HBCU alum now designer sells out her latest collection in one hour after two failed businesses

Dollita Okine August 07, 2023
Shirah, an alumna of the prestigious HBCU Southern University in New Orleans, also owns and operates the oldest Black-owned boutique in St. John Parish, Louisiana. Photo Credit: Instagram, Shirah Ray

Shirah Ray, a seasoned fashion designer with over 20 years of experience and the CEO of David Lee’s Boutique, has accomplished an incredible feat as her most recent design, the Color Block Suit, sold out in less than an hour of going on sale, Black News reported.

Ray, an alumna of the prestigious HBCU, Southern University in New Orleans, owns and operates the oldest Black-owned boutique in St. John Parish, Louisiana. Though she has faced obstacles, such as a robbery that left a worker seriously injured, racial prejudice, and two store closings, she was determined to make it in her business journey. She persisted by maintaining her faith and receiving support from her community.

She said, “Every obstacle has been an opportunity in disguise. By embracing tough challenges and using them as stepping stones, you will turn adversity into an advantage and build a sustainable and more successful brand. We’ve had some failures, but we’ve never failed!”

She strategically switched David Lee’s Boutique to an all-online platform in order to keep up with the shifting market trends, which greatly benefited her. The entrepreneur also resolved to better herself in the fields of social media marketing, internet sales, and strategic brand development. Through this, Ray recognized her ability for fashion design. By embracing the digital era, she was able to reach a large, influential female audience who connected with the concept of female empowerment behind her creation, the Color Block Suit.

Her fashion line’s reputation for exclusivity, superiority, and power has continued to grow, she said. Ray prioritizes local manufacturing as a designer, and she has also been focused on selecting high-quality fabrics and paying close attention to design elements.

Her carefully chosen expertise has helped David Lee’s Boutique flourish, offering an unheard-of “lifetime guarantee” on all products and giving customers priceless clothing care advice, Black News said.

“I now realize relying solely on the store was only holding me back,” she shared. “I’m connecting with women all over the world. I’m leveraging my presence as a boutique owner, stylist, and fashion personality to expand into designing and manufacturing, all while investing in the marketing that ultimately helped build a strong brand presence.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 7, 2023


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