Monday, July 23, 2012

Interns Get to Know Our CEO

Last week our interns had the opportunity to have dinner with fab'rik CEO, Dana & ask her a few questions in lieu of our upcoming 10th anniversary! Here's what they asked...

What motivated you to leave the corporate world & start a boutique? Honestly? A bad breakup. We had been together for over 7 years but he moved to New York and we broke up. When things fell through I knew that I needed to make a big change in my life to get past it. 
I eventually went online to take a "what do you want to be when you grow up" personality test and it told me that I am always wanting to do lots of different things, I needed to own something, & to be my own boss. I had always had a passion for fashion growing up, so opening a boutique seemed like the natural direction to go in. On August 1st of that year I went to get fab'rik incorporated. On a personal note, I went to celebrate this with some girlfriends later that night.. and met my now, husband ;) A year later to the day, I opened fab'rik!

Do you remember your first sale/dollar? I had a huge opening night with all of my friends and family that was really successful. It was so great to have all of my loved ones in the store supporting my new venture! However, the first customer I had once the store actually opened wasn't until 6 days later! Her name was Michelle... I probably stalked her around the store until she bought something but I recall it being a one-shoulder KLD top. She chose to pay with a credit card.. but I wanted to have a "dollar" from my first 'real' sale. She looked at the contents in her wallet but only had 4 quarters.. so needless to say I didn't get my first "dollar" memento as a keepsake ;)
What has been the most rewarding/challenging part of your journey? While the 2 parameters of the question: rewarding & challenging, are very different, they coincide with one another. The most rewarding part has to be how proud I am of my team & that fab'rik is 'working' because of a culmination of brilliant people. We've all come together to realize the same dream for this company.
With this, comes a huge sense of responsibility. As CEO you want to make sure you keep people in the right groove & are moving in the right direction. fab'rik may not be for everyone long term, but I take personal responsibility for helping them realize their own personal dreams, both in our outside of our company. 

What part of owning this business did you least expect? The incessant need to market the brand. I had my business plan reviewed by a series of people who I really respect in the business world. I thought my plan was fool-proof. However, once you get up and running it's crazy how much you need to constantly be reinventing ways to market yourself! I'd say I spend 90% of my time thinking of new ways to promote fab'rik-- I even keep a notepad on my nightstand, just in case something brilliant comes to me while I'm sleeping!

What recommendations do you have for someone like us who may want to open our own boutique one day? Get in there-- Which is exactly what you're doing right now. Experience is key in this type of industry. Learn the ins & outs. Explore all kinds of retail venues & determine what you like & don't like about each one. Once you've discovered your personal do's & don'ts you'll soon realize your very own business plan!

What types of classes in college do you recommend us taking? Business management. You have to learn how to manage and inspire your team!

What's the best advice you've ever received? This may seem cliché but, it's definitely to not be afraid of following your dream.

Who is your style icon? I admire Gwyneth Paltrow's classic, sleek style but can't get enough of Gwen Stefani's effortless edge.  
What are your next biggest goals? We are about to hit the 10 year mark, which I'm pretty proud of-- that's like a hundred in boutique years! I definitely can't wait for fab'rik to be a household name. I look forward to taking my team on mission trips as an extension of our free fab'rik non-profit organization. On a personal note, my husband & I look forward to the arrival our adopted baby girl.. hopefully by the end of this year! When one goal is realized its time to start planning out the next!

Midtown intern: Ansley

Buckhead intern: Hannah

Atlantic Station intern: Kelly


J.Brown said...

adopting a baby girl!?!?! ahhh how exciting!

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