“Everyone is replaceable.” That’s the vibe that I’ve gotten from every single job that I’ve ever had. I’ve worked in many fields: retail, secretarial and front-line staff. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working for many years, it’s that jobs can be just as replaceable as employees. Last year, I decided to replace my last job with entrepreneurship. Deciding to become an entrepreneur has been one of the most empowering decisions I’ve made in my life. It made me realize that I’m a lot more determined, motivated and self-educating than I give myself credit for. I was nervous to quit my last job, but I had a gut feeling that everything was going to work out just fine. I put my faith in God and I went for it.
Currently, I own a boutique by the name of Shai’s Closet. Growing up, I always had a passion for fashion and as a kid I had completely made my mind up that I was going to become a fashion designer when I grew up. My mom invested in a sewing machine when I was about 11, but I quickly found out that having to create clothing wasn’t my forte. Fast forward 14 years later and I’m still a fashion fanatic; more so from the perspective of choosing ready-to-wear products as my inventory to sell. So here I am, a business owner of an online boutique. Here’s how I made it happen:
-August 2019: I registered “Shai’s Closet” as an LLC with Legal Zoom. Yes, there are other, cheaper ways to go about registering a business. However, I just didn’t have the time nor patience to do this particular step. There’s a ton of paperwork involved, including legal documents that I just didn’t want to wreck my brains to figure out. I let Legal Zoom do all the work while I was only required to fill out the important information for them to package together.
-September 2019 to December 2019: I focused on creating my boutique’s logo, choosing the style of clothing that I wanted to go with, building my website and networking through social media. I’m not a graphic designer by any means but, I’m pretty savvy with Microsoft Word so that’s what I used to create my logo. I opted for something simple, clean and to the point. I also spent a ton of time researching various wholesale companies that I could purchase my inventory from until I found the perfect one. Lastly, I built my own website through Shopify and created separate social media accounts for both Twitter and Instagram.
-January 2020: I ordered sample inventory from my chosen wholesale company to get a feel for the quality of the clothing. I looked for the strength of the material, how well buttons, zippers, etc were attached. I also looked for accurate the sizing was by trying on my size from the sample pieces.
-February 2020 to May 2020: I focused on finalizing all aspects of my boutique before the official launch. Finalizing every aspect of my boutique that I discussed above was the most nerve wrecking step. Not because of annoyance, but because I was literally nervous. This has been my first business that I’ve launched and I wasn’t sure what to expect or how successful it would be.
-June 2020: I officially launched. June 15th at midnight to be exact. I published my site for the public and made my online boutique open for business. To my surprise, I had my first customer about 10 minutes after opening and from that point, forward, the sales were increasing. To be completely honest, business does get slow at times. Of course, my investor (my mother) and I fund everything ourselves with our own money so inventory comes in slowly for the time being. Once business starts to pick up at a steady pace, we’ll be just like every other retailer.
Launching a business takes time and I made sure to be patient with every step. My goal was to make sure that I made the least amount of mistakes as possible that would lead to a slow down in the process. When I first launched, business was going great; I was making about 3-5 sales per week. For me, that was a big accomplishment, considering the fact that I didn’t have a huge following on social media as a head start. Now that I’m getting further in my business venture, I’m learning more about marketing, advertising and how to convert followers/viewers into customers.
I’m excited to see just how far this business will take me. I have a vision in mind and with faith and hard work, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m going to achieve every goal I’ve set. If you haven’t checked out my online boutique, click the URL below to be taken to the site and check out what’s there so far. Our Fall inventory just came in so all the products you see are new and the summer inventory will be going on sale! Don’t forget to subscribe to get all the special deals and updates. Also, remember: “Chic styles, affordable prices, inclusive sizes and fast shipping!”