Today, We had a Zoom Interview with Entrepreneur Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista.
She used to be a behind the scenes type of woman, but she grown to becoming an entrepreneur, where she has become more expressive and has learned a lot being in the field. Marie listens to what her customers want to produce, and is relative to her audience. “They are my bosses for this week because that’s the community that we’ve built.” said Marie Denee.
Take a look at our interview below and a glimpse of her business at www.thecurvyfashionista.com. Her Instagram is @thecurvyfashionista.
Questions and Answers
1. What drove or motivated you to start your own business?
Answer: It first started out as a boutique, which was supposed to be called “Marie Denee”, but then became The Curvy Fashionista, in wanting to help people.
2. When did you start your business?
Answer: In 2008, during the whole economy shifting. I started writing blogs, my blogs took off, and I started applying all of my resources to my blog. I had to have a "Come to Jesus" moment with myself, like girl, you can't be doing all of these different things right now, especially when you don't know what half of them are. So, I went and focused everything into The Curvy Fashionista, and from there I've been taking big leaps.
3. What steps do you take to get your brand heard out to the world?
Answer: Amping and ramping up my social. Being more consistent, posting more, sharing more, engaging more, etc.
4. What is your daily motivation to keep going? Because you know we all have our days where we are going through a tough time such as loss, grieve, etc. How do you push yourself to keep going?
Answer: Purpose. When you know your purpose, that's going to keep you grounded and motivated.
5. What future plans do you have for your business?
Answer: I’m one of those people who are “Never satisfied with where I'm at right now.” I would write down my future plans such as having a whole team with payroll, an office. For me, its just making sure I have the right foundation for that next level and understanding and realizing what that looks like for me.
6. What advice would you give to a person considering opening a business?
Answer: If you are scared, do it now. And there’s no such thing as perfect, or launching perfect. There will always be things that can be fixed, and worked on a long the way. It is also important to research. A lot of people are starting an Instagram business, but they forget that a whole world existed before Instagram. All of these resources and information existed before then, so it's important to know your industry. Know the industry that you are in, in order to effectively drive change. Also, it is important to always remember your “Why?”, Why you started and Why you're doing this. It’s you who’ve been given the vision, and not many people will understand it, and that's ok.
7. What steps are you taking to help others within the same field?
Answer: I work with bloggers, I help small business owners. For me, it's consulting and giving advice.
8. What are your greatest rewards of being in this business field?
Answer: I was 2017’s Reward 100, I got an award from Bobby, a UK based International Brand, for Biggest Cheerleader, The Full Figure Industry Award for Best female digital platform. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive rewards from all of these different places for what I’ve been doing.
9. Do you have any challenges?
Answer: I always have challenges. There’s always a challenge, where it’s what content to create, getting help, building a team, what goes into building a team, what roles do I really need, how do I upload this, or take care of this, etc.
10. How is it running a business? Especially during the pandemic?
Answer: A lot has changed. This pandemic has knocked down almost every plan that I had, every progress that I was making, all of that is gone. Now the things that I'm focused on and doing, those things are showing itself in different ways and there are different projects in the works, that I probably would have never had the time to focus on, or do, or think about without Corona.
11. What do you do daily for The Curvy Fashionista?
Answer: Fashion Blog daily, where we talk about Plus Size Fashion, Influencers, Trends, Celebrities. We are writing about new elections, new designers, etc. We talk about the Plus Size rights down to the resources available to us.
12. Do you ever think about owning your own boutique again?
Answer: Maybe in a different lifetime or life chapter.
13. Are you independent, or do you hire people to help you out?
Answer: It’s just me, but I do want to start identifying team members. I do have some independent contractors to help as needed, my goal is to turn them into employees.
14. Have you ever thought about opening up an office space?
Answer: Yes, I do, but you do have to think about affording rent each month, designing, having people come into the office, etc. But right now I'm focusing my energy on content, and showing up for my audience and community and how we can show up for them, as they show up for us.
15. When you first started out as an entrepreneur, did you plan ahead or did you just go and do it?
Answer: No, I didn't plan ahead. I was taking constant leaps, I didn’t want to keep assuming or wondering. It was, I don't know how to do this, but I’m going to figure it out and do my research in the process.
16. Do you ever think about holding events or conferences in a certain location?
Answer: I hold an Expo, every year, for the past 5 years, cruises, swimming events. We do different events, naturally because of the Corona, our upcoming events were postponed. We do take things offline and have a conversation around different things.
17. What do you think of the upcoming BLCKPRINT app and its overall concept?
Answer: It’s the matter of what’s going to separate you from what's out there already, or how to improve upon what's out there. It's going to be about building relationships, but you also have to think about what BLCKPRINT will look 5-10 years from now, without dollars being the limit, without social media being the limit, etc.