Interview with Ruby Mimosa, Founder of The Burlesque Boutique
Interview with Ruby Mimosa,
Founder of The Burlesque Boutique
Interview by Terra Olsen
Tell me about yourself.
My name is Ruby Mimosa and I am known as The Island Flower. I am a burlesque performer here in Seattle with The Atomic Bombshells. I also teach burlesque classes at Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque. I am originally from Oahu, Hawaii; growing up on the beach, swimming all the time, picking plumeria flowers, dancing hula, ballet, and jazz – was truly the best way a kid can ever grow up. At en early age I was introduced to old musicals with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Marylin Monroe and have always been fascinated with the old Hollywood glamor. I am so grateful to be able to go back and visit my friends and family. However, I am so in love with my career and home here in the Emerald City.
Tell me about your company.
The Burlesque Boutique offers top-of-the-line burlesque accessories, performance materials and educational items for the professional and amateur burlesque, boylesque, cabaret and drag performer, as well as the novice, daring housewives, gift-giving lovers, and the diva in all of us who desires to be sparkly!
The Burlesque Boutique will soon be located in Seattle’s trendy, hip, and busy Capitol Hill neighborhood! As for now, please enjoy our cozy and classy virtual lounge environment.
We carry a variety of pasties and tassels in sassy and seductive colors and sparkles! DVD’s, movies, and books on the art, craft and history of burlesque.
Where did the idea for The Burlesque Boutique come from?
The Burlesque Boutique came from an idea I had while sitting and meeting with Miss Indigo Blue one afternoon. We were having coffee in a cafe on Capitol Hill after teaching one of our classes. We were chatting about having a store for the academy and started to toss around ideas.
What inspired you to start The Burlesque Boutique?
I was inspired to have a one-stop shop that offered specialized, sparkly, quality, and beautiful showgirl/ burlesque items. We spend so much time online shopping and piecing together costumes from all over the place that I wanted to have a Burlesque mecca. Another inspiration comes from my community. We have so many talented and brilliant artists here in Seattle who make stellar products. I want to be able to showcase their items and have a place to get recognized by a wide range of clients. I have my degree in Fashion Merchandising, and have worked in retail my whole life and wanted to be able to meld my passions together!
How did you go about starting your company?
I started out by buying the domain name. I didn’t do much for a while after that, I just knew that I had to purchase that name. Thankfully it was available. I started to write a business plan, went for coffee and chatted with strong, successful women in the community so I could pick their brain about how they started their business. I had a mentor from the Small Business Association (SBA) whom I was able to chat with and talk about my business. I still have big steps to take this year. One that I am so excited about is opening The Burlesque Boutique Brick-and-Motor.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is being able to focus, working from home, and managing time with all the projects and jobs I am involved with. Working from home and vending at burlesque events around town always had it’s own little challenges as well. I can’t wait to have a space to set up all the merchandise, order more goodies for clients, and be able to see everything all at once.
What top three skills do you think an entrepreneur needs to be successful?
Perseverance, Patience, and Creativity
Where do you want to take The Burlesque Boutique in the future?
I’d love to have multiple locations in Seattle and eventually branching out to having a few shops in particular cities around the county.
What advice would you give other aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Keep smiling and keep that chin up. Hard work is hard, but the pay off is so rewarding, Keep following your dream and your vision, people will be there to give love and support.