As college friends who shared an obsession with fashion and an appreciation for fabulous and affordable style, Caroline (right) and I decided after a few years in corporate America that it just wasn’t for us.
Countless hours of research, lots of soul searching, sweat and tears led us to open an online boutique and turn our dream of careers in fashion into reality. Vestique.com launched in 2010. We filled orders out of a spare bedroom in my house. We worked on the website all hours of the night then got up and went to our full time jobs. When the strain of both became too great, we took a serious leap of faith and quit our day jobs to focus solely on growing Vestique.
On October 5, 2011, we proudly opened the doors to our first brick-and-mortar store, in Raleigh, N.C. (home of the NC State Wolfpack—our alma mater). It was single-handedly the best day of both of our lives! We loved meeting our shoppers, styling them and ultimately seeing satisfied customers walk in and out of our doors so much that we decided to open another store in Charlotte, N.C. the next year. Stores in Greenville, S.C. and Columbia, S.C. followed shortly after. Flash forward eight years later we have 8 stores in three states, two babies each and one big, happy vestique family.
Vestique is our heart and soul. You can find one or both of us in one of our stores or our new warehouse 7 days a week. We take pride in offering quick shipping, top-notch customer service and the trendiest pieces of clothing and accessories at the best prices around. We feel blessed to have the best co-workers and customers in the business. Click Here to meet our team!
My passion for entrepreneurship began nearly a decade ago when I left my corporate job to start , a women’s clothing and accessories retailer. Since that day, my partner and I have opened 9 retail locations in the Southeast, with no plans of stopping, and built a multi-million dollar e-commerce operation.
I began my career in PR, which meant I spent most of my days in my cubicle writing or researching. Every now and then, I would take “creative breaks” and scour the web for the one thing that made me truly happy: clothes! At the time, back in 2010, online boutique shopping was scarce. Of course, the big box stores had e-com sites but smaller, and more importantly affordable, boutiques just didn’t. I reached out to my friend and now business partner and pitched the idea of us starting one. We both loved fashion and spent all of our free time and money buying clothes so it was a natural fit. A main goal of ours was to keep everything we carried affordable, so everyone could look and feel their best without over spending.
In 2019, we are focusing on elevating our online presence. We’re re-platforming our website, working on user experience and spending money and energy focusing on social media. It is going to be a year of growth (which comes with growing pains)!
There have been a number of difficult times over the years! We had someone try to steal our domain name early on, and learned more than we ever wanted to know about cyber squatting and the legal ramifications. We’ve had our fair share of HR and personnel issues—managing people has been and will likely always be the most difficult part of business ownership. We’ve had breaks ins and floods and hurricanes happen at our stores. But we’ve done our best to learn from each trial!
I am a people person and an extremely hard worker. I fully believe that if you are in a management position, you should lead by example. My employees all know I am not above cleaning the bathrooms, taking out the trash or doing whatever it takes for the good of the company. In fact, you can still find me working the sales floor in one of my stores most days. Interacting with our customers is hands down my favorite part of the job!
First and foremost, I want to raise kind, generous and grateful children. I have a 2 year old son and 5 month old daughter and even though I work a lot, travel a lot and spend a lot of time attached to my computer or phone, I do my best to make sure they know they are my top priority. As far as aspirations for the business go, I don’t plan on stopping until vestique is a household name! We want to bring affordable fast fashion to the masses—the goal has not changed since the company’s inception.
Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
My parents! Both of my parents grew up VERY modestly, and neither was afforded the opportunity to go to college. I’ve seen them both work 6 days a week for my entire life (my dad is almost 70 and still working)! They sacrificed so much so that my brother and I could have every resource we needed to be successful and instilled in me the importance of hard work. They also actually loaned me the initial $5,000 I brought to the table to launch the first iteration of vestique.com and have been right there for most of our store openings; cleaning and moving furniture—you name it!
My husband and I love to travel (with our kids). We try to take at least one international trip a year. I’m a firm believer in the old adage, work hard, play hard. It is good for my mental health to step away for a week or two each year before holiday season. My favorite place we’ve traveled so far has been South Africa. If you get a chance to go, do it! We also love Switzerland and we got married in Greece so Santorini will always be special to me.
My Pic of the Day: We recently did a Mother’s day shoot for Vestique and this picture of my babies is my motivation for everything!