By Molly Atchison | Print Managing Editor
Trendy, affordable and absolutely adorable are the best words to describe the products sold at Anjelica Michelle, an online boutique run by one of Baylor’s recent class of 2016 graduates, Anjelica Michelle Rodriguez.
From the start, Rodriguez has always had a passion for fashion. In high school, she worked in several boutiques in her hometown of Dallas, which piqued her interest in the subject of merchandise sales. She went on to study corporate communications at Baylor. During her last semester of college, she participated in the Baylor in New York program, jumpstarting her career in merchandising and giving her a taste of life in the Big Apple. Rodriquez said her experience in New York was one that inspired her to start her boutique.
According to the website, Anjelica Michelle focuses on finding trendy and in-style clothing at affordable prices. These fashion-forward items are bought by Rodriguez from wholesale merchandise markets in the Dallas area.
To prepare for the launching of her website, Rodriguez focused for months on market research to discover what the newest trends in women’s fashion were, emphasizing on the style of college-age girls.
“I try target girls on a budget,” Rodriguez said. “There are plenty of girls who want to have nice clothes without breaking the bank. I try to market specifically to them.”
During her research, Rodriguez discovered that with the rise of social media and online shopping, it is now fashion bloggers who truly set the trends. Several bloggers inspired Rodriguez to specifically start her own website; some of those bloggers are Emily Ann Gemma, who runs a blog called The Sweetest Thing, based out of Tulsa, Okla., and Kaitlyn Coving, who runs Southern Curls and Pearls, based out of Charlotte, N.C. Both of these women have built their brands through RewardStyle, an online website that monetizes bloggers and their content.
Rodriguez’s business is truly taking off in the Dallas and Waco area with the success of her “pop-up shops” on Baylor and Southern Methodist University’s campuses.
Marshall senior Catherine Grantham, an apparel merchandising major who has been a supporter of Rodriguez’s products from the start, had plenty to say about Anjelica Michelle’s products.
“I love shopping local and supporting small businesses, so when one of my Zeta sisters opened a boutique with trendy and affordable clothing, there was no reason not to support her,” Grantham said. “[Anjelica] has an eye for fashion and when she shops at markets, she keeps an eye out for those pieces that college gals will love and won’t break the budget.”
Rodriguez hopes to continue the success of her business, and is evaluating the best way to do so.
“I think storefronts are going away; I want to have a ‘wear-on-wheels’ mobile boutique,” Rodriquez said. “I think it’s more accessible for my customers.”
As of now, Rodriguez has all of her merchandise in her house on garment racks, which she says can get fairly crowded with the growing demand.
“I started with about five different options and now I’m up to about 50 items total,” Rodriquez said. “I really think that when you want to do something, you have to just go for it. There’s never a convenient time to start your dream, but if you never start, you’ll never do it so start small then it will grow.”