|INTERVIEW| Shop Suite Dreamz: Itz An Underground Movement

  The SASS loves supporting women who are out here making power moves and doing their thing! So when we heard about Andrea Taylor we couldn't wait to meet and interview her! Her story is so interesting! She took her love for fashion and stepped outside of the box and created her own lane, Suite Dreamz! An online retail store specializing in men's wear by underground designers! Andrea has definitely started a movement with Suite Dreamz and we guarantee it will be a game changer! 

What made you target men?

I have a lot of friends that do boutiques and online stores and they cater just to women and I saw that there was a lane that nobody was in. So, I was like let me go over here and see how this is, even though there is a lot of “men don’t shop online” and “men don’t do as much shopping as women.” I have been asked to do women, however, I kind of like the lane that I’m in because it makes men feel special and it makes them feel like there is something just for them. When I started a lot of guys were like “Oh my gosh thank you! I do have somewhere to shop it’s not just about women.” 

Is it easier to pick out clothes for boys than it is for girls?

Yes! [laughter] Very much so because you kind of picture with women, we’re so funny. We’re so particular about the seasons, we’re particular about the colors, we’re particular about what looks good on us, our shapes, our sizes. With men on the other hand, you kind of picture what you would like to see your man in and that’s kind of how I shop. And, with all the new tennis shoes coming out and Jordan recycling all of these shoes, it’s so much easier because I can cater to the kind of shoes that are coming out, the colors that are coming out and things like that.

Brittany (The SASS): I would’ve never thought…for me it’s hard to shop for a guy. It’s easy for me to pick out stuff for girls.

Tiffany (The SASS): We were just talking about that too! [laughter] I hate shopping for girls! I hate it!

When I had my daughter I was like “Oh my gosh why did he give me a girl?!” [laughter]

Tiffany (The SASS): I said the same thing and I don’t even have kids [laughter] I have a niece! I was like “why can’t she be a little boy so I can swag her out a little bit?” [laughter]

Yes! Her dad was so excited and I was sitting there like “umm a girl?!” [laughter] My daughter is everything fashion. However, I have to tell her “ma’am that doesn’t look right” or “it’s too many colors in that” [laughter] But, I have a godson and for him he’s a little bit easier like I can get him a nice GAP sweater and some Timberlands, some tennis shoes, a nice t-shirt and a baseball hat and he’s good. Like people always say “Aww he’s the cutest little boy.” Even my male cousins come to me and ask “Does this look right.” So I found guys to be so much easier than girls, women, all of that [laughter]. One particular time before I started the business, my cousin spent the night at my house and we went to Target to get some clothes and he kept saying “I don’t shop in Target” I said “Ok. Let’s go in here anyway because this is where my money is going” [laughter]. I found him some nice sweatpants, a nice hoodie, and like a little shirt with a hood on it and he was like “Ok ok” [laughter]. Like 3 days later I saw him in the same outfit [laughter] I was like “You like that outfit” [laughter] he said “yea, yea you did good!” [laughter]. So, when that incident happened I was just like “Ok this is where I’m about to be, this is the lane I’m going to be in and I’m going to see how it works.”

As far as the underground designers, how do you go about finding people? Do you use like social media or do people come to you? How does that work?

Well, I have gone through social media, I found a few people through social media. I found people through vending events. Like…when I started, that Friday that I started…the next weekend I had a vending event and I found some people through that vending event. I also know a lot of people. I went to 2 different high schools, I have a huge family and we all have a massive amount of friends. One of my friends had his own clothing line called Future Generation, one of my cousins is in collaboration with his 3 friends and they have a line called Demeanor. Another guy that I use basically as my creative director, he turned me on to some people. I was going to stuff like the tennis shoe events where they sell and trade shoes. It was people that were there vending. So I was doing my research, going out there and seeing a lot of different vendors, seeing a lot of different brands, people that I like, and people that I know are going in the same direction as me. I am particular about the brands that I pick. I want to make sure that their fashion is up to date and that we’re going in the same direction as far as the fashion, the look…something that’s trendy, something that also has swagger, and something that caters to a diverse crowd at the same time.

When did you start?

I started this…I launched my site on November 15.

Of this year?! Congratulations!

Of this year [laughter]. Thank you! Ever since I started it has been feet to the pavement running! Like, I’ve had 3 vending events; I have another one coming up next month. I basically started the plan in the summer and I was like “I want to do this!” One of my friends used to be a buyer and she hooked me up with another friend that I didn’t even know at the time had her own online store for women. I shadowed her a little bit, I went to vending events with her, I was talking to her about everything that I wanted to do and I just started moving from there! I started talking to a couple of people, not that many, I kept it very secluded because I didn’t want any “dream killers.” I wanted everybody that I thought would be a “dream chaser.” You know, it was a lot of people once I launched like “I didn’t even know you were doing this” and I had to tell them that everything is not for everybody as far as my planning process…but hey I do need your support! [Laughter] So yea…I started on November 15. I’m in grad school at the same time and I have an 11 year old that’s a competitive cheerleader. So, I’ve had some sleepless nights because I’m grinding, I wake up in the middle of the night and I have ideas and I have to type them up so I don’t forget. My family thus far have been very supportive, and my friends.

If you had to dress your boo, what would the ideal outfit be for him?

