Written By : Samantha Cee
This week we sat down with the amazing Brooklyn based brand Vedazzling Accessories Boutique.Vedazzling Accessories Boutique is an Accessories boutique owned by a Woman of Color with Handmade Accessories by Artist of color. I specialize in bohemian styled one of kind handcrafted pieces providing a platform for artist to showcase their line. Located in the Heart of Dumbo Brooklyn. Take a look at our exclusive interview with Vedazzling Accessories Boutique CEO Velvet Lattimore.
Velvet Lattimore, CEO
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO) : At Vedazzling Accessories we look to align ourselves with organizations that believe in our platform. We are a boutique that showcases handmade designs by Black Accessories designers. I usually meet other organizations through business colleagues or through market places that house handmade artist .
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What three pieces of advice would you give to other children who want to become entrepreneurs?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): First be passionate about any business or path that you are choosing. Passion will lead to money it's never the other way around. 2. Be prepared to have rejection no hard feelings in business so you can't get in your feelings about every little things. Always remember it’s just business . 3. Never lose your integrity how you treat people in any industry goes along way people will always remember how you treat them it's a small world.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): I actually would keep my all the mistakes I made during this journey of building my brand. Some mistakes lead to success and I have no regrets.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur ?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): For my line of work as a fashion retailer you need to be personable because building relationships in retailing is everything. You must be organized and you must have skills in sales.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): When I first started getting the boutique off the ground I had several set backs due to raising money . With any setback you must learn to develop a plan and a push on to plan B. Don't take to long feeling bad about the setback or mistake trust in the process and know that GOD has something bigger in place.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How many hours do you work a day on average?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): As a small business owner running a Brick and mortar store is not easy nor are there breaks I work 7 days /50 hrs a week. I am a one man show with limited staff so I work round the clock.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :Describe/outline your typical day?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): I will need to give you the edited version a retailers life is non stop. I open the boutique at 12 noon and set up the merchandise make sure the boutique assistant is set up to go. Some days I need to attend meetings to acquiring new designers into the shop . I also run a non profit called Black Accessory Designers Alliance a community for Black Accessory Designers to help elevate their profile and also have them featured in the boutique. So I have days where I need to leave the boutique to meet with my co owner and take in other meetings. When I am at the boutique I run sales transactions and come up with sales strategies to bring in more foot traffic. I Develop social media strategies for the boutique and that 's just by the afternoon. We close at 7pm but I do leave and attend other fashion events for networking purposes and building relationships for the boutique. Along with sending out invoices for pop up events , paying for wholesale deliveries and sending out pitch emails to press there is never enough time in a day.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): Being a small business owner does not allow you to do small things that 9-5'ers get to do . I miss out on a lot of baby showers, birthday parties , family gatherings and that is just a few. The big holidays like Christmas Eve are big sales days so I have to share that day with my store and family . I don't get to travel for leisure anymore or just hang out for happy hour. If you are not willing to give up your free time being an entrepreneur may not be the path for you.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :What motivates you?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): I generally love what I do and of course money is the number one motivator I really love my customers and how they respond to my products sold at the shop . I am supporting other black artists at my boutique by having their products sold here which then helps my community and helps a Black artist to get some shine. Most boutiques will not give black designers a chance and that keeps my motivation going .
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How do you generate new ideas?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): I am very lucky to have a great circle of creative friends who I can bounce ideas off of. I will come up with something and they will add to it or tell me if it doesn't sound like a good idea. But either way brainstorming with my circle generates most of the ideas.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): The ups and down of money have led me to making major cuts in my life to be able to fund my business. Giving up leisure things like in my home like cable tv, trips to the nail salon and dining out with friends.I have occasionally taken on all kinds of odd jobs to bring in revenue for the business just to keep my business afloat. My boutique is 100 % funded by me no loans or investors. The grind is not easy but I am never above making changes to help bring in revenue for my business.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Velvet Lattimore (CEO): In 10-20 years I would like to have a larger storefront with a full staff . A larger location that holds more people to host interactive events for Black Artist. And I would like other locations throughout the United States.