We had the good fortune of connecting with Chellie Michelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chellie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Simplicity, availability, and enjoyment. Those are the three attributes I chose to follow from the beginning and to push my business forward. I started Her Glam Squad because it was such a difficult research project to find items I liked and could afford for my friend’s wedding. Having to go to various websites to find things was such a headache. Plus, the amount I was paying was crazy to me! Since no one else seemed to have a solution, I felt it was up to me to fix it! First, I had to create a simple look and order process for my website. I want users to visit, search for what they want just by typing in keywords or looking through collections, and then have the ability to provide personalization and customization instructions with ease. I even added Sezzle as a payment plan option to further the simplicity of ordering and paying in increments instead of lumpsums. That flows into availability. During my hunt for my friend’s wedding, a huge issue I kept running into was shipping and lead time. The wedding was kind of a last minute idea, so I needed the gifts quickly. That included waiting on personalized items which normally would extend the shipping time more. For my website, I make sure I can keep my inventory in stock and with the shortest lead times. Although my shipping policy says up to 2-4 weeks, I have not one customer that has gone past a week without seeing their tracking information. I pride myself with that fact. Also, my customers have trusted me to find items not listed on my website. I have partnered with great suppliers who make this easy. For this reason, my offerings are forever expanding. I refuse to say no to any of my customers! And lastly, this has to be a fun opportunity for my customers and myself. Both sides can get stressed out easily, but I work hard to not allow frustrations to creep into our cooperation. After all, my customers deserve it and more! With these efforts, I can only see success, expansion, and purpose in the future of Her Glam Squad!
What should our readers know about your business?
Her Glam Squad is an Online Bridal Boutique specializing in Bridal Party Accessories and Customs. This can include robes, shirts, tiaras, sashes, even swimsuits. We offer so much and keep growing everyday! What sets HGS apart from most is the price point, customization options, and customer service. Most of my competition has pricing that can deter brides from having fun and buying what they really want for their big day. That is completely against what I want to do. My desire is to provide quality pieces and services at a reasonable dollar point with payment plan options. Clients can even make their purchase one of a kind just by sending the instructions over. Ease for everyone! As far as customer service, that is all me! I have helpers, but I love connecting with my customers directly to make their experience amazing and one of a kind! I pride myself in that. There are always challenges and moments when I doubt whether I should keep going, but my motivation and viewpoint of the future gets clearer and clearer to me as the days go by. I constantly record new ideas and plans to further develop the business in ways I never thought of in the beginning. I really thought it was going to be a quick, drop-ship business where I touch nothing but my bank account. We are a year in and far from that plan. It was such a mindset progression from thinking like a hustler to becoming a business owner. Those are two totally different titles and roads. I’m glad I found the right path. As for lessons I have learned along the way, NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!! You never know what people are thinking of, who they are connected to, or what they can do for you. In turn, they may not know the same of you. That is why I am always talking to people, getting to know them as persons, and what their passions are. We may be able to help each other in the long run and succeed together. I want the world to know that Her Glam Squad is just beginning. It may be a Small Business today, but you better believe it will be a Mega Business and household name in the future. We are here to stay and make a true name for ourselves!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s say she comes in on a Monday. We must relax after all of the traveling. That is a must! After a day of rest and lounging, we can dress and go for all you can eat crab legs at Cirque Atlanta. Remember to ask for the seasoned butter. Trust me! Because we love hiking and sightseeing, we would have to visit a few places from Tuesday to Thursday. Tuesday, we can hike Sweetwater Park on the other side of Austell and take a lunch bag with us. When we get down to the water rapids, we can find a smooth rock to sit and eat. I like sticking my feet in as well. After washing, we will step out for dinner at Pinch of Spice off of Barrett Pkwy. You have to try the lamb pops! They are so good! Ask for extra garlic naan or you will be sorry! Early morning on Wednesday, we can travel south to Southern Bell Farm for picking fruits and flowers. It is so peaceful there and the views are gorgeous. They have amazing ciders and preserves in their store. A petting farm is on site as well. From there, we can travel to Providence Canyon for another hike. Such an awe-inspiring take of creation. From there, it is time for food and sleep. I prefer a food