With Two NYC Stores Open For Business, Brittanie Yvonne Built EHVonnae From The Ground Up

January 16, 2014  |  

After a layoff left her two years removed from the corporate world and unable to find a new job, Brittanie Yvonne took matters into her own hands. “I didn’t just want a job. I wanted something that was going to further my experience and help me gain the knowledge to eventually have my own business,” Yvonne tells MN Business.

All of this, she thought, was a sign that if she couldn’t find a job that would make her happy, she shouldn’t be working for someone else. “It was time for me to start my own business. So I did,” Yvonne said.

Capitalizing on a strong sense of style, she started EHVonnae, a New York-based  brick-and-mortar boutique with a dual online component. Yvonne opened up her first location in trendy DUMBO, Brooklyn. And she did it without having a large amount of financial backing.

Her parents’ first reaction to the news that she wasn’t going to be working for anyone else any longer was, “Well what are you going to do? You have to do something.” To prove just how serious she was, she started with lots of research, reading about how to start a business from the ground up. She then wrote a carefully articulated business plan describing how she was going to make being her own boss work. “From then on my parents understood, and started to support the start of my business,” Yvonne said.

She used her unemployment money, help from family, and counsel from a business advisor to get all of her paperwork together. With the groundwork laid, she took the next big step of finding the perfect home for this business venture. “Having a budget was essential,” Yvonne said.  She found a location within her budget and went for it. “It was the scariest thing to do, but no risk, no reward. It was the best decision I could have made,” Yvonne said.

She reached out to a friend who worked in real estate for help. “I was surprised to find out that there are some very affordable rental spaces in New York City due to the state of the economy and the unfortunate closings of businesses,” she said. “Some are even month-to-month situations. It all comes down to research and negotiation. Anything is possible.” Not only did Yvonne open shop in one of the most desirable addresses in Brooklyn. Her first shop opened in 2010.

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