1. Hello, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a marketer by trade (but a fashionista by heart) and worked in corporate America for nearly 10 years, until one day, I no longer had a job. I immediately thought “why not start my own business?” Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to have my own business and the perfect opportunity presented itself. What a blessing in disguise. I love fashion and I love women. I saw an opportunity to combine both and do something I can be proud of.
2. How would you describe “DeSarti Boutique” in under a few words?
DeSarti is cool, casual, contemporary for curves. Our aesthetic is more casual, but not at all boring. We only buy pieces we would wear ourselves. And we’re careful about selecting pieces that are complementary to the full figured women.
3. What are your focus areas and why?
Merchandising and customer service. It takes us a great deal of time to find clothes that we like and know will be well received. That’s why we don’t have a very large selection. We’re also very particular about giving customers a great customer experience. I’ve been on both sides of a transaction, and to me, after having great products, nothing else is products, nothing else is more important than great customer service.
4. Why a plus size boutique?
Because the market is underserved. We want to bring the cool, casual and contemporary fashion to this market. The perfect cool weekend afternoon outfit, or the perfect casual outfit for a night in with friends and family.
5. How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
We’re differentiating ourselves with our highly curated cool, casual and contemporary merchandising, great customer service and who we are as a brand.
6. Where do you think DeSarti boutique is making an impact?
We’re still so new, it’s difficult to say at a bigger level. But I can say that our customers really like what we’re selling, so I’d like to think that we’re bringing them something they cannot find elsewhere.
7. What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
Being an entrepreneur has been a transformative experience for me. Learning how to deal with my emotions has been the biggest lesson so far. No one entrepreneur has the same journey, so no one can prepare you for it. You have to deal with everything as they happen.
8. What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in a business in this field?
My advice to anyone wanting to start a business in this field, or any other, would be to:
1) make sure you’re passionate about what you’re selling, it will make your “selling” pitch a lot less like selling;
2) make sure you have someone on your side, whether a partner, a friend or family member who believes in you and will give you support during the difficult times. We all need a cheerleader when things get rough.
9. And what were some of the biggest challenges you encountered personally?
My journey so far has been like a roller coaster, a lot of ups and downs, and very few “normal” moments. My biggest challenge in dealing with all of this has been to persevere and to keep going, while maintaining my sanity.
10. What are you most excited about at the moment?
I’d just like to say, first, that I’m very grateful for still being here. And right now, I’m excited about what we’ll offer for Spring/Summer 2016, which we hope will be a hit and will pave the way for us to be able to grow a little more.
11. A last word or final thoughts?
I’d like to mention that we offer an everyday 15% off military discount for active duty and retirees (and their family) – it’s a small gesture to thank them for all they do. I truly appreciate the opportunity of doing this interview! I’m always looking for ways to connect with customers and the business community in a more meaningful way, and I think interviews like this one are great.