Diamond Essence Couture Boutique
On Sunday, April 12th, YP Empire celebrated the launch of Diamond Essence Couture Boutique with owner, Cheryl R. Shuman a former design engineer with General Motors. After 15 years of hard work at GM, Ms. Shuman fell ill. Though she wasn’t able to return to work and forced to retire early, she did not decide to give up and give in to her new lifestyle. Instead, she embraced her new lifestyle and incorporated her love of fashion. With the support of her husband, friends and family, Ms. Shuman decided to step out on faith and start her own business.
YP: How did the idea of the boutique manifest?
Cheryl: My nieces Amber (online boutique owner) & La’Sha are my inspiration for both clothes and jewelry. An idea came to mind to start a family couture line. I couldn’t just pick one fashion item. So I decided to do the whole store.
While sharing her story of her inspiration, Ms. Shuman just glowed. She’s very proud of her nieces and made it quite clear they are a great inspiration to her and what she is doing. As for creating an entire store, that she did! DEC Boutique sells high quality clothing and accessories. They are a one stop shop.
YP: What makes your boutique different from other online boutiques?
Cheryl: What makes my boutique unique is that I cater to all sizes. I don’t order that many items in size small. My boutique sizes start from Med- 2X. I cater to the true size of a woman. My mission is to give life encouragement and make women feel beautiful. No one is excluded. I also allow my customers to call and place orders. If there’s a item you want right away just leave a voicemail with the style number. I like to offer convenience.
Ms. Shuman is all about inclusion. Even if you are a size small or a size she may not carry, she will do her best to get you the item for you. “If you don’t see it on my website, call me. You can even leave a message and I will do what I can to get it for you,” she adds.
YP: What advice can you give an aspiring boutique owner?
Cheryl: Find a Public Relations (representative) to market and promote your company. You must network and get professional connections. Invest in yourself.
Ms. Shuman attributes a lot of her successes to her Marketing Consultant, Stephanie Watson. “Let your help be the expert,” she exclaimed. “They are good in their field and I am good in mine. It costs, but it is worth it.” She also gives credit to her sister Joyce for helping her step outside of her comfort zone and help her meet people and network and establish great business connections. She says the best advice she’s received since pursuing her own business came from a good friend. “It’s not a race. Don’t rush and enjoy the journey. Most of all do what it is you want to do, when you are ready!” she proclaimed.
YP: Where do you see your brand in the future?
Cheryl: Diamond Essence Online Boutique will be a quality boutique with quality clothing.
Ms. Shuman has great plans for the future of her business. As a woman of fashion, she is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of her brand. She is thinking of innovative ways to showcase her fashion and reach all women. “I want to do a magazine for the store,” she admits. While many boutiques have seasonal look books, Ms. Shuman plans to have an actual magazine. This is just one example of her innovative and cutting edge thinking.
As a woman of faith, Ms. Shuman is the empathetic boutique owner. She cares for your well-being which leads to her passion for her clothing. She vows to dress women in beautiful, quality clothing. She aspires to bring the best inside of a woman to the forefront. While she’s faced many obstacles of her own, she never gives up. Her husband jokes, “Just when I think we are close to sitting back and relaxing, Cheryl comes with another idea.” Not only an entrepreneur, she’s a student. She has decided to procure another degree in sociology at the University of Michigan- Flint. She’s a woman on a mission and nothing is stopping her or standing in her way!
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Written by Brittany Moore