The woman behind robin b. clothier grew up in a very small town in RI – think 132 people in her high school graduating class (!). At 25, she moved to Boston to pursue a buying career and vowed never to move back but then in 2013 she was back, and two years later open up the business.
Her inspiration for clothing designs are from her passion of traveling – the new people and cultures combined with new experiences keeps her creative mind going. She’s been everywhere; all the US states except Alaska and Hawaii, lots of time spend in Toronto & Quebec, and international travel including Italy, Greece, France, Thailand, Bali, Singapore and all the Caribbean islands.
How did you get involved in the fashion industry?
“I went to school for fashion and business management. Once I graduated, I started working in retail management, then became a buyer, then a merchandiser, and then into the more technical side. I was working along retailers to weave in the software solutions that were right for their business. I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in the business including Victoria’s Secret, Tory Burch, New Balance, LL Bean and Rockport Shoes.”
The name, robin b. clothier was the end result of trying to come up with something clever in 2015. By naming it after herself, Robin can make the store, and the brand, all about her. Clothier was added to help people understand what the brand is, but the plan is to drop it in the future.
The store and brand was created due to Robin’s frustration with finding unique, personable pieces. We’ve all been there when you can barely tell the difference from store to store with the same trends and styles. She wanted to feel good about what went into clothing but the information wasn’t accessible in local stores. Basically, robin b. was born out of the desire to get more from the clothing Robin was buying, and share that experience with others.
What is the most rewarding part of starting your own business?
“Watching your dream come to life! There is nothing like taking an idea, putting together a business plan, and then seeing it all come into color. Sometimes it is surreal. There are challenges every day, but in the end, I love what I do!”
On the other hand, the most challenging part for Robin is finding the time to get everything done without losing touch with the other parts of life. It is really easy to get caught up in the work and forget that you need to eat right, exercise, and sleep.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?
“I learned that I need help! I’m not a “jack of all trades” and I quickly realized that, in order to stay sane and see the boutique grow, I needed to create a team that could help me fill in the gaps. My biggest advice, figure out how to add the folks you need who are experts in what they do, so you can focus on what you do best.”
How do you stay motivated?
“In general, I am a very positive person. But when I am really tired and overwhelmed, it is best for me to find down time. Getting out for ½ a day and walking in providence or Newport allows me to see what others are doing and I get ideas. The fresh air and different surroundings gives me clarity. It also helps that I have a great support system who continues to encourage me.”
The future of robin b. is bright and bold. Robin wants to introduce her own line of clothing that consists of high quality basic to help her customers build a timelines foundation for their wardrobe. Whether it’s expanding the brick and mortar stores throughout New England or expanding her online presences, Robin is ultimately looking to deliver that mindful, ethical shopping experience that she is passionate about to more stylish women.
Photos by Cameron Eng | Check out his instagram