By Erika, Fashion Expert
I am so very excited to share my interview with the owner of Shop Avier in today’s blog post. YCS has always been excited about and committed to showcasing small businesses and Black-owned businesses. But today’s interview is extra special. Not only is Avier a friend of mine, a BOSS, and fellow entrepreneur – she is also a Howard Bison just like me!
If you’ve checked the YCS Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see me rocking sunnies from the Shop Avier collection. What you don’t know, is that Avier provides, on top of fabulous sunglasses, a stellar client experience. When I first hit Avier up about ordering a pair of sunglasses for myself, I asked her to show me the styles that would fit my face shape. She shared a number of shades that wee outside of my comfort zone aesthetically. I wasn’t sure but decided to trust the expert and order a pair. Boy was she spot on! She nailed picking out glasses that were flattering for my face, fit in with my personal style aesthetic AND managed to push me outside of my comfort zone. After that, I was hooked and Shop Avier is my first stop for ordering sunglasses (I’m averaging a new pair every 3-ish weeks). The thing I appreciated was that Avier holds true to her motto to deliver the “ultimate sunglass experience.” The service is stellar, the shipping is fast, and the prices are reasonable. Seriously, check out the website for yourself: www.shopavier.com.
Without further adieu, here is the YCS interview with Avier Whitfield, owner of Shop Avier!
Q: Can you tell the readers who you are and what your business is?
Howdy y’all (yes, I’m from the great state of Texas, lol); I am Avier Whitfield, owner of Shop Avier, your fashion forward, affordable, Black-owned sunglasses online boutique. The goal is to create “euphoria” when you shop my store. We will also begin consultations in another month. It is truly, your “ultimate sunglass experience!”
Q: What made you passionate about sunglasses/eyewear and providing your clients with the “Ultimate Sunglasses Experience?” What inspired you to go into business for yourself?
I’ve always had a passion for fashion. ALWAYS. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease when I was 17 years old. I knew that my health was in jeopardy. I was always sick. It always took over my life. A few years after graduating from THE HOWARD UNIVERSITY, I got accepted into the Fashion Institute of Technology, but couldn’t graduate because I was in need of a transplant.
After I received my transplant (waiting on the list for 11 years), I could never keep a job. I’ve always worked part time because I would always struggle with my health. I prayed for many years asking God to help me pursue my passion and the desires of my heart. I woke up one morning and checked my past orders for sunglasses and when I tell you, THE AMOUNT OF MONEY I SPENT ON SUNGLASSES WAS UNREAL. I thought, “I should open a sunglass business because I fervor sunglasses and I would still be working in the fashion industry.”
My son, Logan, helped [motivated me to go] into business for myself. I just knew I wouldn’t be alive to leave anything here on earth for him. I suffered a miscarriage this year and I was told that I had a week to live because my organs were failing. My job was on the verge of firing me due to my disability, I would be hospitalized for weeks. God said to me “Avier, the time is NOW! Get up and start your business, don’t worry about resources, a website, business cards, or nothing. I will supply all of your needs.” August 31, 2018, Shop Avier was born.
Q: When and where did you get started in fashion?
My mom loves fashion, so I would say it started with her. Growing up I waited for the mail man to deliver my mom’s Essence, InStyle, and Vogue magazines. I always played dress up. I watched New York Fashion week every September and February. I followed fashion icons such as Karl Lagerfield, June Ambrose, and Racheal Zoe, just to name a few.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Hmmm. It’s an expression. It’s however I feel when I wake up. It’s pairing a pair of sweats with some YSL or Jimmy Chu pumps, a fedora and a blazer. Fashion is impressionable. Fashion is a good dark lip, a pair of Vans, some Shop Avier frames and my dudes overly large t-shirt.
Q: What accessory and eyewear trends can we expect to see?
Oh my GOODNESSSSSS. My “Gant” line (which means “glove” in French) will be here in November. I’m extremely excited. These gloves are so fierce you’re going to want to wear them to bed, honey. I also have the “Baroque” and more men styles coming soon. Im also a bag whore, so in 2019 Shop Avier will provide some amazing styles of bags. Im super geeked!
Q: How do you pick your inventory?
SIMPLE. IF I DON’T LIKE IT I DON’T BUY IT. IF I WONT WEAR IT, I DON’T BUY IT!
Q: If someone is looking to start their own business, what advice would you give them?
Pray. Pray. Pray. Listen to God. Sorry, don’t mean to get all “religious” but that’s what works/is working for me and my business. Be confident in your product. Don’t share your ideas with no one BUT GOD.
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
Fly! I love to get fly. Bold. I like to have something on me that stands out. Whether it’s my sunglasses, my lipstick, my shoes, or my bag. I love abstract things.
Q: What is your one must-have item for each season – summer, winter, spring, and fall?
SUNGLASSES! I never leave the house without sunglasses. I have about 75 pair just in my car.
Q: What is the best advice, from a style standpoint, that you can give me and other women? And, from an entrepreneurial standpoint?
DO YOU! BE YOU! No one can do or be YOU better than YOU! If it makes you feel confident, happy and bold. DO IT!
Q: Where can my readers find you and Shop Avier?
Q: What questions do you wish I asked you and what’s the answer?
Q: Anything else you want the YCS family to know about you and Shop Avier?
I’m running a HUGE sale right now. All of my sunglasses are 20 bucks or less. You can’t beat that with a stick!
Remember to visit www.shopavier.com and support this growing and super stylish business!
P.S. All outfit details are on my 21 Squared profile, unless otherwise listed.