So, Harry, what’s it like to launch a business with your spouse?
This is one experience I would truly say that has been the best. Starting something with your soul mate has been an awesome experience that everyone can’t say they’ve done. It’s been awesome with her experience in retail, (she’s worked in retail since she was 15), and she has contributed to this business so much.
Crystal, where do you find your brands?
Like any other a big box store, or the other higher-end retailers, we build relationships with the different vendors and brands. They come and visit our boutique, or they may ask for pictures. If they like what they see, they usually let us carry their brands.
Have you met many African American designers on the vendor side?
Crystal: I’ll be honest; and I continuously do my research to meet people in the denim industry and I haven’t ran across any.
What makes your boutique unique?
Crystal: I’ve decided to think outside the box and carry brands that my competition do not carry. So I look at things that are not usual for the Midwest. We carry Japanese denim, which gives you more of an 8-oz to 12-oz, (weight) which is good because it gives you more opulence as well as longevity.
Japanese denim doesn’t pass through a lot of hands, so it’s not like it went through the person that sewed it, to the person that does the washing, to the person that does the ripping, things like that.
Why do you prefer Japanese denim?
Crystal: It creates whatever comes out, it has more of a raw texture, to it. It’s more of a particular look.
Also, the typical jean is thinner, the [typical denim manufacturer] may put a little more emphasis on their stitching, but with Japanese denim, the ounce is thicker and it gives it more longevity, which means it’s going to last longer, you’re going to get more wears out of it, and you usually don’t have to wash this for several months.