It took years of work and dedication by the owner of Glam Box Boutique to fulfill her latest goal: The shop will soon open to the hustle and bustle of downtown Flint.
The opportunity is not something Deria Brown takes lightly. She knows customer satisfaction and research are essential to her success, and she has studied the downtown market.
“You have to match the customer’s needs with the products,” she says.
Glam Box specializes in clothing, accessories, shoes, vintage home goods, all-natural soaps and body care products. The new boutique will open in late March at the former Perry Drugs building site.
Brown’s approach to service and business expansion might sound like pretty standard fare, but she knows the challenges of owning a small company. She has two other Glam Box shops in the greater Flint area, and as seen one location close. Each experience taught her the lessons she needed to advance.
Brown does research before and after opening new Glam Box sites to be sure each shop is best suited for the patrons in each area. As a result, her stores are constantly changing and adapting to create the most successful versions of themselves.
“I believe the future of retail is small businesses,” says Brown.
A memorable, personal shopping experience, like Glam Box aims to provide, is something big-box stores seldom deliver, explaining why small businesses are on the rise, she adds. Brown knows the personal connection smaller stores offer is a huge part of that success, and she sees similar possibility in downtown Flint.
The many festivals and events held in the heart of the city offer plenty of reasons potential customers could walk by the new boutique, Brown says. She has also reached out to other local businesses to see if they can work together and create mutually beneficial relationships.
Her outreach hasn’t been one-sided. The downtown community has also embraced Brown, with both the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce and Metro Community Development offering support. As a professional and friendly gesture, Brown was given a book filled with more than a decade’s worth of information about almost everything a company owner could need to know.
Using her experience, combined with such resources, Brown says she’s prepared to hit the ground running when the new store opens. She is prepared to make necessary adjustments, once the new Glam Box goes into operation, but she’s eager to expand her brand.
Brown was born and raised on Flint’s north side, and studied at Flint Community Schools and Mott Community College. One of the things she is most proud is bringing jobs to her hometown. She hires two staff to operate each store and says employing those in need of work gives her great satisfaction. This is related to why she likes operating a small business – it keeps more money in the community. When Brown hires staff she not only helps their households or their families, but she contributes to making Flint more economically healthy.
As a product of the city, she is more than happy to do her part in adding to its success.
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