Friday, February 14, 2014

Vintage Has Got A Man & His Name Is Mister Style

Q & A
Vintage Fashion's got a song that only a Port Arthur beauty can sing.

Meet: Zoe Jackson-Jarra 
Where is she from? Well, Port Arthur Louisiana of course.
Where is she now? Houston, Tx
Where is the store? Online based out of Houston. MISTER STYLE

 How did you choose a name for your boutique? I named the boutique Mister Style to appeal to the fashionable male whose fashion sense is a little bit off the beaten path, and who is sensitive to seasonal changes regarding it or who aspires to be.
 What was the catalyst to opening this particular boutique? Well, I opened the store for a couple of reasons. One I’d had a boutique, previously, called Fashion Plate Lifestyle Boutique that catered to both men and women. It had a physical location that required my presence daily, which was becoming increasingly more difficult. Also, my daughter, Ciera, has an online store
and it is an extension of Fashion Plate Lifestyle, however, only the women’s side. Mister Style offers merchandise for the men’s side & shows women how to utilize menswear in their wardrobe as well.
Was opening a store front your idea, or did someone talk you into it? It was, definitely, my idea. I just had to figure out how I was going to go about running it, if you will. I have, and it will be primarily, online. 
Is this a second career?  No, I think it is tied for 1st with my love for music because for me they are both intertwined. When I’m singing or performing or simply attending an event, what I’m wearing matters, and I think that is true for most people. So, I am also a stylist for artists in various mediums, i.e. music, art, etc.
Why retail? Well, it falls in line with one of my loves which is fashion, and I love to help people achieve the look that they’d like to have or discover what that look is.
Do you have plans to expand? In terms of expansion, I don’t think that there will be more locations, but there may be business that focuses on another aspect of fashion.
Do you still have the same type of merchandise and customers as when you began? Yes, I still have some of the same type of merchandise in terms of pieces from the same quality-driven, legendary designers because there is a vintage aspect to some of what I offer that fits into that “what’s old is new” adage. Regarding customers, I have a very loyal base that has been with me even before I opened the 1st store, Fashion Plate Lifestyle because I had been called on to be a stylist for some of them. Based on the satisfaction that they had received from that service, a trust in my abilities was developed.
Model Josias Diaz
What helps you retain business? Retaining business depends on what is offered, how it is offered, and the way it is offered. In my case, making sure my inventory is seasonally accurate, and stylish made available at the time the customer requests it, and done in a professional and courteous manner.

Do you have a certain strategy on customer service? Yes. The strategy is simply to place a premium on those two words because customers expect excellent service, and if they don’t get it, they have the right to go elsewhere with their business. I, as a customer, feel the same way.

 Where has your success come from? I think my success has come from my ever-expanding knowledge in the area fashion. My attention to detail, my work ethic, and the value I place on customer service.
 Have you had any struggles/ challenges? The struggle, sometimes, can be customer consistency. The number of sales vary each month, so it can make it difficult to determine when to replenish inventory, and by how much. The challenges are being a one-person shop owner, and being available practically every day, but also, needing to balance participation in other events in town or away from the city that can secure more new business.

With the economy still in the early stages of recovery, how do you feel about the future of your business? Do you think we’ll break out of the funk soon? I think the future is bright, because fashion is so important to so many people. People will find money to get the things that they want like that new outfit for that special occasion. You know everybody has a birthday, and often a celebration they’d like to attend in honor of it wearing something new.  I think, overall, the economy is improving although some businesses were not affected or affected very little by the economy because there are a lot of wealthy people out there. Million dollar homes are still being sold in spite of the economic times, for example.

You’ve been recognized for your Vintage Pieces, How would you describe your store’s style? I take great pride in the items I select and offer to our customer base. Oftentimes it’s hard to tell whether or not a piece is vintage, because it is of such quality. Quality is important to me and also items that have a long lasting style to them. My aesthetic is wide as fashionable finds span the world. I have a world viewpoint when pulling items from many countries & cultures to make up the style in Mister Style.

I see you have both men’s and women’s clothing, How do you decide what to carry? I put myself into the mindset of a traveler who happens upon a store that allows them to go places in their mind of nostalgia & before they leave, hopefully, have found a great treasure to take with them for themselves or someone else. One-of-a-kindness is truly the goal whether the apparel piece is trendy or vintage, for example. Even new pieces can be unique if it’s not something that is mass-produced which is also part of our offerings. I also take huge hints from worldwide popular culture since most people desire to live vicariously through the most popular people in the world. This sets the tone for several of the trendy pieces that are among our selections.

What are your favorite trends that came out of NYFW for Fall/Winter 2013?  What trends are you stocking in your store? NYFW offered a very nostalgic viewpoint which makes it easy to select gingham, plaids, houndstooth patterned influences paired with florals, stripes, camouflage & leather...traditional patterns & textures to add with that crisp white tee or shirt...Naturally, Mister Style will offer its take on these ideas.
Do you have any favorite designers, fashion icons, or style idols/ celebs? I am forever falling in love with those who create fashion & the style of it. There are designers that the world has yet to know and those who we can’t deny knowing, that I am in awe of. To name a few would deny the platform to all. We all have something magical to offer this world of fashion & I am interested & taking note of it all. 
What are your aspirations for your business and in life? To do so much good in all that I do that those who choose to pattern themselves after me will have a great start in building their own legacies. I desire to learn all that there is to learn and pass that knowledge on to keep this train moving. I consider myself to be a legacy builder. I'm proud to say that I am witnessing me being duplicated often. It's a huge compliment to this lil’ girl from Port Arthur, TX.

I know you are at the store almost 24/7, but what do you do for fun to break away from it all? Correction...I’m not @ the store 24/7. However, the store is always on my mind as I think of ways I can enhance it while I travel the world. For fun, Houston is an international city w/ great museums, theaters, eateries, parks, shopping facilities, etc., so there is much to do, but for me it's more about the people I spend time with that bring about my joy no matter where I am. My daughters are #1 to set the pace for those joyous times. I will just leave it at that.
Do you have any advice for anyone out there who wants to someday own there own boutique, or step into the fashion industry? Be knowledgeable about the industry & do not close your ears or eyes to any level of it. I'm continuing to learn... this is how one continues to be successful & that's what, ultimately, anyone would want out of any job they choose.

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