“Never give up on your dreams. It won't always be easy, but it will be worth it,” says LIM College Alum Jenna Davis, the 26-year old owner of That Little Black Dress boutique.
That Little Black Dress, LLC was first founded as an e-commerce boutique in September 2013 by Jenna’s mom, Patricia Davis. Two months later, Patricia found the perfect location for a retail store in Montclair, NJ, close to her hometown of Nutley. Soon after they opened the Montclair location, Jenna acquired the business.
Jenna graduated from LIM College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Fashion Merchandising. Jenna gained an immense amount of knowledge while attending LIM. She used her resources and found herself gaining hands-on experience by working backstage at New York Fashion Week and interning with Patricia Field, who is the stylist of the popular show Sex and the City.
The hands-on experience helped Jenna pave her way into running a successful business, but while she studied as LIM, she also concentrated on specific courses such as Buying, Management, Merchandising Planning and Control, Visual Merchandising, CAD, and Excel in order to help her achieve her goal.
Since Jenna has internship experience and has worked in the industry, I asked her what advice she had for students.
“Ask many questions and do as many hands-on jobs like overseeing your supervisor as much as possible. I found that was the best way for me to learn,“ she says.
Jenna learned and exceled in the industry by doing just that. Although Shop That Little Black Dress is a success, like any new business, there were some hurdles. Learning to budget money and cash flow was hard in the beginning stages, and so was getting enough foot traffic in the store. But with word of mouth and promotion on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, foot traffic was no longer a problem.
Jenna takes on all aspects of running Shop That Little Black Dress. She fulfills the buying and planning for both the e-commerce boutique and the Montclair location. Jenna’s buying process includes attending multiple trade shows. The concept of the store and the merchandise reflects Jenna’s style completely. The atmosphere of the store and the product itself is “romantically edgy.”
Shopping at That Little Black Dress, whether it be online or in-store, is always a great experience. Jenna and her three associates have great customer service and are always willing to help the clients as much as possible. The boutique is always filled with the most trendy merchandise and accessories. If you are unsure of what you are particularly looking for, Jenna offers free personal styling for any of her clients. You could also host a private party at That Little Black Dress with a perk of receiving 10% in merchandise credit.
“Graduating from LIM College and becoming the owner of That Little Black Dress is definitely my proudest moment by far,” Jenna says. She is a direct representation of how LIM College prepares its students to take on the fashion industry.
LIM College alum Jenna Davis '14, left, is the owner of That Little Black Dress in Montclair, NJ (Photo: courtesy)