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Meet Candance Simmons of All That & MORE Boutique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candance Simmons.

Candance, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I loved watching my Mother; Delores Easley twirl as she exited any dressing room. She was a registered nurse, with a husband and five children (Curtis Pilgram Sr. Alvin, Curtis Jr., Debbie, Bonita, and  myself). Shopping was my mom’s happy place. She made sure we knew the importance of our appearance. She always said when you leave the house, always leave “Dressed Like You’re Worth Saving”. My mother passed away when I was 14 years old, but she poured so much into to me in those 14 years.

I graduated  high school with my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license. The very next day I went to work at American Funds Distribution. After 25 years of service, in corporate America my position as an Assistant Vice President with American Funds Service Company was eliminated. At the time it happened, I felt down, until I spoke with my dad, who said, “Never  let a job define you…It’s their loss not yours”. I then asked God and my husband, Cornell Simmons, if I could do what I love to do, shopping! I felt like I could really help women improve their confidence and change their mood. “It’s not shopping , it’s retail therapy”.

I gave my testimony at Arise Christian Center, and my former business partner and I came up with a plan to open a boutique in Culver City. I asked God if it was his will, and six weeks later we opened the doors to our boutique.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My background was in nursing and customer service. I did not have any retail, marketing, or buyer’s experience. I just stepped out on faith, passion, and my shopper’s experience. I have held a Nordstrom credit card since 1987. Nordstrom  in the 1980’s – 2000 gave the ultimate shopping experiences. I set out to give our shoppers the same Nordstrom experience, in a Beverly Hills atmosphere, with affordable prices.

I made lots of mistakes along the way as I became a buyer, stylist, marketer, manager, and boutique owner. I had to learn about my target audience, how to budget, and create amazing experiences without giving away the store. In the beginning, I over bought things I loved! This taught me the importance of budgeting for a season and reordering only when necessary. We do our best to only buy quality and to avoid fashion trends. We have learned to stay the course of “comfy, casual, classy with an edge” and select timeless pieces our clients have come to love.

We have developed a community of Morenistas, who shop for their lifestyle and body type, not the trends. All That & MORE boutique has become the answer to most of their fashion needs.

Dissolving a failed partnership was my most difficult business experience. However, with the help of the Small Business Development Center, Business Advisor Harold C. Hart-Nibbrig and Director, Constance Anderson, we were advised on how to dissolve the partnership while maintaining the store lease and vendor relationships. They helped  us develop a business plan, improve operations, and turn our struggling business into a success. The experience taught me the importance of asking for help, the value of having a team, self worth, and standing on God’s word.

We are still building and learning about the forever changing world of fashion and retail. However, I love my community and the experience we get to create everyday as we style our Morenista’s for the special times in their lives.

Please tell us about All That & MORE boutique.
All That & MORE boutique offers a celebrity styling experience for the everyday women. We style sizes 00 to 22. We carry men’s and women’s accessories. Our handbags are made with the best quality leather and fabrics by local and international Canadian and Italian Designers.

All That & MORE boutique has given over 25 small business owners, service provides, jewelry, handbag designer, soaps and vegan free nail polish makers an opportunity to showcase their products and services. We support small businesses like Wraps by Renzel, The Silver Feather, Scentsational Soaps, Shai’s World and various entrepreneurs in our community.

We truly listen to our Morenista community and seek to provide various outlets for our clients to experience MORE. Several of our clients shared: “Candance, I buy all of these amazing outfits and have nowhere to go”. We started taking groups of  Morenistas out to support live theater in Los Angeles. It’s like watching a fashion show as we attend various stage plays, written and directed by Don B Welch.

Our consignment room was created to allow our clients to update their wardrobes by selling and consigning, clothing, handbags, and shoes that no longer fit their lifestyle. These items are consigned in good condition and in season for our Morenistas. We take in items by appointment on Saturday. We have consigned authentic Chanel, Gucci, St. John, Louis Vuitton, and other high-end designers. We consign timeless and unique pieces. Once the items are sold, our clients receive a boutique credit or payment. We love creating “Win Win” opportunities and partnerships.   

We also offer a very unique payment method that has saved our Morenistas time and money during their shopping experience. Our layaway option has been replaced with Sunbit. Sunbit allows Morenistas to make a down payment on their purchase, leave with their items, and pay for them over 3, 6, or 12 months. Our clients love this new flexible payment method. Sunbit has been one of our best partnerships; we have processed over three hundred transactions since we began offering this option two years ago.   

We offer complimentary styling during every shopping visit to our boutique. Our associates are trained to cater to our Morenistas body types and fashion needs.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I loved watching my mom enter a room. I love when she came to school and entered the classroom. When she came in the room all the kids would say “Wow! Whose Mom is that…?” I would smile really big and say “That’s my Mom”. She always left the house dressed like she was worth saving.

Pricing:

  • Every new client receives 10% Off their 1st Purchase
  • Our soaps and spa product range $5 – $25
  • Clothing and accessories range for $20 = $250

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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