easy. As I shared it with people who have worked on the brand – they’re like, so are you talking about me? I’m like no I’m not. But yes, I am. This is a movement for all of us to make sure that we have someone to turn to who is doing it well and can show us that we can balance it all, do it all, and still take some time for ourselves. That’s sort of the movement. Let’s talk about what we need and let’s make sure that we could deliver on it. So whether you can afford to enter DAYO today or in the future – the reality is that we support you as a woman and we are elevating a discussion that is meaningful.

Why did you choose Chilli to be the face of DAYO?

Yolanda White:

I worked with Chilli before. We met when we were 16. She doesn’t even know this story. I went to high school in Atlanta and we had a TV show that we used to do besides the YMCA. [Pointing to Chilli] You were on the show. That’s how we first met. We never kept in touch. But that’s how we first met because of this TV thing that we were doing. Now we work together on designing. She was the model that I actually advocated for us to sign. She only supports brands that she believes in. But even deeper than that, she represents the woman that we aspire to be. Chilli understands what it means to balance it all. She lives what she preaches. She eats well. She exercises. She’s doing the things that we all say we want to do. I thought it was a perfect balance. I wanted a real woman who represented what we stand for.

Being that you are the spokesmodel for DAYO, what does DAYO mean to you?


I think it is universal. Because every woman pretty much goes through the same thing, you know, and that’s why we tell stories many of us can relate to. Authenticity is everything to me. I love so much about her product because I love her [Yolanda White]. We have a great working relationship. We also have huge respect for one another. And we’re both moms.

Yolanda White:

Going back to why I was encouraging you to touch and feel the product… When you are at home and get caught up – you can’t turn that switch off because you have kids and you have to cook and have all these things to do. Often you forget about yourself. You are quick to throw on some sweatpants or some weird t-shirt, you know. When you do doll up just a little bit or when we put on pretty things confidence comes.

What message would you give women who are hurting or who have totally lost their self-confidence maybe from broken marriages or poor relationships?

Yolanda White:

You can rebuild. It starts with these simple moments. What do we do to rejuvenate ourselves? I’m talking about it from the field of fashion. Honestly, it starts from your commitment to yourself. Being committed to yourself and allowing yourself the five minutes or the 10 minutes or whatever it takes for you to feel good about yourself. That really is the message that we want to tell people. Honestly, I’ve been through a divorce. I know what it looks like. I know what it means to rebuild. And on the other side, you come out so much stronger. But it starts with that commitment to yourself. And just allowing yourself to love who you are and who you are becoming.

Beautiful. Let’s talk about DAYO’s design. Looking at the line, these are pieces that you could wear to bed, but also around the house or just outside. So let’s talk about the pieces, sizes, and colors.

Jenny (Designer):

This collection was designed by a team of woman designers. We knew what we had to design right from the beginning – from the design sketch all the way through sourcing fabric.

Yolanda White:

It really was sort of my brainchild. Leisure meets evening gowns. The soft material and the built-in support is all athletically inspired. And so when you think about the size of the industry, and where it’s moving, and where the growth is happening, it’s a combination of leisure being at the forefront. And to Jenny’s point, every detail was scrutinized from the fit to the functionality. You can adjust it and make it your own. You can make it tighter or you can make it looser. It depends on how much you want to hang that day.

The lingerie marketplace is a billion dollar industry. Are you confident approaching it as a new brand – considering the current competition? What are your fears?

Yolanda White:

I feel really good about playing in the category because it’s one that’s growing. When you think about luxury, e-commerce is growing, which is exciting. I would say now is really the time because people are looking for brands with purpose and we have a purpose that we’re delivering. I feel good. I will tell you that fashion is tough because it requires capital investment and a significant amount of inventory. Those would be the things that give me a little bit of fear because you have to really invest. But we have an idea that we’re testing and we’re approaching it very smart. We’re starting with the signature line. We’re seeing what works, what doesn’t work, what do people gravitate to and what do they love. In terms of managing the business in a way that allows us to eliminate the risk, I think we’ve done it in the right way.

Where would you like to see the line in the next two to five years?

Yolanda White:



That’s my girl! Everywhere. I don’t feel like oh! this just goes in this store. I think it can go anywhere.

Yolanda White:

We have a pretty aggressive growth plan by year five. I think that’s pretty exciting. We want this line to be something that’s accessible and affordable for women.

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