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Unfortunately the current state of the pandemic has hit many businesses hard. Many have been either forced to close or modify their business to help weather the storm. Long standing businesses like MS Eye Candy Boutique located at 85 Allen St, Buffalo, NY owned and operated by Siobahn Taylor are gems that our city can't afford to lose, so she like many others found creative ways to still cater to her clients and keep her doors open.

Photos courtesy of Mayor Byron Brown's Facebook

Last week, an initiative was announced by Mayor Byron Brown to help small businesses through these difficult times, specifically those that are black-owned. The announcement for Buy Black Buffalo Week was made in conjunction with a visit to MS Eye Candy Boutique! The initiative will kickoff on December 4th ending on the 11th and is powered by AT&T.

The Buy Black Buffalo Week initiative is a great marketing opportunity for black-owned businesses just in-time for the holidays! Before the holiday shopping frenzy I caught up with Siobahn briefly to learn more about her boutique and how she plans to continue to flourish during these difficult times. Check out what she had to say below and make sure you support!

 

ReddRoxx: How many years have you been in business?

Siobahn Taylor: I’ve been in business for 11 years
RR: How have you been able to weather the pandemic?

ST: Ive managed to weather the pandemic by tweaking my buy lol example: like instead of buying and filling my store with holiday dresses and New Years outfits I canceled some of my orders and replaced them with “comfy Covid lounge wear” is what I’m calling it lol I also offered pickups, drops offs and shipped a lot of merchandise which is what pulled me through.
RR: How did you adjust your business to compete with the rise of online boutiques?

ST: I try to offer an experience that you can’t get from online boutiques that’s how I compete.

RR: What is Buy Black Buffalo and what's your anticipation for the week?

ST: Buy Black Buffalo was something we collaborated with That Brown Bag which is trying to compile a list of all the black businesses we have here in Western New York, new and old! Hopefully pushing businesses that people aren’t even aware they exist! The week of December 4th - December 11th we’re encouraging people in the community to especially support black businesses! It’s very exciting to be apart of this because it’s the first year this is taking place!

RR: What advantage do you think brick and mortars have over online only shopping?

ST: I’ve always thought i had an advantage having a brick and mortar store because I’ve been able to establish so many great rapports and relationships with my customers! I literally who’s buying what when i make my seasonal buys!

RR: What's next foe ms eye candy boutique?
ST: Well I’ve managed to have a successful business the last 2 years without having a website surprisingly! I got lazy when i rebranded and got put on the back burner so I’m working on that and also possibly adding in children’s clothing. I have an amazing name for it, i just have to take the steps and do it!

 

RR: Any advice for others looking to enter into the retail business?

ST: My advice for someone who is interested in entering the retail world would be do your research, come up with a business plan (it’s key) and to be patient! There is no race when it comes to YOUR craft!

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