Shalay Pierce owns two businesses; the first is her makeup artist brand – Sade Monroe Makeup, the second is her clothing line – Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique. Shalay has always had a passion for beauty and the arts. Her work has been featured at fashion shows and in numerous photo shoots.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I have always had a passion for beauty and fashion. I have been a makeup artist for two years now and I felt that fashion was the next best move for my brand. Even when I was the makeup artist at photo shoots, I would always end up playing stylist as well – it just felt right.
Tell us about your business.
Shay’s Boss Babes Boutique is an online women’s clothing store that has signature pieces that are meant for you to be able to dress up for work but also dress down for happy hour. Boss women are always on the move and don’t always have time to change, so we need transitional pieces. We also have some clothing pieces that are fun for after hours.
Where is your business based?
My business is based online, but I do pop up shops around the Chicagoland area.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first few steps I took to get my business up and running was talking to other women entrepreneurs, getting advice on what I should focus on and what they wish they knew when starting out. After that, I focused on my branding and marketing, such as my logo, to build hype and get people interested in what was to come.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The most effective way of raising awareness for my business has been networking and social media.
- Social media reaches a lot of people and the more shares you get – the larger audience you reach!
- Most of the people that have helped me along the way were people that I’ve networked with!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge has been consistency. I have a lot of ideas for my boutique, but limited time due to working a full time job, but my goal is to eventually be fully self-employed so that I can give all my time and energy to my businesses.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I am overcoming these challenges by having no days off. Any minute or day that I am not at work or working, I am putting into my business to keep the ball running. I am also taking advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
When you have a passion for something, THAT is your motivation. When times get difficult, I am still motivated because this is something that I love to do.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I distinguish myself from competitors by being hands on with my business and thinking outside the box marketing wise. I also move in silence so no one ever knows my next move when it comes to my business. I came up with everything for my business from the ground up from logo, clothing, vision,etc.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I have received recently is to stay consistent. People forget easily – so don’t let them.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The advice I would give to other entrepreneurs is to take your time and do not launch until you feel confident that you have everything lined up because people are watching.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My favorite business resource is actually the library. The library has many seminars for people that want to open their own business where they give you ideas and steps you would’ve never thought of. I went to many of those seminars when I was building the foundation for my business.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“#GirlBoss” by Sophia Amoruso.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning about ways to expand my business and the next direction to take.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months include more marketing, more photoshoots, expanding my business, and investment in partnerships. I am also adding the long awaited plus size clothing section to my website so I’m excited about that.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.