Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reinvention and crap

Reinvention is part of the life of any business, and sometimes is necessary before you even get very far off the ground. After some further research on the name “Boutique Angelique,” I found that it was being used by a chick in Jersey with a prom dress shop that had a pretty bad reputation. There are several customer reviews about this dress shop saying that the Owner made rude comments to teenage girls as they tried on prom dresses along the lines of “you can’t afford that dress” and “that dress just highlights how fat you are.” TO TEENAGE GIRLS! Nice going, way to sully the name Angelique for all of us.
So I made the decision the name needed to be changed before I got too serious about promoting. I needed a name that conjured thoughts of feathers and rhinestones, images of grand staircase entrances and white limousines, red velvet curtains and the call of the spotlight. It had to be something that one could overhear conversations about and remember, and it had to have a .com domain that was available and easy to spell. The hunt for this perfect name PAINED me for weeks. It was all I could think about. I would randomly shout out potential names, for example, standing in line at Starbucks I suddenly yelled out like a burst of Turrets, “Jaunty-Jaunty.” It didn’t get the reaction I had hoped. Then again, people thinking you’re crazy is already off to a bad start.

Jaunty is my favorite word, but I finally had to admit to myself its kind of hard to say, and I didn’t like any of the available combinations of the word for the name of a boutique. In one moment of weakness and desperation, I actually paid to register the name “” Then I posted for my faithful facebook friends to give me feedback on it. Instead of grand staircases and limousines, I'm told this apparently conjures thoughts of rare diseases and human excrement. Not exactly what I’m going for.

I did sort of come to a point where I thought I was being a little too picky, and trying too hard to be clever. I thought maybe I should just pick something a little simpler, like “Angelique’s Accessories Store,” or some crap. Or “Jaunty-Crap.” I actually shouted that one out in the car while out grocery shopping with my husband. Just didn’t have quite the right ring either. In an effort to help, he suggested “Blue Sea Boutique.” I asked him what about handbags, jewelry and hats made him think of the sea, he had no idea. Then he tried “Crescent Moon Boutique,” To which I had to ask, “are you just looking at stuff you see and suggesting I name my store that?” It was clear that his heart was in the right place, but the perfect name for my boutique was not going to come from him.

Then FINALLY inspiration. The word shameless fell into my mind from somewhere. Shameless Glamour.

I mulled about it for a few minutes, I wrote it down, sketched it with my logo. The more I thought about the meanings and implications, the more I fell in love with it. Shameless Glamour is no fear, no excuses, balls out, this is me! I love glitz and I’m not afraid to admit it! Yes I WILL wear rhinestones to the beach. I’d wear rhinestones on frikin safari, you got a problem with THAT . . . elephant?

I thought for a moment, while writing this blog entry, about trying to play the whole painful public struggle I endured wrestling with the name off as an intentional publicity stunt. I could claim that I had Shameless Glamour all along, I was just building anticipation, roping people in. But I realized people would likely see right through me, I'm not that good of a liar. The truth is I struggled, the name had to find me, and I'm thankful it finally did.

I'm spending my time off work this week completely re-branding and re-merchandising my Etsy store to match the look and feel of the Shameless Glamour website now taking shape. Ditching the navy blue satin motif I started with, (and in retrospect now wonder what the hell I was thinking) I'm painting all my manikins and display pieces white, then covering them with iridescent glitter, and using white chiffon as a backdrop. All my photos are going to have this shimmery white ethereal magical princess wonderland thing going on, shamelessly.

Next up, I'll be buying and stockpiling inventory for a little bit until I have enough to really launch the website with a good amount of merchandise for sale. will aim to be THE one-stop-shop for all pageant/drag show/ burlesque performance accessory needs: carrying flashy costume jewelry, hats and hairpieces, tiaras, gloves, hosiery, evening bags, eyelashes, butt glue, and of course provide a venue to highlight my own “originals” line.

Shameless Glamour. Make no excuses for fabulousness. BAM! KAPOW! That’s what I’m talking about! And it doesn't make you think of poop.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I don't wanna brag, but I'm pretty awesome

I haven't sold anything as of yet, but I know that sales are coming to Boutique Angelique. (I'm not 100% settled on that name yet, some guy in Utah bought the .com domain like eight years ago and although there's still no website attached to it, I'm not sure I want to go through the hassle of trying to buy it from him.) Anyway, as I was saying, I know that huge success, trade shows, red carpets and possibly my own reality tv show are coming. I feel it every time I look at the mounting inventory that I'm spending a ton of my own money creating without so much as one sale yet to cover the costs of the materials.

I was struck by inspiration once again this weekend after finishing up the mini Marie Antoinette crowns that my nieces are getting for Christmas, I created what I'm sure must be the worlds first top hat crown. Top hat tiara? Rhinestone top hat. Mini burlesque top hat made out of frikin rhinestones. I'm not fishing for compliments or anything, but tell me that isn't the most frikin ingenious and fabulous thing you've EVER HEARD OF! I know that people are going to want to buy these. If I hadn't just made it, I would want to buy it. I would spend a considerable amount of money for something so awesome.

So I am in a very exciting place right now. I have some re-photographing to do to improve how my item's photos tie in with an overall theme and feel to my Etsy store, and eventually my boutique website. I will have new inventory to list soon, and once I feel I've got the theme pulled together and a good amount of stuff listed, I will have some serious networking/advertising to do. There will be Girl Power Hours and other women's networking functions to attend, there will be pageants, drag shows, and burlesque schools at which to showcase my wares to a targeted audience. There will be tweeting.

I'm so excited right now, I'm so encouraged and uplifted. I had to blog about this feeling because I know that as any successful business owner will tell you, there will be darker times. Somewhere between today and the days to come of red carpets and reality tv shows, there will likely be times when I struggle to keep my head above water. There will likely be times when I think about giving up. I want this blog entry on record so that I can go back and remind myself of how much fun I had in the beginning, and how happy it made me to work toward making it big doing something I love.