Faded Raven Teen Boutique in Clawson
Oakland County teenager Inés Soulliere owns and operates this clothing and accessories store right in her hometown.
Welcome to Faded Raven – Clawson's new destination for hip women's wear. And say hello to Inés Soulliere. She owns the joint, and happens to turn 17 in March. We chatted up Inés, who lives in Clawson with her mom, about her full-time store.
Stuff in stock
Dresses, tops, bottoms, purses and statement jewelry are highlights. "My target audience is late teens to early 30s," says Inés. Her brands run from Jealous Tomato to The Vintage Shop, in S-M-L sizes. "Trendy, unique, versatile," she adds. "You can mix and match."
How does a teen own a store?
You might say it's relative. Her dad and extended family run local landscaping companies. "My parents pushed me to open a small business" – and Inés was passionate about fashion. "They've been really supportive," she adds; dad helped with a business plan, while mom assisted in signing the lease, picking out clothes from wholesalers and credit card processing. Inés cut her teeth (and got the startup cash from) working at a Birmingham boutique and as a freelance makeup artist.
Her high school career
She's attending online and is aiming to graduate this summer.
"A little bit bolder. I like brighter colors. I like prints. I definitely like a little shimmer – whether it's foils or has some stones, studs – more edgy." She likes TV personalities Kim Kardashian and Lilly Ghalichi, the blog AllThingsSlim – and counts eBay, Guess, Forever 21 and thrift shop denim among her go-tos.
All accessories are under $20, and clothing is $50, tops. "It's a middle-class area," she explains, as well as the way she likes to shop – and way to prove the "expensive boutique" model wrong.
Store name choice
"Faded Raven" was the result of word play – and strategy. "I wanted something completely unique," Inés says. There's no "shop" or boutique" in her URL. (Incidentally, you can find 80 percent of her store's stock on her website.)
The store, which opened Nov. 7, 2013, keeps her focused. "You're here like 70 hours a week. There's no going out all the time." Foot traffic is solid, and "a place to store clothes is always great!"
Advice for young aspiring entrepreneurs
"Try and gain some experience. You don't need to start off huge. Start off small and grow. Come up with a good plan." Choose something you love, too.
Fashion predictions for spring
Lighter pastel colors, chiffon, whimsical prints – plus lots of statement necklaces and quilted purses. And her pick for busy moms: "Maxi skirts!"