#108 – How Jasmene Bowdry Monetized Her Passion for Fashion

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Jasmine Bowdry of Bella Rosa Boutique has always been involved in fashion in some aspect.

She realized she was an entrepreneur when she realized she didn’t like working for someone else, which was the reason behind being a habitual job hopper.

Eventually, Jasmine decided she wanted to do her own thing in the fashion industry, that would give women the opportunity to look good, feel good, and trust the brand they’re shopping from with affordable prices. This is how Bella Rosa Boutique was born.

In today’s podcast episode Jasmene talks about the importance of honing in on your craft as well as the importance of learning the market. We also discuss why she’d like to have lunch with Gary Vee and Diddy.

“Don’t just go into the entrepreneurial game without a plan and a focus on how you want to succeed.” - Jasmene Bowdry Click To Tweet

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • Jasmeme talks about how her background in the fashion industry inspired her to start her online boutique.
  • We discuss how the workplace has changed drastically from our parent’s generation to our generation.
  • Jasmene talks about how beginning entrepreneurs should plan and focus instead of viewing entrepreneurship as a hobby.
  • She talks about the importance of learning your market when you’re starting out.
  • We also discuss best practices for using the design software Canva.

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Welcome to the show today. Thank you for having me. So excited to talk to you today. excited to talk to you as well. Tell me about yourself outside of your business.

Born in Houston, Texas, but raised in Lansing, Michigan, went to Michigan State University and studied fashion merchandising, so kind of have always been involved in fashion in some aspect, and then kind of moved to a bunch of different cities from there. So my background is kind of in retail buying as well as fashion styling. So from undergrad I moved to New York to Miami and Houston and now I’m in Chicago. Tell me about your business and how you got started with that. So my business is Bella Rosa boutique. It is a women’s online clothing boutique for the trend setting in Florence. Or the fashionista, the kind of go get her girl. And again, I got started. Because I’ve always always kind of been in or around fashion.

I studied it, you know, worked in the industry and wanted to just kind of do my own thing.

That’s kind of how I got started, I used to do against dialing back when I lived in New York as well as fashion buying. So it was kind of a natural next step to start my own clothing boutique. So when did you know that you were an entrepreneur, I think I’ve always kind of known it. So, um, I have worked in a variety of different industries when it comes to buying. And if you don’t necessarily know what a buyer is pretty much any store that you go to, there’s product and somewhere in a corporate office, there’s a buyer who has picked out that product and said that that’s the product that you need to have on your shelves and consumers need to buy it. And it’s going to be at this price point.

So I kind of know I want to be an entrepreneur when I knew I didn’t like working for somebody else. And you kind of I was going through these different jobs again, I told you, I moved all these different cities. And I was sort of like a job hopper. So I’m like, yeah, you know, maybe, maybe it’s not like these jobs. It’s me, like, I don’t like working for somebody else. I want to build my own business, my own brand and work for me.

Yeah, that’s how it was for me. I looked at my resume one day, and I was like, Oh, my gosh, I’m a job hopper is so bad. Because like, my mom has been at her job for like, 30 plus years. And she’s like, you young people can’t stay with the job. And I’m like, No, I’m not gonna stay where I’m unhappy. So. But it’s actually normal these days for someone to stay with our company for like, less than five years. I know back in the day, that was really bad. But now people leave their jobs after two years. Three years.

It’s okay.

I think it’s fine.

What’s your favorite business book? My favorite business book is like I say cars or you are a badass by Jensen, Pharaoh and heavy read that before No, no, it just teaches you kind to, to, you know, take action in spite of, you know, fear, and stop worrying about what other people think about you. You know how to stop doubting your greatness and just start living like this awesome life. So I kind of relate that as well as my other one out. I’ll give two is the secret. So I’m just all about good energy and, you know, thoughts becoming things and thinking positively because I feel like those were fit reflect in your business. Mm hmm.

Definitely. Yeah. If you could have lunch with one business thought leader. who would it be?

Oh, my God, Gary Vee. Oh, my gosh, you know what? I promise you like, the last everybody that I’ve asked this question to is said Gary Vee everything like, some people don’t like him. They feel like he’s, too, you know, cutthroat like that then New York. I lived in New York, so I get it. But I if I could just sit and pick his brain. Oh, my goodness. You know, I just feel like you just you will get though raw of the raw but it will be invaluable advice that will help take your business to the next level. I just believe it. Yeah, definitely. I feel like he would tell you stuff that you don’t necessarily want to hear. But you that you have to and it will help you grow.

Right, right. No, I think he’s, I think he’s amazing.

Yeah, one of the things I like best about him is, he’s basically like, you don’t have any excuses. I saw he posted a video today, some blogs that he did on an iPhone. And basically, he was just saying, like, there’s no excuse for you not to shoot videos, because you don’t have top of the line equipment. Like you can do what you need to do with what you have.

