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Hidden Gems: Meet Danielle Davidson of Vanilla Bella Boutique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Davidson.

Hi Danielle, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m a college student, I’m currently 20 years old and, and I started my brand Vanilla Bella Boutique LLC back in February of 2021 at 19 years old. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and when I was little, I would sell lemonade, cookies and bracelets. During the pandemic, I saw a video on TikTok that inspired me to start my business. I had never had a legal business before, so I researched for a few months and taught myself the ins and outs of the fashion business industry through YouTube. Before I launched my business through my website, I knew that I had to create hype. I started out with eight styles of tops and two dresses in about six pieces each and posted content of these clothing items every day on TikTok and Instagram. Looking back, it is crazy because now we get up to 100 pieces of inventory per style. I stayed extremely consistent for the month before I launched and before my site was published, I already had over tens of thousands of followers across social media platforms and 8,000 email subscribers. The day I launched my business February 20th, 2021, my business completely sold out in an hour. Fast forward to today I have been able to grow my business into a 6-figure company, grow our social media following to 775,00+ followers across platforms, move my business into a warehouse to keep up with demand and hire an employee.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Even though the success of my business has come very rapidly, it has not been easy. There have been many setbacks including faulty or incorrect styles of inventory being shipped out, shipping problems, packaging problems and not being able to keep up with the demand. We still have the issue of the majority of our website being sold out, but we are trying to work on it as hard as we can. I remember when I had barely started, I had ordered $1000 worth of a specific dress that was out of stock on our site from a vendor. I had already ordered these before, so I shipped the dresses out without checking them. A few days later I realized that the vendor gave me the wrong dress and had to reach out to every customer I had sent it to. The growing pains are very real, and it is hard for me to run a business, be a full-time college student and balance my social life. There have been times where there is 100+ orders to pack and I also have lots of homework so that can be very stressful. Before I hired my employee it was just me doing everything by myself with the help of my amazing mom and sometimes, I would stay up until 3AM working on my business.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Vanilla Bella Boutique is an e-commerce women’s clothing brand that sells clothes internationally. We are best known for our cute, trendy and high-quality dresses and tops that are sold at an affordable price. We are set apart from others since we have incredible branding, and our customers feel like they are our friends. We constantly engage with our customers on social media and since we are online anyone in the world can purchase from us. We have packaging that makes customers feel special. We offer fast shipping and great customer service.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
I would like to share that even though starting a business seems intimidating it is totally worth it. At only 19 years old I invested $1500 which I turned into over half a million dollars. I have spent zero dollars on advertising and only use organic social media marketing. I have a YouTube channel Danielle Davidson where I talk about how I started my business.

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