Some of you are brand spanking new customers of Onyx Street and some have been with us through the long haul, plenty of thanks to you both!
For the newbies, here is the scoop and for the loyal ones, here is the recap.
I would be lying if I told you that I started my business because it was my passion to dress women and all of that other stuff that most retail store owners tell you, the gag is - I started my business on accident.
Onyx Street Boutique is previously known as LikeNu Boutique. LikeNu Boutique started as an online vintage/resell shop long before people sold clothes on Instagram in 2012. I'm talking the most basic platform yal, I have archived pics to prove it. Started from the master bathroom of my apartment or my mothers basement depending on where I was at the time. I had a basic mannequin, a tv stand, wrapping paper or a sheet as my backdrop, an iPhone 4s and a Paypal account. I spent countless hours in local thrift stores and Goodwill's trying to find the most chic quality pieces to post. I thought I had a bomb ass hobby that gave me a quick buck but I was running a full fledged business and I didn't even know it.
I had a loyal customer base, 98% of them found through hashtags. I did majority of my business in Atlanta, Canada, New York, and sometimes Guam. I had no idea that Guam was a US territory until I started mailing packages there! It wasn't until another woman in Atlanta reached out to me to inquire on help with her business when I realized that I was running an online store on Instagram! I decided to get legit after that, I did my due diligence and filed the proper legal paperwork to become real company.
I knew the Goodwill's in my city in and out, it's over 55. I can tell you where you might find this item or that item. I was so knowledgeable my family calls me the Goodwill Queen. What I didn't know is if and where I wanted to start a brick and mortar. I didn't know what was next, how to grow, and what I wanted to do. I just knew deep down inside that I was too bossy & bright to be forced to work for someone else my entire life. I entertained the idea of a brick and mortar, I entertained the idea of a mobile fashion truck, something that no one in Omaha had seen before, not even myself.
Time passes, life happens and I eventually acquired both. I started my storefront in 2016 in a 8x20 storage container. The Fair Deal Village is exactly what the name means, a village of black owned storefronts in an urban area of the city. What a joy to be one of the first businesses in that development. I would be a lie if I said things were always on the up, they weren't. Let me tell you running a business from the comfort of my home with my children running rapid and in my undies is completely different then running a storefront. Big Difference ! After a few short months I realized that people in my demographic weren't too keen on vintage clothes, I had to jump in the wholesaling game headfirst and fast.
So here we are now, 2 years later. LikeNu is no more and we are selling minimal if any vintage threads. We have moved to a 1000 sq ft space, much bigger than the 160 sq ft. We have a mobile boutique box truck, still only 1 of 2 in the city. We are growing our online eCommerce day by day. We have gained notoriety in the city and made priceless friendships while doing so.
Onyx Street Boutique is here for at least the next few years according to this lease. I am writing this post with hopes to inform and inspire. I started a business on accident doing what I have and always have been good at - selling "stuff". I own and operate a retail store without ever have working in one. I have taught myself the in's and out's and self funded each store with my own funds, no loans. I had help with my truck from my favorite DJ, he said that people need people to invest in their vision and that is so true. It has not always been a breeze, I am certain that I could have failed less and grew sooner if I had more help rather it be financially, professionally, or both. I have learned that nothing beats experience, the best way to learn is to just do it.
I want to leave you with this, no matter your social or economic background you can do anything as long as you are willing to put in the grind. You can cheat in a lot of areas of your life but you can't cheat the grind, you get what you give. Everybody wants to be a boss until it is time to do what bosses do, bosses do everything from clean the toilets to sign the checks. Stick to your vision and execute, there are no room for excuses. Lastly, no matter how hard it gets after the breakdowns, tears, and why me's you have to keep fucking going. Stay gracious and help other people along the way, you just may be the reason why someone started.
If you didn't know me before, now you do, welcome to Onyx Street Boutique.
" The Bad Ass Boss Lady"