Today we’d like to introduce you to Carine Charles.
Hi Carine, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been into art whether it was painting, drawing, pottery making, music, dancing you name it! As I got older, I started to become more interested in fashion. In middle school and high school, I had the opportunity to take some basic fashion classes. After that, I focused more on my academics, but once I got to college I would create and customize a few pieces for the organizations I was apart of. Around that time, I started having the thought of starting a boutique but never had the confident to do so. One of my best friends, Pascale Deller, believed in me and bought me my first sewing machine. Once the pandemic started, I was temporarily laid off from my job and was home for a long period of time. In order to make some form of income, I learned how to make masks and began to sell them. The amount of support and orders I got was astronomical! That boosted my confident and figured what the heck let me start my boutique, and then birth “Beni Boutique”.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road at all, but over time I understood why. I would say one struggle would be creating a lot of products and no one buys them, which is kind of a blow to the ego. After reflecting, I realize two of the main reasons is 1. We’re in the middle of a pandemic people do not have the funds to purchase the product, 2. My products should be geared towards a particular audience. Another struggle that I have been working on personally is remaining consistency in my social media postings and interactions. The last struggle I believe many small businesses may come across is shipping. During the last year, USPS has delayed and lost many packages which reflects badly on the business because customers do not really care about that, they just want their packages. Nevertheless, if you’re starting a business from the ground up on your own expect their roadblocks along the way but NEVER let that discourage you.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Beni Boutique?
Beni Boutique was created to give its customers a custom one stop shop. From custom outfits, t-shirts, bags, cups, masks, alterations and more. What sets me apart, I would say the ability to make quality clothing that makes people feel good about themselves. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and ready to full-fledged take on any challenges people have for me. For the year of 2021, my first collection release will be sometime in late February. Which will be a series of comfy clothes to outfits you could wear at the next brunch. I just wanted to start the year with giving everyone the opportunity to see how Beni Boutique is coming.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Especially on social media follow accounts that are similar to what you’re trying to achieve. There are millions of makeup lines out there but each are different in their ways so don’t look at them as competitors in a sense that you can’t talk to them. Reach out introduce yourself, see what’s working for them. That’s exactly what has been working for me. I share these individuals work on my page as well. Eventually, they do the same for me building my following.
- Email: Beniboutique2020@gmail.com
- Instagram: @Beni_._Boutique