We had the good fortune of connecting with Felicia Wilmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Felicia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to start my own business and be my boss. It wasn’t until I became an adult, that I decided to go into the clothing industry. Being a plus size woman, at times can be challenging. Especially when it comes to shopping for clothes. I use to always love going shopping especially to places such as the mall. However, it wasn’t always a good experience for me. Many of the stores had “cute” clothing designed for women smaller in size and if they did have some clothing for plus size women, it would be boring pieces of clothing, clothing I considered to be for a “grandma”. When I originally started my business, My focus was the plus size community. However, now I cater to women of all shapes and sizes.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
P.A.P.S stands for pretty and plus size. Here at P.A.P.S, we cater to women within the plus-size community. We specialize in providing cute and affordable clothing to plus size women of all sizes. Recently, we have expanded and decide to provide for women of all size. However, the main focus is still the plus-size community. What makes me most proud of my company is that after starting 8 years ago, I have not given up on my business nor my dream. What sets this business apart from others is that we have not forgotten about the plus-size community. Plus size women can be sexy too because sexy is not a size.
I started business in July of 2013, and let’s just say it has not always been a smooth road for me. I can honestly say that it’s been challenging trying to run a business as well a deal with your personal life. I took many breaks off and on over the years to finish school, in which I am a 3x’s college graduate. I even took time off to start a family. Support has always been a challenge for me as well. I felt as if I wasn’t getting enough support from family and friends. I would post all day marketing on social media and would not get at least one sale from a family member or close friend, which kind of let me down. I had no support when it came to marketing and promoting, it was just a lack of support all together. What made it even more depressing is that I spent lots of money on clothing that has just been sitting for years because I wasn’t get the sales that I expected to get.
Lastly, another challenge was finding the right vendors to work with and learning how to properly order inventory. When I first started out, I would promote items that I did not have on hand. When someone finally showed interest in a product of course, I ordered it from the vendor, but it took months to arrive. Eventually, those same individuals lost interest and found similar items from other local boutiques. After the birth of my kids, I decided to really focus more into my business. They are my motivation, they are the ones who brought P.A.P.S Boutique back to life. If it wasn’t for them, I would still be paying hundreds of dollars each year to renew my business license and still not making any sales.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t go out much since becoming a mom, but I would definitely take my friend to Boogalou Restaurant & Lounge. I absolutely love this place, its such a chill vibe and the brunch is amazing especially the bottomless mimosas. We would definitely have to hit up centennial park I love the scenery, and while we are in the area get on the sky view.
Botanical gardens would also be a place to visit, it was such a humbling experience for me last time I visited. Everything was was just so beautiful . In New Orleans, where I am from, we don’t have drive in movie theatre’s, so moving to Atlanta, that was something new for me. I would definitely take my friend so that she can get the experience as well.
I’ve never visited the trap museum and the world of cocoa cola so these places would definitely be on our list of places to go.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my beautiful daughters Aniyah Bre’yion and De’Mari Monaé. They are my motivation. They are the reasons why I keep pushing forward. Running a business is not easy and is definitely not for the weak. There has been plenty of times I wanted to give up especially due to the lack of support but after having my kids, I have something to keep me going. I want to have something that I can leave for them when I am no longer here. I don’t want them to struggle. I want them to be financially stable. Therefore, I do everything I can to be a successful business owner, because my daughters is watching and I want to make them proud.
Brandon Gibson of BG Media