Stop trying to be fancy. Like he says, Yeah, I totally agree. Fellas could sit down with him. He would be number one. I was I after him. Probably. Did he? I think did he would be a good one, too. It’s been his mentality is similar to Gary Vee in that like, there’s no excuses. Like, he doesn’t see no, all he sees is victory. And like, yes, yes. Yes. Like he the word no. or failure is like nowhere in his mindset. So I think it would just be it would just be nice to just sit with him and just pick his brain and just get all the gems from him. Mm hmm.

Or the both of them? Yes.

So what advice do you have for someone that’s just getting started in business, from what I from what I’ve learned so far. And what I’ve seen is that a lot of people, you don’t want to be entrepreneurs, because they think that, you know, it’s just a hobby, and hey, this is how I can make some side money. And if this person is over here, you know, selling this or if they’re coaching This, then, you know, I can do it too. But you really need to hone in on what your own craft is, like, if you can do the same thing as somebody else. Great. But make it your own, you know, don’t just come into the entrepreneurial game without, you know, having a plan in a focus of how you want to succeed. Because I feel like a lot of businesses fail because it is like the new way everybody wants to start a new business. Because it’s not, it’s not hard to do, you know, you can do it, but don’t do it. Just because you see other people doing it, you know, and I mean, like, a lot of people are just doing it because they see other people doing it. And they think that they’ll have the same success. But you don’t know that person’s story. You don’t know what they went through. You don’t know how long they’ve been building their business. So when you when you were first starting out, just, you know, just learn your industry. Learn who the experts are. Learn who you competition is. Learn the market.

Yeah, definitely. I know that being a web designer, I see a lot of people start businesses. And a year later, their domain expires. And they did nothing with the business just because while they’re in it, they realize it’s hard.

Yeah, it would have been cheaper to just validate the idea first, and do a little testing and whatnot. Exactly, that this is, this is not for the faint of heart at all, you know, there are many sleepless nights and, you know, you have to you have to have that, that hustle and that grind to be able to be in this entrepreneurial world, because it isn’t for everybody. Yeah, definitely.

Aside from not wanting to work for someone else. And aside from your family, what is your why I I want to give, and again, primarily my, my demographic, it’s women right now, eventually, maybe expanding to man, but, you know, I want to give women the opportunity to look good, feel good, and trust, you know, the brand at their shopping from with affordable prices, you know, a lot of boutiques, and especially a lot of clinical Instagram boutiques, and just kind of come out of the blue and you can’t, you know, you can’t trust if, if the quality is good, if the product is nice, you know, where they’re sourcing from.

And with my background in buying, you know, this is I have over 10 years of experience doing this. So, it’s just something that I noticed, because I’ve been a victim of, you know, being so bad product because I bought it from a boutique on Instagram. And when I got it, I was like, what, what, I can’t wear this, like, what is this? So you know, my wife is just giving women that you know that that opportunity to really shop with a brand that they can trust in that have to break the break break. break the bank, excuse me, what’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes your life easier?

Oh, my goodness, I have so many. So my site is hosted through Shopify, and I will say that Shopify, if you are going to do an e commerce type platform where you’re selling product I would definitely recommend Shopify being the platform to use just because it makes it so easy to not only build your website and loading your products and pricing but you also get reports of what selling you know what’s not selling your traffic to your site and where it’s coming from. So kind of I look at it daily so that’s kind of my main source that I use because it kind of gives me everything I needed it tells me how many visitors are coming from Facebook or Instagram or from email campaigns so I would say that that’s my my main source other than that I’m Kamba it great if you’re if you are graphically challenged. like myself, you know, it’s great, it’s great for being able to create and how they can book for business because it’s helpful when you’re able to hit that magic resize button. And it kind of shapes all of the graphics you need for all the different social media platforms. So it formatted for Pinterest, you know the size that are needed for Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook.

So I would say Canvas probably number two. Yeah. And if I can add to that the guys there’s a reason why the layouts on canvas have been created white text and fonts are certain way why colors are certain way it’s because they’re made by graphic designers and you should use those Oh yeah, yeah, you should definitely use that and not change it around because I see some people use Canvas and then they end up changing things so much that they could have just made it in right right the purpose of it is to kind of look like a professional design but you do it and you do it real quick exactly I would say that I use that a lot in the only thing that I will usually change is if I just want it to be my brand colors so I would say that that’s that’s a quick way to you know make it your own is just by putting it in your brand colors but yes yeah even designers work alone Exactly.

And where can listeners find you online what’s your website where are you on social media yes so my website is shop Bella Rosa dot com s h o p e LL. A our LSA dot com. And then on Instagram and Facebook. It’s shop Bella Rosa boutique. Awesome.

Well, Jasmine, thanks so much for sharing your story with us today.

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. I hope your listeners love it and get something from it.