Recently, we were given the honor of having a sneak peek of an up & coming fashion boutique by the name of F.L.A.M.E. Boutique! It's not often that we turn this kind of opportunity down, especially when it's involving individuals that are following their dreams! We initially connected with these ladies via twitter and took an instant liking to them. They are professional, hardworking, creative, and above all else Fashionistas! Who wouldn't love them. We were eager to introduce them to you and were lucky enough to interview them and provide you all a first look at some F.L.A.M.E. Boutique pieces! So without further ado.....
D.O.L.L.S: If you could, please introduce yourselves to our readers.
F.L.A.M.E: At F.L.A.M.E. Boutique we strive to be a distinguished clothing boutique that incorporates quality, individuality, and versatility in the latest trends and fashion settings. The F.L.A.M.E. woman is one who embraces fashion with an open heart and mind. She follows trends but she's not afraid to set her own. Her style represents youth, sexiness, femininity, eccentricity, and individuality.
F.L.A.M.E. Boutique is owned and operated by Brandi Henderson, Karis Battle, and Micaela Davis. While we all share an interest and love for fashion, we have different backgrounds, expertise and skills. Brandi has a MBA in Human Resources, Karis has a degree in Graphic Communication Systems w/ a focus in Printing & Publishing and pursuing a Fashion Marketing degree, and Micaela has a BA in Accounting and is pursuing a MBA in Accounting & Management Systems. Luckily our differences work in our favor and allow us of to each to take on certain roles and responsibilities in the company. To sum up things up we are simply three girls who love anything related to fashion. One day we decided to take our love for fashion and create a business opportunity for ourselves.
D.O.L.L.S: How was the name FLAME Boutique created?
F.L.A.M.E: We all sat down and came up with numerous names to describe what we felt set us apart and also describe all of us. We all agreed we were in LOVE with “love” and decided it should be in our name and what stands out the most about our brand. A good acquaintance helped us incorporate love and fashion and presented us with Fashion Loves All Minds & Egos and we fell in love with the name and decided to use the acronym F.L.A.M.E.
D.O.L.L.S: How did you ladies team up and decide start your boutique together?
F.L.A.M.E: F.L.A.M.E was started in April 2010 by 3 dynamic women who shared similar interest with different backgrounds, expertise and skills. After hearing business owners Brandi Henderson and Micaela Davis’ personal goals, business owner Karis Battle, felt all three women could benefit from each other in a common business. All three women were very interested in the Fashion Industry and wanted to take part in this industry starting with Charlotte. Karis Battle then scheduled a meeting with the women and discussed what God had laid on her heart. All three women were in complete agreement and enticed to embark upon this journey. Brandi Henderson had previous interest in starting her own Fashion Line and working in the entertainment or sports industry and presented that to other owners as a possible start. Karis Battle and Micaela Davis agreed this would be a great starting point for the dynamic company we wanted to begin. Micaela Davis felt that this would be a great start handling the business’ finances in hopes to start her own Accounting Firm in the future. Karis knew this would be a great opportunity to utilize all skills to brand the business and also in hopes to become a well known Stylist and Event Manager. We also felt that there were not a lot of boutiques that cater to our type of women: professional yet fashion forward, but also not interested in spending drastic amounts of money just for a label. We wanted to offer something to women like us, and show that you can be fashionable and trendy without spending your rent and bills money.
F.L.A.M.E. Boutique is nowhere the end of the things F.L.A.M.E. is striving to be. We want to branch into many different aspects and our Online Boutique is just the beginning!
D.O.L.L.S: What were some of the first steps you took in bringing your dream to life?
F.L.A.M.E: Some of the first steps we took were doing MASSIVE research on exactly what we wanted to do and how feasible it would be to accomplish this goal. We began researching a year ago and building the foundation so we had no choice but to succeed. We also registered out business name and applied for a business license so that there was no turning back and we knew this was something we were committing to. We also were blessed to have Bridgette Wright of Charlotte Style Magazine and Carolina Style Magazine to help mold and shape us. We pricked her brain for any and all information and she never hesitated to assist with whatever we needed in hopes to see us succeed.
D.O.L.L.S: So far, what have been some of the highlights of owning your own fashion boutique?
F.L.A.M.E: The biggest highlight is knowing that just a year ago owning our own fashion boutique was just a dream that we were working really hard to make reality. And today we can say that our dream came true. The second biggest highlight is being able to shop almost every day. We are all shopaholics but now we get the chance to shop for F.L.A.M.E. We are constantly looking for new apparel and accessories that we think women will fall in love with.
D.O.L.L.S: What have been some of the challenges?
F.L.A.M.E: Some of our challenges have been a blessing in disguise. Since none of us had ever ventured out in starting our own business we all were pretty blind to most things so it was trial and error. But every mistake we’ve made has been a learning lesson and helped us on what not to do in the future. One of the biggest challenges is that we have completely financed the start-up of our business without any outside help. This is also one of our biggest accomplishments! We can’t say that we have had many challenges because we gave our business to God first and foremost and through it all He has looked out and made sure that even when we didn’t see it we were very well taken care of.
D.O.L.L.S: Who are your biggest inspirations in the fashion world?
F.L.A.M.E: We are inspired mostly by women who aren’t afraid to play with fashion so we would have to say Rihanna, Solange Knowles, June Ambrose, and Angela Simmons. When we see these ladies on the red carpet they rarely ever disappoint. And they aren't afraid to play with color, mix high end fashion with low end, or just have some fun with fashion. Their style represents the ideal F.L.A.M.E. Boutique woman.
D.O.L.L.S: Tell us a little about some of the pieces you’ll be offering at FLAME Boutique.
F.L.A.M.E: We feel we have a piece in our collection for every fashionista. We have also featured many current trends; our favorites are color blocking and peplum! We are all about color and bringing a touch of color into any outfit. One of our goals is showing women how to bring color into the workplace. You don’t have to feel that to be professional you are restricted into wearing only neutral colors. We want our women to be able to feel professional and fashionable when going to work. We also offer a lot of versatile looks. You can easily turn a day look into a night look by removing a blazer, switching shoes and/or adding a statement accessory piece.
D.O.L.L.S: What advice can you offer others who may be dreaming of opening their own fashion boutique?
1. Do research, do research, and then do more research
2. Be patient. Everything truly happens in due season.
3. Be willing to do the work.
4. Keep the faith even when the dream seems impossible.
5. Make sure you are surrounded by a strong team. There is strength in numbers.
6. And always remember that dreams do come. So if you want it, claim it, then go out and do the work that it takes to get it.
Check out some of the fabulous pieces below!
Follow these ladies on twitter: @FLAMEBoutique
Visit their site & shop on March 20th:
What do you think ladies? Ready to shop?