Meet the January Business Owner of the Month: Michelle Torres of Fab Finds by Mimi
Each month, we’ll be featuring a different Supplied customer who’s totally killing it in her business. With our incredible community of girl bosses, we have a lot of business owners to choose from! If you’d like to be considered for future months, send an email to [email protected] and tell us a bit about your business, your goals, and your success story so far. If you’re selected as the business owner of the month, you’ll be featured on our site! We’d love to hear from you :)
Sometimes, you just wake up and know it’s time to change your life.
Or at least, that’s what happened to Michelle. As far as anyone else could tell, her life was going smoothly – she loved her full-time job, she had been hustling as a Paparazzi consultant on the side for two years, she was living a fabulous life in NYC.
But one day, she woke up and realized she wasn’t happy. Every time she had to go live for her direct selling business, she dreaded it. Though Michelle always knew she wanted to start her own business since she was a little girl, she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more out there. Something more creative, more freeing, more authentically her.
She decided to quit her direct selling business cold turkey… and start her very own online boutique, where she could have even more control over what she sold and how she sold it.
The next day, on her way home from the Manhattan architectural firm she worked at, she took $500, stopped at a few wholesalers, and never looked back.
That was last September. She’s been sourcing unique inventory and selling on Facebook live with her husband ever since – and business has been better than ever.
We had the privilege of chatting with Michelle all about her business, her goals, and her advice for fellow boutique owners. Take notes, ladies!
Why did you start your boutique?
Deep down, I think I’ve always known I wanted to start a business. Even when I was just a little girl, people always came to me with problems they had and I’d work tirelessly to solve them. The only hard thing was figuring out what sort of business I’d start and when. In the end, I started Fab Finds by Mimi because I wanted the creative freedom of sourcing inventory, selling items, and finding customers all on my own. (And it was the best decision!)
Who’s your ideal customer?
Women who know the value of a dollar! I pride myself on offering items that are both fabulous and affordable. As a mother, I can relate to bargain hunters who are looking for good prices for themselves and their children.
That being said, my pricing is very strategic to make sure I’m still able to make a profit and my customers are able to walk away with a great deal. For example, I have these headbands for little girls that I sell for just $1 each – it allows me to advertise that the items I’m selling on my Facebook Live start at just $1, and it causes plenty of moms to keep coming back for more. (And they always buy something else while they’re there!)
What do you sell in your boutique?
Before I ever started Fab Finds by Mimi, I made a list of items I personally would love to see sold on Facebook Live. To this day, I still spend a lot of time looking for unique items that people might not expect to find in a boutique like mine. I sell headbands, scarves, pens, keychains, wallets, kids’ stuff, jewelry, and more.
I love Supplied’s wide selection of items for that reason! One customer favorite is the Queen necklace – we talk a lot about female empowerment and feeling great about yourself in my Facebook group, so when I showed this necklace everyone went bonkers for it. It makes you feel like the queen you are!
What’s been your greatest accomplishment so far?
I think my biggest accomplishment so far has been how quickly I started my business. I just woke up one day and decided I wanted to open this new online business, and two weeks later there I was going Live on Facebook to sell my products. I made $400 in an hour!
How do your customers typically find you?
On Facebook! Social media has been great for me. I am constantly promoting on my Facebook VIP group and I love engaging with my customers. I go live on Facebook every Saturday and I always sell most of my products. We laugh, crack jokes, do trivia, and just make it fun.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your business?
I’d say it was learning how to navigate the business side of things. There were a lot of aspects of starting my own online boutique that I never really expected, like having to figure out how Quickbooks worked, signing up with the state to pay retail taxes, and getting liability insurance. But I powered through it right from the beginning because I knew I wanted to do things right!
What’s a goal you have for your business?
I love how my business has been growing on social media, but my biggest goal this year is to promote my website and grow my business there. Long-term, I would love to still be able to go live and connect with my customers, but I would also love to wake up every day and have several website orders.
What advice would you give to someone else thinking of starting a boutique?
Do something you are passionate about! I love the items I sell and I use most of them myself, which makes them so much easier to sell.
Also, remember that you’re not just selling your products – you’re also selling you. Stay customer service oriented so your customers want to come back.
Finally, just stay consistent! There will be good days and bad days, but the key is to never give up.
Follow along on Michelle’s business journey!
Interested in networking with fellow boutique owners like Michelle? Join the Supplied Family Facebook group to get motivated by other girl bosses & Supplied customers!