The ideal guy…I would put him probably in some black jeans, I have a shirt on my site by Demeanor that is an Andy Warhol shirt and it’s 4 different colors on it and it has a woman with a tattoo on her back…that shirt, and probably be some Timbs. Because that Timberland look is always good [laughter]. Or I would switch it with…I would use all of the shirts that are on the site! Definitely!

Future Generation White          RF8 "The Feathery Life"

Where do you see your brand going 5 years from now?

5 years from now…I see me competing and being a very close competitor to Karmaloop. Even maybe, not so much as Urban Outfitters, but definitely Karmaloop because I started the same way that they started. They started helping their friends out, putting stuff online and selling it, and now they are a billion dollar company and they became that within a few years. So I find myself being a very close competitor to them. I’m going to a lot of trade shows and I plan to promote my business even more. Like, with the trade shows it’s nothing but underground designers there…people that are just getting on. Some people have stores and are doing things, but I plan to be one of the host sites that feature a lot of the underground designers.

That’s really different!

A lot of the designers that I work with carry both men and women, however, I told them this is the lane and this is what I want to stick too and they agreed…they said whenever you start carrying women we’re here too! [laughter] For the time being…I’m not opposed to carrying women, and maybe at some point in time I will, but at this point, I like the urban wear for guys and I like the street wear for guys. I’m even trying to step in to more things like…I just ordered leather bracelets for guys from a company in Illinois. She makes her own bracelets and she has her own store out in Illinois and I saw her on Instagram and emailed her and we got to talking and now we have a partnership. I basically serve as a buyer and I buy from underground companies and I like it! I want to be versatile in this lane though. I want to start carrying button ups, jeans, and sweats…I want to be seen as a men’s store.

How did you come up with the name?

The name came up because one day…I used to have another business called Dream Music and me and a good friend of mine were starting a t shirt line and we were doing positive t shirts. When we started I was still in the military and she started in a music group…so it was like we have this idea and started moving but then life got the best of us so we kind of put it down. But, I would always tell her about the ideas that I had and the dreams that I had and she named me Dream a long time ago and that’s how our first business came about and I named her Music because she was always singing since she was a little kid. I told her that I wanted a Bed & Breakfast and she was like “oh that’s cool…you can call it Suite Dreamz and spell Suite like a hotel suite.” And I liked that and I kept the name and when I figured out that I wanted to do the business, I bought the name. This name was given to me a long time ago and it was for a business [laughter] now which business I’m going to use it for is the question, but I told myself while I have it this is what I’m going to use. I went to my lawyer and she did everything for me because of course I was in school at the time and I couldn’t do everything. I still want the Bed & Breakfast…because Suite Dreamz is actually Suite Dreamz, LLC, so I can have a sub business under this umbrella.

Have you ever thought about doing boys and kids?

Yup! Because a lot of moms shop for their sons…I have definitely thought about that. I want to master this part first and then go on to the next section. But I have goals for myself…6-9 months is spearheading, grinding, networking, and getting the business out there. After that is moving to the next section, probably boys or maybe get more in to…actually the accessories part I’m getting in to quicker than I thought because that was the next move after 6-9 months, but it ended up coming a month after I started and they look hot so I’m going to sell them and see how they do.

Have you ever thought about designing clothes?

When we had the business, the Dream Music t shirt line, yes…I did and I did do a couple of designs. Actually, I have a really good friend who lives in New York, he designs for Donna Karen and we were doing stuff when we were in high school and we started out drawing on our shoes in high school. So I do think about it…my undergrad is in Business Management and my graduate degree will be in marketing…so I actually combined everything that I like to do in one. Like helping people out and my marketing skills, I just combined it in one and that’s how I really created the business. Whether I branch off into something else with just me, I don’t know just yet.

Have you ever thought about being a stylist?

 If it’s for men yes…I’m definitely trying to get into that with photo shoots and things like that so, I have a lot…a few connects that I’m working with who have been very supportive. Everyone has told me that everything is going to come. I didn’t expect…someone told me at one point “oh you might not get your first online sale for like 2 weeks” I got my first online sale in that week! I was just like, like tears came to my eyes! And more came! I didn’t think I would be going to vending events like I am or finding those vending events and getting out there like that.

What would you say makes you Bold, Classy & Oh So SASSY?

Bold would be how I think about life and how I used faith to jump out there and start my own business…saying goodbye to fear, and I just jumped out there. Classy? Oh because I’m a lady! [laughter] I stand on the shoulders of my mother and my aunts and they are Sassy and Classy! But I stand on their shoulders and they taught me how to be a lady, especially in public, always be everything girly…Sassy? My attitude…definitely my attitude because I’ve always been very confident about myself, very confident. Even on my worse day I’ll say “I’m cute!” So sassy would have to be my attitude…I always had this attitude that nobody can tear my self esteem down.

Any last words for our readers? 

Please shop at you definitely won’t be disappointed with the upcoming fashion! If there are any designers out there, underground designers that want to market and need help with marketing please give me a call, send me an email, follow us on Instagram @shop_suitedreamz and we are on Facebook and Twitter @shopsuitedreamz. 

Side SASS: Andrea was beyond sweet and so passionate about her business! We see nothing but great things in her future! So ladies if you are looking for something fly for the men in your life or fellas if you need something new for your closet make sure y'all check out! You won't be disappointed! 

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