Today’s Featured Fashionista Next Door is extra special! Not only is she quite the stylista herself, but she also helps the rest of us stay fashionable and unique with her online vintage boutique Imperfect Concepts! I was delighted have an opportunity to interview Tasha about her fabulous boutique! So without further ado….
1. What was the inspiration behind the name “Imperfect Concepts”?
I can’t say I had a direct inspiration for my company’s name. I was sitting on my bed after having several conversations with two close friends and I felt like the original name didn’t fit the company. So in an “ah ha moment” the name came to me, but it actually it fits the company perfectly. Not every item in the boutique is perfect but the imperfection of the item is what makes it a great piece.
2. Before you started your online boutique, what did you do?
I was store manager with Abercrombie & Fitch. I had worked with the company since I was 17, and when I graduated from college I entered their manager in training program. A&F is a great company and I was surrounded by some amazing people, especially my regional and district managers.
3. What pushed you to finally take the big leap and make your shop a full-time reality?
It was a lot of things that made me say, “Hey, I want to do what I love forever instead of just dreaming about it.” My best friend was in California fulfilling his dream and that was a great motivation for me. Plus, you’ve only got one life to live and every moment on Earth is precious. So, why waste it being unhappy?
4. So, what kind of fabulous things can we expect to find in your boutique?
Amazing thrift, vintage and pre-loved finds that will help any women have the wardrobe she wants at the fraction of the cost. When shopping the boutique you can find items from Dooney & Burke all the way to vintage Yves Saint Laurent. And, they’re all at fantastic price points.
5. What kind of prices can we expect to see?
I always tell people when shopping ICB your wallet can breathe easier for the fact that we’re not here to kill your budget. The average price point is $45, which is really great. You can get a whole outfit for $100 and re use staple pieces in other aspects of your wardrobe.
|Vintage Briefcase | $35.00|
6. What are your favorite 3 items on your boutique right now?
Funny thing is that I can name them without even thinking about it: the vintage briefcase (shown below), the YSL slacks and the Christian Louboutin Mary Janes (shown below, $475!!!). All three are classic pieces every woman should own.
7. Do you have any plans to ever open a brick & mortar shop?
Yes and no. I personally believe that our economy is going to need 3-5 years to rebuild from the recession. That time it will give me the chance to really think about whether or not I want to transition to a storefront. My biggest goal has always been to own my own physical boutique, which I do, but at the same time I love the aesthesis of running of an online boutique versus a storefront in a shopping center.
|Burberry Rain Boots | $185|
8. In general, what are your long-term goals for Imperfect Concepts Boutique?
To be great at what we set out to do. To be the go-to boutique where women know they can find amazing pieces at really great prices. I love being a mom-and-pop shop, so getting bigger than that isn’t a goal I’m striving for.
9. What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs looking to start a small business online?
Research what you want to do. Actually delve into the business–not just the surface of what you see. Every day, I learn something new about running my business. Also, monetize what you love doing. Don’t open an online store because you think can make millions off a particular trend, because in the long run if it isn’t your passion, you are not going to be happy doing it 24/7/365!
10. What challenges did you face when you were getting started, and how did you overcome them?
I believe my biggest issue was finding an online shopping cart host that actually fit my company. I contacted several companies and people who I knew had shopping carts. I wanted something easy for me to understand. So, it was more of trying a few things until I found the vendor that fit my company, our budget and me.
Second, would be bringing in new customers to shop Imperfect Concepts. It’s great having my friends shop the boutique and refer their friends, but to sustain this as my full time job (like any business owner), I need new traffic as well as repeat clients shopping my boutique. So, I got ideas from friends on cultivating new business leads.
It’s still a challenge to bring in new customers but I’m so thankful that thoughtful customer service keeps the clients I have and has them referring their friends to my business. Plus, once I figure this out, it’ll be something new I learn about my business and myself as a business owner.
11. If you could go back and do it all over again, would you change anything?
Nope! Everything has been a learning experience. I needed every obstacle that was thrown my way so I could turn it into the stepping-stone that has gotten me here.
Isn’t Tasha an inspiration? I have a great deal of respect and admiration for women who jump out there and make their dreams happen. GO TASHA! and doesn’t she have some really great goodies on her boutique? Hello Louboutin Mary Janes for only $475? and how about those Burberry Rain Boots with the signature plaid lining for only $185? Well, to be honest, I love all the designer finds on her site, but absolute FAVORITE item is the Vintage Briefcase, and it my friends, is only $35. It is totally on trend with the structured bags we are seeing this season, and it totally reminds me of something I’d be trying to steal out of my grandmother’s closet! Anyway, please surf on over to Imperfect Concepts Boutique and check out the goods. Tasha is also offering fabulous Fashionista Next Door readers a 15% discount with the promo code below! We love those!