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Inspiring Conversations with Rachel Calimer of Eternally Chic Boutique, LLC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Calimer.

Hi Rachel, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists.

Hi! My name is Rachel Calimer, and I am a graduate of the University of Maryland–College Park, Robert H. Smith School of Business. I have officially earned my Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a double-major in Marketing and International Business! In 3.5 years, I was able to graduate a semester early and complete my degree. I am originally from Baltimore, MD, and the area will always hold a special place in my heart, no matter where life takes me.

Since graduating this past December, I officially decided that I wanted to pursue my passions immediately– and took the risk to do so. This required me to tap into my more creative side and develop a way that allowed me to pursue my passions and interests and still curate a profitable business. In my opinion, the “ideal job” combines 3 things: what you are good at, what you love doing, and what pays well. I knew what I loved doing– many say I have always had a “passion for fashion,” and I admit that I can be a bit of a “shopaholic,” as they say! I’ve always loved style and fashion and have learned to use fashion to express myself uniquely. I thoroughly believe other women across the Globe should utilize fashion similarly. Get up and start your day in a fresh, unique fit [outfit] that meets your needs and wants– unbeatable! For me, it helps boost my confidence and drive, encouraging my motivation for the day.

Additionally, fashion makes you unique and can provide “insight” into who that individual may be like on the inside. This combines with my passion for travel, exploration, and learning more about life outside traditional education and textbooks. My dream is to travel the world, learn about new cultures and explore new places with the locals, and take that knowledge, experience, and networking connections back to be incorporated into my business and life. I hope in the future to incorporate their own cultural products creations and beliefs within my business and support women’s empowerment internationally, providing them with the recognition they deserve. Regarding “what I’m good at,” I was a Marketing and International Business double-major who recently graduated and has expertise in these respective fields. I have also done freelance marketing, internships, social media, and web development, invested in other cultural research to advance my studies, and continue to do so. I realized that I could combine this passion, drive, knowledge, and experience to create a profitable business while ensuring our mission, beliefs, and goals are still met.

This led me to develop my new e-commerce multicultural boutique, Eternally Chic Boutique, LLC. [We are an officially registered LLC within the State of Maryland]. I, Rachel Calimer, am the Founder/CEO who owns, creates, and operates 100% of the business myself.

For some of the reasons listed above, this is why at my new multicultural boutique, Eternally Chic Boutique, LLC, we do not refer to anyone who in any way “promotes” our products or business as “influencers” or “ambassadors.” Instead, I have chosen to term the name “Visual Storyteller.” I chose this choice because I do not believe in simply having someone promote your business without receiving personal recognition for themselves, their confidence, and their beauty. In the pictures my Visual Storytellers take, I want viewers to look BEYOND the products being shown; and at the GIRL/WOMEN being represented beneath the apparel. She is not telling my [Eternally Chic’s] story, but her own. These women are visually showing us through their fashion choices their own story. That is why I do not pick products for them directly. I gather their preferences and comfort with wearing certain products and collectively decide the products that best represent her. It is very much a more personalized experience. Your outfit tells a story more personal to you and your life, experiences, culture, and other preferences.

“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.” – Michelle Obama

We have products for all girls and women worldwide and strive to increase women’s empowerment through accessible fashion curated for them. We offer a huge variety of products, including; Sizes XS-4XL and trendy clothing geared towards specific demographics, such as all ages, races, ethnicity, and religions. Cultural Clothing, influenced by African, Asian, Hispanic, and other cultures, is featured too (and more!).

In short terms, I would define Eternally Chic Boutique, LLC, as “Trendy and Culture-Friendly!”

Eternally Chic Boutique, LLC, is an online multicultural, philanthropic women’s boutique. We believe that all women should have access to Chic, Modern Clothing while wearing traditional clothing that meets their specific needs. Our offerings incorporate these ideals, add a touch of fashion, are quality material, and are beautiful! Traditional outfits are still just as beautiful and unique.

These women are not telling my [Eternally Chic’s] story, but their own. Women worldwide have a voice. They are visually showing us through their fashion choices, in short, THEIR own story. Your outfit tells a story more personal to you and your life, experiences, culture, beliefs, and other preferences. Again, this is why I allow my “Visual Storytellers” to help curate their product selection because it is about them and who they are, not what I or anyone “assumes” about them. These women should feel comfortable in their Eternally Chic Apparel, Accessories, and more while feeling beautiful and confident. I strive for diversity in every fashion. We believe that there is #UnityInDiversity. I do not want as many “traditional-looking models” representing the brand; because that is not what we represent. I want people to wear these clothes that apply to their culture or demographics. Women and girls must see diversity, especially in the fashion and beauty industry. I want girls and women to see models who “look like them,” and their attire aligns respectfully. We are all beautiful women who deserve accessibility to fashionable, culturally-inclusive product offerings, respect, accessible resources, and equal opportunity.

Our goal is to “Make an income while making an impact!” This is why I have curated 3 philanthropy collections. Our United For Ukraine collection has 25% of profits from that collection going to Women For Women International- Ukraine. Our Black Is Beautiful collection has 10% of profits being donated to The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc, based in D.C. Furthermore, our Health For Her collection has 10% of profits being donated to The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association.

We are centered around International Women’s Empowerment which is seen through these philanthropic collections and our multicultural product selection (being added daily!). I’ve built this idea, website, social media, and so on my own and hope to make an impact while making an income and a difference for women worldwide!

All products are hand-picked, cleaned, packed, and shipped by our Founder/CEO herself!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
Honestly, for the most part, so far, things have been running smoothly, but we are only at the beginning stages of opening! I fully finance this business by myself, requiring extra time outside my current post-graduate job without a traditional 9 am-5 pm job. I also aspire to support other businesses with similar goals, regardless of location! And of course, this is still a learning opportunity for me; I (obviously) do not know everything about every culture, but that is why I want to learn and hope I will through this experience. Also, prioritizing mental health has been a struggle for many of us. We believe in #EndTheStigma regarding mental health. So, sometimes I needed to take a self-care day myself, even if it meant “falling behind” in the progression of my passion for this business. But without self-love, we will not be in the proper place to fully love and invest in ourselves and others, work, meet our own goals and reach the level of self-confidence we strive for. As my high school senior quote once said: “Difficult Roads Often Lead To Beautiful Destinations, The Best Is Yet To Come!” – Zig Ziglar

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
“Often we women are risk averse. I needed the push. Now, more than ever, young women need more seasoned women to provide that encouragement, to take a risk, to go for it. Once a glass ceiling is broken, it stays broken.” – Jennifer Granholm

I define myself as a risk-taker. In analyzing Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture, one of those dimensions is high versus low “Uncertainty Avoidance Index.” I have a Low Uncertainty Avoidance Index, meaning I am willing to take risks, go into the unknown, and don’t avoid situations where I am unsure of the outcome. Life is all about taking risks. Take the risk or lose the chance. This business is my biggest risk, as I just graduated college. Instead of pursuing a guaranteed-salary, full-time job, I chose to register my LLC as soon as I graduated and went right towards this business with full confidence. I do not have a guaranteed income. It may be impulsive; it is a large investment of resources, time, energy, commitment, and more. In this day and age, all women should be willing to take the risk. It is time for a change and our voices to be heard, and that is what I hope to accomplish.

To all the girls and women reading this, never doubt that you are valuable, powerful, beautiful, and deserving of every opportunity in the world and every chance to pursue your dreams. Empowered Women, Empowered The World!

#MakeChicHappen

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