The Dress Boutique
131 Macheche Ave., Suite 105
By Akina Chargualaf
When Jane Quidachay first opened The Dress Boutique in 2014, her eyes were on fashion and creating a better future for her two little girls. Located in a 700-square-foot space in the Macheche Plaza, The Dress Boutique captures a good amount of traffic that passes through the shopping center. The boutique carries the latest women’s and little girls’ fashion finds including accessories, tops, bottoms, dresses and shoes. Prior to opening the boutique, Quidachay was a full-time nurse. She now balances her time between providing home care services and being a boutique owner.
What inspired you to start your business?
We lived in California for almost five years, and I love to shop. There are a lot of brick-and-mortars in California that I love to go to instead of to the big, huge malls, and that’s what inspired me. There was nothing like this on Guam, except the mall. We needed to do something better here. And, of course, my two girls are my motivation. They are the ones who keep me dedicated.
What items do you have in stock, and how often do you receive shipment?
We receive shipments every week on Wednesday, and we put [the merchandise] out on Thursday or Friday. Eighty percent of our items are highly exclusive; we only have one of each item. We carry women’s and children’s footwear, accessories, dresses, tops and bottoms.
How do most customers find out about your store?
We use Instagram and social media. Successful businesses use all routes of advertising. A lot of small businesses that don’t do that great rely on one factor; a lot of them rely heavily on social media and forget the old fashion marketing steps and tactics. We wanted to do both, and the reason I think we’re here today is because we combined the two.
How has location played into your business?
We situated this shop so that it’s in the most populated place on the island. We have KFC on the other side and Spinn & Play, which opens late, so there’s a lot of traffic. People could just be driving through [or hear about us through] word of mouth from their friends and through Facebook and Instagram. We have over 5,000 followers on Instagram, so that’s where we get our customer base.
What resources have been the greatest help to you as a small business?
We watch a lot of YouTube videos, “Shark Tank,” we use Google, social media and networking, of course. We get inspired by people who have owned businesses before, and we try and mimic their footsteps as far as what choices they made, and we try to evaluate our ways of making decisions that way.
What are some challenges you have faced since starting your business?
I think every entrepreneur should have a mentor. If you never started a business, you should have a mentor to guide you. We started off knowing nothing; we had to ask around and got the run around, down to everything we had to figure out on our own. It took us more than six months to figure everything out. This first year was a huge learning experience.
What is your assessment of the retail climate on Guam right now as compared to years in the past?
We are having younger entrepreneurs now, and because they are a younger population, they’re more in tune with social media. Social media is really affecting the drive to open up more business opportunities that people are interested in. Who reaches that? It’s the younger generation.
What trends will we be expecting to see in the upcoming months?
As far as fashion trends, I think we’re transitioning into what we see [in the media]. A lot of people are inspired by fashion magazines, like Vogue, and they look into that. They look at it on Pinterest and Instagram — it’s all over the Internet, and Guam is transitioning into that. We have a diverse population now, so everybody is catching onto other trends too.
What are your most popular items?
Our most popular items are our dresses and our pumps. We only have one [pair of each type of shoes] per size.
Do you have any upcoming sales and promotions?
We’ll be launching our website pretty soon, so there will be a big sale. For the people who helped us advertise, we try to help out in the same way. Also, Black Friday was our biggest sale last year, and we had really good feedback, so we’re going to do it again this year.
Because Christmas parties are coming up, we keep tabs on the dresses [by recording sales]. For an example, if a customer will be going to a Bank of Guam Christmas party, we will have that woman who purchases the dress recorded, so nobody else who is going to the Bank of Guam Christmas party will have the same dress. We try to notify them.
What advice would you give to fashion entrepreneurs?
Stay tuned — try and keep updated on the latest trends. All day, everyday, you have to always make sure you know what your target market is following. Follow that trend, and you’ll never go wrong.
What future plans do you have for your store?
We have the new website, and we’re hoping to expand somehow — getting a space just for little girls in the future. A lot of people are asking us to expand and move.