delivery from Taqueria Tsunami at Marietta Square. They have the best Shrimp Salad and Asian Nachos I have ever tasted. Thursday, we can go North to Fausett Farms Sunflowers. Be sure to bring a tripod, sunglasses, and a big kid attitude. I loved this experience! It was amazing to see the fields of sunflowers and being able to take some home. Most of us have never seen sunflowers in person; maybe just the seeds. But here, you can experience all of it. They have games, tractor rides, and picture opps all throughout. Food is available as well. From there, we can travel to Amicalola Falls. Whether we stay towards the bottom or choose to brave the hike, this waterfall attraction is a must see! That will tucker us out for sure. We can pick up a pizza from Baby Tommy’s on Cobb Pkwy and turn in for the night. Now, it is the weekend!!! Friday, when Covid is over, we can have brunch at The Garden Room. It is beautiful to see the greenery and various images throughout. It is a chance to be Alice in your own Wonderland. Speaking of such, we can venture over to Atlanta Botanical Gardens for the Alice in Wonderland exhibit. It is easier to see it than explain it. Just wear comfortable shoes, we have a lot of walking to do! We can finish the night at Hsu’s Downtown for some authentic and tasty Chinese food done the right way. Saturday, I prefer an early morning workout at Piedmont Park. Most weekends, there are instructors there giving free fitness classes in the park. We can also walk the track and visit the community garden. Food trucks and eateries are all around to grab a plate and picnic in the park. That night, we will head over to the Perimeter area and settle in at Sage Woodfire Tavern. The vibe is everything! We had such a great time our last visit with a live DJ, great food, and dancing. It was our way to get the club experience without going to a club. Sad to say, it is now Sunday, but we can end it on a high note. I love food halls, so we will hop around to visit a few. First, we can visit Krog Street for a bite, then walk over to Ponce City Market for some gelato from Honeysuckle. Best Gelato ever! We can get other things, but Honeysuckle is my favorite. To work that food off, we can travel to Andretti in Cobb to play on the go carts and trampolines. We all need kid moments. By the end of this, it is time to eat again. Off to the Marietta Square Market Food Hall. They have everything from New Orleans-style meals and snow balls, to Korean street-style bowls, Maine-imported lobster, and more! You truly can’t go wrong. To finish the entire weekend, we head home but pick up the best Menudo ever from Tacos La Villa on Cobb Pkwy. And that is how you plan a week long trip!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely! First and foremost is my mother. She keeps me level-headed and realistic when I let my imaginations, expectations, and even nerves fly! Although she isn’t a business owner, she is a true consumer and offers great advice as to what she, as a consumer, would want to see and have. She’s great! As for my Nana, she comes with the encouragement and reassurance that I am doing the right thing. As long as I have my priorities right, she will support me! I also have some of the best friends a person could ever have. It just so happens they all have businesses themselves! My very first high-school friend, Michaela Whipple, has been my rock for every phase of my life. I always say she is a Therapist and Creative Genius. You can give her two words describing your idea, and she can articulate it and present it with perfection. Then, turn around and ask me how I feel. I love her! My big sister, Bianca Horton-Holmes, is another help. Truthfully, we are not blood-related, but we are linked for life as if we are. Whether it is reposting posts, buying custom items, or sending new business, I can always guarantee she will support me in anything I do. I only hope I can be as much of a support as she is to me. My Skittles, April Ortiz, is the beautiful person that taught me everything I know. She is such an artist and makes everything look so easy. I can only aspire to be just like her when I grow up! My MVP is my MPC, the most positive and loving person I know. Whenever I doubt myself or feel thwarted from my purpose and who I am, I know for sure I will receive a pep talk, hug, great laughs, and a good meal. “Oh you thought I forgot? I didn’t forget! Well come on with it, Thunderbolt!” Thanks for then, now, and forever! ~Your Squirt Last year, I started the Accountability Crew. Although there are only four of us, we pack a lot of support, encouragement, and positivity! These ladies are such Rockstars and never give up. In fact, this very opportunity with Shoutout is a result of being apart of this group. So thank you to my girls, Amber Epperson, Elizabeth Frazier, and Christina Whitfield-Brown for always having my back and keeping me on the road ahead. We’re all growing and glowing together! Lastly, these amazing people will forever be in my life. They keep me sane and structured about my business. I will never falter or fall off with them behind me. Even though they have their own lives and struggles, they make time to help me and I love doing the same for them wherever I can. Thank you to Shari Cole, Candice Frazier, Deanna Kitchens, Britney Johnson, Doretha Patterson, Toya Rey, and Brandi Taylor. I am sure I have forgotten a few, so thank you to everyone nonetheless! And how could I forget my customers and clients! How phenomenal you are! HGS couldn’t survive without you. Thank you!