I am all about supporting small business, especially businesses of people of color. Getting funding for minority businesses is oftentimes an arduous and fruitless endeavor. With that said, I spotted a story about ReverentStyle.com, an online boutique that offers designer clothing for less than $100 on hellobeautiful.com.
ChiChi Nwadiogbu started the fiscally conscious shop a year ago, she says it took 30 days to build. “We wanted to make sure that we promoted individualism and encouragement for individuals to express themselves through fashion,” said the entrepreneur. With several different designers contributing to the site, Chi Chi has a collection of fine pieces for sale!
We spoke with Chi Chi about the hardships of starting a business as a black woman and he fashion inspirations:
How hard is it to start a business as a black woman?
Today women owned businesses are growing at a rapid rate and minority-owned businesses account for a large portion of the growth. My number one obstacle when starting my business was capital. Unfortunately, minority women are the least likely to raise external capital funds successfully but there are a lot of new initiative on the forefront that will help with this in the future. For me I have the passion for the industry but really had to buckle down and take the time to educate myself and do my financials in order to make my dream a reality.
I launched the site myself so it took around 30 days to build. Because I had limited capital, it was a long processes but I am happy with the result and enjoy implementing ideas from my customers and friends about what they like and don’t like about other online e-commerce sites.
When did your passion for fashion come about?
From the time I was a young girl, I always had a passion for fashion. The women in my family were definitely the biggest fashion influencers for me. I tried my hand in design when in high school but later learned that the business of fashion was a bigger desire of mine. I have worked in corporate retail for over 10 years in every aspect from merchandising to visual store design. I have found that the business of fashion is very competitive and cut throat but extremely rewarding as well.
Everything on the site is under $100, how does that affect business?
Our target customer is a style conscious, trend-setting girl who is also on the lookout for budget friendly fashion and we want to be the one to supplier her with exactly what she needs! By us offering items at $100 or less also speaks to our current economical state, everyone is more aware of where their dollar is going and how they can save a buck or two while still feeling good about their purchase.
I’m really into 70’s glam fashion, and love images of iconic black women from that era like Iman, Diana Ross, and Donyale Luna.
How long have you been running your own business?
Tell me about the designers on the site…
We offer clothing from showrooms that specialize in feminine young contemporary fashion. Some of the brands include YA Los Angeles, Moon Collection, C. Luce, October Sky, Lush, and Everly Clothing.
Explain the name…
The meaning behind Reverent Style is showing respect for others and their personal style. When we first drafted the mission for the company we wanted to make sure that we promoted individualism and encouragement for individuals to express themselves through fashion. Although our product offerings are not exclusively ours, we want to promote the uniqueness and independence of our customers. It’s all about how you rock it!