Growing up with a mother who was a seamstress, you would have thought that Sherrie Richardson would have taken some interest in sewing. However, Sherrie never had an interest. In fact, she doesn’t sew at all. But, as long as she could remember, her strength was styling and adding her unique finishing touches. There is where she shines!
Unlike most entrepreneurs, Sherrie did not grow up having a desire to own a business. It wasn’t until her divorce that she began thinking about pursuing something that was truly meaningful to her. In 2008, she mentioned her desire to have a children’s boutique to someone and they encouraged her to pursue it. That night, she began making her move. Her children were her inspiration for the type of boutique she wanted. Sherrie liked the idea of giving her children different style and look when she dressed them. So, she wanted to offer other children and parents the same opportunity. Sherrie started researching several malls. She wasn’t sure if she wanted a store or a kiosk inside of the mall. She was even sure if she could afford it. Being inside of a mall she thought it would be very expensive. It wasn’t an easy process, but soon she found the best location. She was able to land a great deal at Georgetown Park Mall. Normally, this location would have been too much for her budget, but at the time Georgetown did not have a children’s apparel store, so the need was there. They really wanted her store to be present, so they offered her a deal that was within your budget. This was a win-win situation for both the mall and Sherrie. So, she decided to move forward with a store inside of Georgetown Park Mall and Ajovi’s Boutique was born.
Sherrie also began researching various fashions and designs, but felt she wasn’t getting far enough. So, she decided to take a bold move and visit two showrooms in New York. She placed a few orders and began walking around in Manhattan where she stumbled across a wholesale shopping district. “It was like heaven’s sent. Everything just fell into place during my visit.” She placed a few more orders and then had to wait one month before her merchandise would arrive. This was perfect timing because she was aiming to move into her store in about one month. Needless to say, she was opened for business in about 30 days. “It’s been a learning experience every step of the way, but you should never give up.”
In 2010, she closed the store due to Georgetown Park Mall long term closing for renovations. She eventually relaunched her boutique online. This strategy has given her the opportunity to save money and invest more into her business. “It’s less overhead.”
Now, you could view all of her children’s fashions on Face Book and Instagram. She also displays and sells all of the clothing on several apps.
Ajovi’s clothing is very unique. It’s not the everyday look. When you see their designs it’s an “out of the box look.” Adults love the quality of the clothes. Kids love it because they are colorful and comfortable. Their mission is to give children selections of high quality, chic and unique fashion that is age appropriate. Their signature is a combination of all natural fabrics with a touch of creativity and they sprinkle a smile on top!
Sherrie’s long term goal is to have her own clothing line. She has big plans for the future. “Once you’ve experience being an entrepreneur the bug never goes away!” Stay tuned!
Follow Ajovi’s Boutique on Instagram: @ajovisboutique and Face book: Ajovi’s Boutique.
Her 5 step plan to start a boutique:
- Research! Learn everything about your target market and competitors.
- Find a location that fit your price point and apparel.
- More research! Find out the average income near your location to determine your price point.
- Determine your style.
- Learn as you go! As you continue your journey, you should monitor your point of sale. Make sure you made the best decisions on your style of clothes that you offer and the best price. If you learn that there need to be a change, make a smooth transition