Any woman who is a true Sex and The City fan has jealously lusted for Carrie Bradshaw’s amazingly fashionable, eclectic wardrobe (we all got to know and love Mahnolo Blahniks through Carrie’s shoe obsession). But many of the items that Carrie rocked with such stylish flair were surprisingly found in vintage clothing boutiques. If you’re like me, you don’t have the first clue where to start when looking for classic items (I should really be ashamed of this living in New York City) but now it looks like maybe this “vintage gem” search doesn’t have to be so hard with virtual clothing resale store Imperfect Concepts Boutique.
Created by Southern University alum Tasha Robinson, Imperfect Concepts Boutique is an original resale boutique that offers affordable prices for vintage and modern fashion items. Unlike a consignment shop, the items are not provided by patrons in exchange for payment, but instead are carefully discovered and chosen by the Imperfect Concepts team from a variety of sources like vintage stores, thrift shops and estate sales. Robinson decided on the name “Imperfect Concepts” to pay homage to each item’s unique story. Never been interested in vintage fashion? Robinson tells her clients that there are a number of reasons why people should shop in vintage and consignment shops, including being able to find quality designer clothes for great prices, as well as developing your own personal style.
Armed with a degree in public relations and communications, Tasha was always very fashion conscious and displayed an uncanny sense of style. ICB was born out of her own frustration with not being able to receive fair value for her own exclusive pieces, as well as her need to do some major closet clean-up. “I was tired of not getting the full value of my clothes when I took them to consignment shops,” says Robinson. “When the store first started it featured a plethora of my clothing.”
Even with an ingenious idea like Imperfect Concepts Boutique, there are always obstacles and hurdles that come with being a entrepreneur. When Tasha first started her business she had to come to terms with the fact that she was not experienced in being a business owner, and had much to learn about how to handle the operation of a successful company. “When I started ICB there were thousands of resale stores, but not many that were not a part of Ebay. Therefore I had to learn everything on my own,” Tasha recalls. “I overcame this by researching and hiring people who knew what I couldn’t comprehend.”
Today Imperfect Concepts Boutique has over 3,000 monthly readers and a social media presence, most notably on the fashion industry’s virtual bulletin board Pinterest. Tasha has been doing so well that she is able to support herself solely as an entrepreneur, a feat that takes many business owners years to reach. Tasha manages her success by keeping organized objectives. “I have weekly and monthly sales goals that I adhere to,” explains Robinson. “The numbers are checked every quarter to make sure [they] are aligned with the yearly goals.”
Tasha’s advice for those wanting to start their own business? “Research the industry you want to enter intensely. Make sure you are bringing something to the table in your niche market. Wholeheartedly believe in yourself, company, product or service before you ask someone else to. Finally follow your passion. Money isn’t everything if you’re unhappy.” Now that’s a perfect concept.