How I Started Delaney Rose
Posted on August 19 2022
Starting any business takes a lot of determination and courage. Everyone's journey and starting point is different. I have always been a creative person and wanted to pursue a career where I could use that daily. I never imagined I would end up in fashion, but I love it and know it is where I am meant to be. Reading about and hearing other business owner's journeys really helped me with my own. I hope that by sharing my process it helps other entrepreneurs follow their dreams as well!
It all started my junior year of high school in 2018. I created some pieces in art class that I wanted to sell. That was my first urge to get my name out there and make something of myself. I created my Etsy store in 2019 and named it DRE Illustrations. I sold my own designs on stickers, t-shirts, patches, and these adorable charm earrings. I took these products to markets all over Ohio and even had a cute little trailer to haul everything. I moved to Savannah, GA for college and soon joined the market community there as well. I was going to SCAD for illustration until Covid hit in 2020. The world paused and life was different for everyone. I decided to dropout and use my tuition money to invest in myself a different way. I fell in love with Savannah and it quickly became my new home. I knew there was no other city I rather start my next business venture.
I was 20 years old, fresh college dropout, and had nothing to lose. The markets I was doing were not going to pay the bills. I never knew I would find a passion for the fashion industry, but it was perfect for me. I grew up boutique shopping with my mom and always loved the uniqueness between each store. I quickly became obsessed with designing and styling my own boutique. My first step was tons of research. I watched YouTube videos of other owners, read books on starting boutiques and financing, and visited other stores for inspiration. The main difference I knew I wanted to do was include plus sizing. This was the main thing missing from all the other boutiques I have visited and I knew it would help me stand out from the other stores in my area.
I created a goal to have my online store up and running by January of 2021. I knew I wanted to focus on getting my branding down and start my social medias before even thinking about a brick and mortar location. I figured out all the licenses I needed for a retail business and began to create my online presence. I ended up finding a brick and mortar location I could not pass up before I even launched my website. A few days before Christmas I got a call that the spot was mine if I wanted it. I kept telling myself if there's no risk, there's no reward. I secured that location and opened my online website January 1st of 2021.
I had all my inventory shipped to my apartment and worked out of my small home office for nine months until my brick and mortar was ready. The building where my space would be needed completely redone and a major makeover. I continued to do markets around Savannah to promote the opening of my store. I was able to work with the contractors and select my favorite paint colors, flooring, and had them build a fitting room and storage closet. I spent hours creating digital layouts and blueprints of exactly how I wanted the space to look. Then I scoured the internet looking for display racks, bags, hangers, tags, and everything in between that I needed for a retail location. While waiting on the construction process, I went to furniture stores and slowly acquired my couch, mirrors, rugs, and decor. Everything was slowly coming together and I set my opening date for July 1, 2021.