Retail 101: Runway Diva Boutique

Photography by Carl Nelson

Three sisters, one dream. Those were the ingredients to build Runway Diva Boutique, a one stop shop for the latest styles and looks catering to fashionistas of all shapes and sizes. Operating since 2011, the boutique offers a variety of looks from classic to casual as well as styling services and even personal fittings to ensure that their customers walk away satisfied and stunning from head to toe. Boutique co-owner, Ebony Dickerson, was able to share some details behind her and her two sisters, Fanta and Kwanza, building the fashion forward empire that Runway Diva Boutique is today.

Store name: Runway Diva Boutique
Store address: 2719 E. 56 St. Indianapolis IN 46220
Store website: runwaydivaboutique.com
Store insta: Runwaydiva317
When did you open the store: We opened our online shop in May 1, 2011 and our retail store front on May 2019.
Number of full-time employees: We are a sister owned boutique of three, Fanta, Kwanza and Ebony.
What do you sell in your store: We sell women’s clothing from church wear, trendy fashion, club wear, date night and your everyday clothing. We also carry purses.
Previous jobs/ventures: Styling and fashion shows

Why did you decide to open your own storefront?
It was a our family’s dream to own a clothing store and we wanted to show our children what it meant to really own something.

List five skills/qualifications that you think are important to have before launching a storefront?
Vision, planning, starting small, prayer and hustle.

What’s the most effective marketing tool that you’ve been using recently?
The best marketing tool is your character. You must be who you are and then that energy draws people. Your voice will market for you.

What’s more important when opening a storefront: Location, having a nice cash cushion or having a lot of retail experience? Why?
Location! Also, having great customer service. Location tells you who your customer is, how they spend their money, their family size, and how much money they make. That way you know what kind of items to bring in and how to price your items.

How do you decide which vendors/products/brands you want to carry in your store?
We decide what to carry by looking at our target market and what they like would like to purchase.

Do you carry any local vendors/brands? Why/Why not?
We don’t carry any local brands right now, but we would love to be the house for any local designers. We are willing to work with them and let them know who our market is.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in running your business?
The biggest challenge is the unknown. Business has different paths and journeys and it’s different from day to day. You just have to be yourself and rebrand if needed, but still keep the same goal in mind and never give up.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of opening their own storefront?
I would tell them to do location research, make sure it’s your passion, and read your lease! Start small, do not overwhelm yourself. Remember timing is everything in life. Some days it pays you, most days you pay it.

What advice would you give to an up-and-coming brand looking to build a strong relationship with a retailer?
I would tell a designer or brand to make sure the boutique they are reaching out to fits their product and always keep good relationships with clients.

Are there any online resources that you regularly visit to help you run your business better, or keep up with the latest industry trends?
Yes, we are forever watching fashion in different countries, from Instagram to YouTube. We always keep an eye on the hottest celebrities as well.

 

Be sure to pay Runway Diva Boutique a visit and keep up with them on Instagram and Facebook!