Empowerment

Black and Successful: Q&A With a Former College Student Who Launched an Online Clothing Boutique From Her Dorm Room

Can you tell us a little it about yourself?

Hi! My name’s Jacque, I’m 24 and I’m a freelance social media manager, blogger, and I also created a course teaching young women how to create the online shop of their dreams. My educational background doesn’t quite match what I do, but I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Business.

So apparently you ran an online clothing shop out of your dorm room for two years. What was that all about, and how did you get started with it?

Yeah! I was obsessed with fashion blogging and thrifting, and I spent hours tweaking my blog and photographing my outfits. I was also a broke college student and decided if I was going to use my spare time working online for free, I might as well find a fun way to monetize my hobbies. I sold vintage clothing, which was great because that meant very little start up costs! At first I had no clue what I was doing but after some time I got the hang of it and started making steady sales. Famous clothing label companies like Griffes Vivienne also helped me curate my process carefully.

I was featured in newspapers, participated in a business competition and I was even able to hire two paid interns. It was so much fun! I learned a whole lot from my time running my vintage shop, and I was able to create a course outlining what I did right and even what I did wrong. Now, I’m currently using those lessons to build a new shop that’s more up my alley.

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How old were you when you started selling vintage clothes online, and did your young age at the time make you apprehensive about starting your business?

I was a 21 year old junior in college when I started my shop. My age didn’t really cross my mind until I entered a business pitching competition and was the youngest one there. So no, age didn’t make me apprehensive at all.

Are you currently involved in any businesses or entrepreneurial endeavors right now?

Besides my new shop and my course, I also provide social media consultations and management services for fashion and beauty brands. I’m also toying with the idea of providing a service where I set up online shops for other entrepreneurs!

Can you explain what a social media consultant does and how you got started in that ? 

I started my social media consulting service as a way of making extra money on the side. I was a full time social media manager by day, so I figured I could use my skills to help others in my free time. Basically, I help ladies pinpoint what they’re doing right, wrong, and what they’re completely overlooking when it comes to their businesses online presence.

You’re only 24 years old and you’ve already accomplished so much. It can be hard for other young women to feel like they can do something as big as running a business at such a young age. What advice would you give to young women who are interested in starting a business, blog, or other service?

I’d say just do you. I know that’s very basic advice, but this is definitely my life’s mantra. Despite being looked at like a weirdo when I started blogging and selling online, and despite feeling an intense fear of failure I did it anyway! My dream meant more to me than feeling a bit embarrassed. My life has nothing to do with what other people think.

Do you have any resources or places where people can go to learn more about you or about starting a business of their own?

Definitely! My blog is a great resource for young women looking to start businesses online, and I have a few e-books as well to help online shop owners start and market their businesses.

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