The $1.99 Glam Boutique
Fiercely creative and a dreamer from day one, I was born in New York City and raised in its suburbs. Never a straight-shooting, logical mind, I found my propensity leaning towards reading, creative-writing, and the arts early on. I had many interests and inspirations, but could never reconcile a specific career path in my mind to follow that would encompass the true nature of all I was wired to do.
So, I pushed forward and spent my undergraduate years at Brown University, where I pursued Anthropology and Media. Then, on to New York University for a graduate degree in Dramatic Writing, which I loved. But, despite my Ivy League education, I still felt relatively directionless and lost for a career path. After graduating and slogging through the turns of life and many workaday “jobs”, I found none of the much-desired inspiration and fascination I longed for. It wasn’t until I watched a friend of mine start a fairly successful Ebay business from her home, that I sincerely considered retail and starting a small business as viable income.
The rise of internet marketing and social media all started at this moment in time too, and immediately I was hooked! Learning how to drive traffic, create sales from social media, and market online, became fierce passions I would research into the wee hours. What I once thought was stiff, boring and not for me – the ins and outs of business – became, and still is, a delight to learn and implement. But, I knew I could never do these things for another business entity. No, pursuing business had to be deeply personal, organic, and of greater meaning. In other words, I realized I was an entrepreneur!
Today, I am married to my wonderful husband of 12 years, raising our three kids outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I also have a beloved step-daughter in TX. We are Christians, love the Lord and are active in our church and community. I have never felt comfortable being a working mother at an ‘8 to 5’ job while trying to cover all the needs for my household at the same time. It is sincerely my hope and dream to completely shuck the day job, and devote my full-time attention to my entrepreneurial pursuits. Oh, and provide the world with trendy, affordable jewelry along the way!
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
The $1.99 Glam Boutique provides fun and trendy jewelry at an affordable price. Our store is online at 199glamboutique.com. Our motto is “Mall Shopping at Dollar Store Prices.” We sell earrings, rings, necklaces and more, priced at $1.99 or less. We are perfect for the discount, dollar store or beauty supply store shopper who loves shopping online, getting a great deal and looking fashionable too. Our jewelry is surprisingly high quality, and many of the YouTube influencers who have reviewed our store have raved about how surprised they were by the quality for the price. Currently, we have had over 30 YouTubers review us and also some on Instagram.
We strive to maintain a strong branding along with helpful, courteous customer service. We want to make the shopping experience with us girly and fun, from start to finish. We also have over 6,000 Facebook followers and over 1,300 Instagram followers (and growing).
Though we just opened our virtual doors in December of 2015, this is my – Leslie’s – second foray into the discount jewelry scene. My first online dollar jewelry store, established in 2011, was wildly successful, but closed due to certain life circumstances. Equipped with keen foreknowledge, and the understanding of the customer and industry, I am ready to take the world by storm permanently with The $1.99 Glam Boutique.
Some goals for the store for the future are: -To provide an upsell opportunity for customers to buy $5 jewelry -To provide a monthly subscription box option -To expand our email marketing and Instagram campaigns
What is the purpose of this loan?
Shopping at our online boutique is similar to shopping at your local dollar store. There is a low price-point entry, lots of impulse buying, and most people go in expecting to procure a large amount of merchandise at a steal. Most of our orders are bulk orders of 10, 20, 30 or more items at a time. Therefore, our customers need to feel like they are presented with a vast array of choice and value.
Using this Kiva loan to buy a large amount of inventory will provide this variety of options for our customers, to fit every personality and style. At a cost of around $0.65 per jewelry item to resell, the loan will help mightily. This will increase the amount of sales we make since we will be able to cater to the customer’s online shopping experience. We will also be able to better gain the business of those “tire-kickers” who just “come to look” – those who would otherwise bounce off the website if the plethora of inventory weren’t there.
I expect to use $2,000 of the loan to purchase over 3,000 pieces of jewelry (in lots of 12 each=over 250 new styles). The remaining $500 will go to purchasing shipping supplies, marketing inserts (to go in each order), and a new printer.
Years in operation: 6 months – 1 year
A loan of $2,500 helps Leslie expand inventory of affordable, fashionable jewelry.