Brittany Cooley of Dazzling Divas

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ms Brittany Cooley and is the owner of Dazzling Divas. They are located in Brownwood, Texas which is where she is from, and have grown up. As silly as it sounds, her store is her hobby. Her life is pretty much revolved around growing her business and her spare time is devoted to it.

Why are you in business?
 “This is a dream I have had since a little girl. Started out as an art project in elementary school, which turned into a business plan in college. Through the support of my family and our awesome Gods plan, I was able to make my dream become a reality.”

Why are in this type of business?
“I have always loved fashion but always struggled with self-esteem. I wanted to be in a business where I make women feel better about themselves no matter their age, size, body shape, or how much money they have. I wanted to be reasonably priced so everyone feels comfortable as soon as they walk in the store. I want it to be a positive experience for each woman and when they leave the store I want them to feel confident and better about themselves. Making women feel confident and beautiful is the most rewarding part of this business.”
What is your background? Education, Work Experience
 “I graduated from Hardin Simmons in 2008 with a major in marketing and management. All throughout college I worked retail to pay my bills. My senior year I became an assistant manager at Claire's boutique and its there that taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Once I graduated I worked as a sales rep for nestle, then a marketing director for a home health agency, sales for radio and then opened my boutique.”

Can you provide me with a description of your business?

“Dazzling divas sells size small- 3x in women’s apparel, shoes, jewelry, purses, accessories and home décor. The store is for any diva whether it be the diva who loves to decorate her home, the diva who loves to accessorize or the diva who just needs a new pair of shoes. We are ready to make every woman feel like a diva no matter what their walk of life is.”

How long have you been in business? In this business? In other businesses?

“We opened April 1, 2011 so have been in business 3 and a half years.”

What type of business form do you have, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation?

“This is a sole proprietorship.”

How did you get started in this business?
“Retail is in my blood and I was born into it. My family owns a Recycled Auto Parts business and I was always so interested in the numbers, and the change in business every day. Each day is a new day in the retail world and I knew this was what I was meant to do. Once I was In college and began taking marketing and retail classes I confirmed what my long term career would be.”

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?

“Starting in high school I took any home ec class that was geared towards fashion and always asked my dad questions about running a business. Whether it was the day to day operations or inventory count, I was always just amazed by it all. Once I got into college I took advantage of each class. My marketing classes and my experience at Claires is where I learned the most. What most people don't understand is budgeting is important for a business but without marketing and a marketing plan your business will fail. You have to know your demographics, your competitors, what works in the market and what doesn't. “

Do you know who your competitors are?

“I have a couple of boutiques locally but I honestly don't feel like they are my competitors because I continually bring new things to Dazzling Divas to separate from the others. I pride myself and the store on being different and not being like anyone else in town. Right now I think my biggest competitors are online stores. People are so busy that they are now turning into online shoppers. Our online business has really been growing, but there is so much competition out there. Online you’re not able to pride yourself on your personality and customers service. I think that is the hardest thing about online businesses.”

How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
“I travel all over Texas doing trade shows and trunk shows for my customers. Locally we do a lot of advertising and events such as girls nights, special sales and holiday happening shows. We do a lot on social media. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and our website which we are about to reveal now that it has been made over!!”

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

“I have so many plans...haha...My goal for the next year is to really get my website growing and online sales taking off. Over the next 5 years I would like to open other locations. I have already started my research on the areas I would like to put a store. 10 years.... wow...I would like to have several locations opened and a warehouse that operates our website. I'm a dreamer, but I'm also a realist and a hard worker. I'm not one that thinks things happen overnight. I know in order for anything to be successful it takes dedication and hard work.”

How has technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted on how you conduct business?

“It has made me a lot more aggressive as a business owner and as a boss. We now not only have free standing stores around us but now we are in competition with the millions of stores online. What a lot of people don't understand is the online businesses are able to have a little lower prices because they don't have the overhead like those of us with a store front do. The internet has changed everything and has made not only the clothing industry but any retailer more competitive!”

Whom do you seek advice from for your business?
“I reach out to my competitors in other towns whom I have built relationships with at market and just visiting their stores. I also reach out to vendors who I order merchandise from. They are aware of the market, economy and are always full of ideas and advice that I would have never thought of. My parents who are my biggest support are another avenue I seek advice from. My dad runs a business so he is able to keep me positive and help with the business aspect.”
Do you have a business plan to operate your business?

“I do! I will never forget the day I went to my dad and told him I was ready to take the leap and open a boutique. He told me I couldn't do anything without a business plan. I had started it in high school and completed it in college. I took the business plan I created then and tweaked it and turned it into a power point presentation. That is what I used when I presented it to the bank for my loan and without hesitation I got approval!”

Does your business have a stated mission statement, the reason that this business exists?

“I have a slogan that I use in my advertising to brand us and its fashionable, affordable, what more could you ask for. It's simple and short, but people remember it and they know its Dazzling Divas.”

Do you have employees?

“I do- I have 2
I have a manager because I have a full time job on top of running my store and I have a part time employee as well!”

Do you do marketing for your business?
“Yes I do tons of online marketing as well as local.”

Can you describe your customers?
“ It's a woman who wants to feel like a diva! The ages of our customers range from 12-90! As crazy as it sounds it's the truth and that's what I love most about my store. We aren't geared to a certain size or age, we are targeting any woman who wants to feel like a diva!”

Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
“We pride ourselves on customer service and it's so much more than that! We build relationships with our customers and know what they like and what they don't. If we see items that we know customers would love, we send them a text or a quick call. We only get 6 items of clothing items so everyone in our small town don't match! We just love our customers and they are our family, they are what makes the business successful and for that I am forever grateful!”

What are the biggest issues for running this business?

“Every day is a new day and you never know how it's going to be. Retail is hard and unexpected. Clothing and accessories aren't a need, they are a want and people pay bills before they go shopping....well most do! haha! Times get hard but the Lord always provides and I'm so blessed my store is where it is. The internet is another obstacle but we are learning to use it as a tool rather than a negative!”

What is the future for this type of business?

“To grow and add more locations!”

Don't forget check out her website...

Thank you so much!

xxx West Texas Sweetheart


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