Pursuing your dreams is never an easy road. For those who have always aspired to own their own business, the road can be a little harder. As an aspiring business owner and entrepreneur, you often have to leave behind the corporate 9 to 5 job. It was now or never for owner and operator of Roots Online Boutique, Gabrielle Sumlin, when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter. As a new mom, Gabrielle was faced with a choice to either make or break it in the fashion business ownership industry.
Roots Online Boutique was launched in May of 2019, around the same time as her baby. Gabby states that Roots’ mission is surrounded and embodied by women empowerment in regards to how women feel about themselves. “There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman confident in her own skin,” said Sumlin. “We love seeing those ladies glow in our pieces and truly make them their own.”
Gabrielle Sumlin believes that there is truly something unique with Roots that will ensure the e-boutique will be around for the long haul. Unlike other boutiques whether online or in-store, Roots aim to focus less on trends and more on staple pieces. “While we are passionate about offering unique styles, we are not doing so for notoriety or for shock value,” said Sumlin. “We truly strive for our pieces to compliment strong women and in that alone creates strong statements.”
Being a Small, Woman-Owned Business
Being a small business owner requires investing in the uncertain in order to see your vision come alive. While Gabrielle is an entrepreneur, she is also a woman with her own aspirations in the fashion industry. Being a one-woman business, she talks about how she often feels the pressure to succeed in her business. “We all have our hearts and souls poured into this idea and there’s a lot at stake,” said Sumlin. “A lot of us have families, life savings, time, and emotions invested in this one idea.”
Throughout the past three-to-five years, the brand’s identity has improved from the time Roots was first established. She describes the first few years as those awkward, teenage years. You’re still trying to figure out who you are, what you like and dislike, and what fits your personality the best.
“I thought I had to be doing what other successful boutiques were doing with this millennial pink aesthetic, bright photos, and neon writing,” said Sumlin.
She realized she needed to be true to herself and the vision for her brand. She began to rebrand and saw an increase in sales in doing so. “I am a better business owner because my business is an extension of myself. There’s nothing I’m better at doing than being myself,” says Sumlin.
The Future for Roots
The goal is for Roots to continue to grow in the e-commerce industry and gain clientele from women all over the world. They hope to remain reliable to current and future clientele in finding new ways to stay fresh. In the next few years, Gabrielle hopes to one day see Roots with storefronts, while also continuing to gain traffic to their website. She goes on to explain that her mission as an entrepreneur will remain persistent in finding ways to support women through fashion and style by any means.
Check out Roots on Instagram @shoprootsatl and their online boutique!