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Inspiring Conversations with Donyell Young of Oblyss Boutique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donyell Young.

Hi Donyell, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Our vision is to sell clothing that we as consumers would love to purchase while offering specialty items created through artist collaborations. It is important for us to put Black culture on display in a fashionable way, celebrating the many facets of Black women.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Taking this dream to reality has not been easy, but the time and dedication are worth it. There is no road map for creating your own clothing boutique. One of the first hurdles is getting all of your paperwork handled. Making sure our business was built on a solid foundation was a big deal to us. Some people will just jump out there and start selling clothes. But that was not good enough for us because we are in this for the long haul. It was important for us to make sure our foundation could stand the test of time. This meant spending hundreds of dollars upfront on paperwork, something that yields no return on investment. The only benefit, which is also the most important, was knowing our business was secure.

The second hurdle is finding vendors who will be fair in selling products to you. Oftentimes, smaller boutiques can only place orders for a certain amount of merchandise because of having a smaller number of clients. However, bigger boutiques can afford to buy in bulk. This means their orders can wipe out the orders already placed by a small boutique. Some vendors will take those orders over a smaller boutique, leaving owners like us scrambling to find other options for our clients. We have finally found a group of vendors that are fair, fulfilling orders as they come in, instead of putting profit first. We appreciate them deeply and will not forget that as we grow. One final hurdle was finding our place on social media. We had to figure out what tone we wanted to set for our followers. We now call our followers Blyssful Beauties. This captures everything we want to offer our clients… a sense of elevated bliss while feeling beautiful.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
While we sell women’s clothing, we also offer custom tee shirts and bags that celebrate Black women. Our specialty is putting the Black woman on display and all the sides of her. Not every Black woman is the same and we push ourselves to make sure we are displaying all levels of what it means to be a Black woman in America. Our ‘Say It. Live It. Wear It.’ line is comprised of tee shirts with quotes and art centered around Black culture. We also have a line of accessories that include totes and clutches featuring Black artwork.

These original pieces are what sets Oblyss Boutique apart from every other company. Typically, boutiques offer just clothing or just quote tee shirts or just accessories featuring artwork; we offer all three. This is also the thing we are most proud of brand-wise. We set out to celebrate Black women and show the world that “she” is not “one person”. The one thing that we want the readers to know about our brand is that Oblyss Boutique is the full picture and it features all of us. Once you shop with Oblyss, you become a part of our story, your sister’s and auntie’s story and the story of the powerful woman next to you. And with every head you turn on as you show up and show out in your Oblyss dress, jeans, tee shirt and bag, it’s a chance to share all the bliss and beauty you’re made of.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
This may sound cliché but what makes me happy is the satisfaction of my customer’s experience. Oblyss Boutique is a love child and we pour all we have into its success. The biggest reward for all of our work is sharing moments of bliss with our clients. There is nothing better than hearing someone found the perfect date night outfit, birthday gift, graduation dress on our website. We love to hear from our clients and to see return clients. It’s proof that our passion has a purpose.

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