Condition Culture Creators in Wynwood
Photos & Article by Stephanie Turk
At first glance, you may not be able to tell that Alex and Donya, the blonde and brunette duo who co-founded Condition Culture, are in fact, twins. But, for the third generation Miami born Litowitz sisters, it’s just this dichotomy, their discerning and differentiating tastes, the business mind and the artistic spirit, that make their lifestyle brand work. Condition Culture was merely incarnated only a few years ago, but ever since the two sisters joined entrepreneurial forces, it’s taken off like wild fire.
Alex, a hairstylist who at the time was based in Denver, Colorado, found the feathers and was experimenting with different styles in her clients’ hair. When the demand increased significantly, selling not only to the other stylists in the salon, but also to stylists from other salons, she decided to initiate the Featherlocks trend, coining the brand name.
Donya, based in South Beach, had been experimenting with different businesses. About six months into the development of Featherlocks, she was eager to get involved. Donya recalls, “I saw the opportunity to brand it and grow it internationally as a trend.” The sisters formed their umbrella company, Condition Culture, and Featherlocks became the trend of 2011.
With four customer service agents operating out of Alex’s basement in Denver, the demand was growing quickly, and Donya began to hire people in Miami to handle all the shipping and packing out of her South Beach apartment. Six months into Condition Culture they were in great need of a central office location. “At first we didn’t realize how big it would get. Once it got so big, we realized we needed permanent space, and I knew I wanted to be in Wynwood,” Donya explains.
They were drawn to the Wynwood Arts District, with its nitty gritty, artsy atmosphere. Donya describes, “it’s like the way SoHo used to be. It’s fun and it’s urban and raw. People are not afraid to be themselves here and I just felt like our company would fit in really nicely in this neighborhood. I knew that it would grow up around us and we would be able to be apart of its changing.” Alex, preparing to move back to Miami from Denver, was unfamiliar with the thriving Arts district. She says of her sister, “she’s the one who told me about Wynwood and I didn’t know about it because I had been in Colorado for seven years.”
When Donya met with landlord, Ray Block, who owns the 29th Street building they currently lease, she learned that her great grandfather, Donald Lavigne, constructed the building out of which he operated his garment business. Alex says, “it turns out that the office we’re actually sitting in right now, was my grandfather’s office because he worked with our great grandfather…so it was meant to be.”
The sisters wanted to create an office space incorporating the innovative neighborhood feel. After getting buzzed in, visitors are first greeted by a colorful mural of feathers by local graffiti artist, Franky Cruz. Donya describes, “it sets the tone so you know that this isn’t a normal office space. There’s music playing, there’s dogs, there’s a beautiful work of art in the front. We had that intention when we were coming in here that we wanted to create an atmosphere for our employees that was kind of like the neighborhood.”
Donya notices the changes in the neighborhood since they’ve started their company. “There’s great restaurants and bars popping up. People want to hang out here and it wasn’t like that before.” The girls cite Joey’s as a go to for lunch and Panther of course, for coffee. Donya adds, “Jimmy’z Kitchen is conveniently located a block from our office and across the street from my home in South Beach, so I eat Jimmy’z a lot.” Alex is a fan of Pride and Joy, “the burnt ends, those things are awesome.”
With the sisters constantly traveling for work, in just the past month, Donya was in China, Australia and Italy, they infuse their fresh perspective and worldly knowledge into their brand. “Our entire life experience has filtered into the creativity of our products,” says Donya.
Beyond Featherlocks, which is currently sold all over the US and internationally, across 25 countries, Condition Culture offers an array of creative hair care products such as Puppylocks, Featherlocks for dogs, Knotties, hair ties that double as bracelets, and their new big seller, ColorSmash, a type of dry eyeshadow for the hair, that can now be found in Sephora US and Sephora China, as well as, salons across the country. Alex explains, “it’s a way to color the ends of your hair, without having to bleach and do harsh things to your hair.” Donya emphasizes that their ultimate goal is to “create thoughtful products that people are really going to enjoy.”
For the Litowitz twins, the young, successful, college educated women, who encourage their all female staff to further their education, continue to build their brand with high quality, cutting edge products, operating out of the country’s most innovative hot spot, Wynwood.