Takeisha dresses up Bermuda’s children with online business
Takeisha Wales’s new online children’s clothing store, Child Style, was triggered by an expensive shopping trip to Hamilton.
“One day a year ago, I thought I would run into the store and buy my daughter Ayani some clothes to run around in,” Ms Wales said. “She is 3, and it was the start of the summer season.”
Ms Wales was stunned when her small pile of simple shirts and T-shirts came to $98.
“There was nothing exciting about the items I picked up,” she said. “Even the cashier was shocked. She took all the items out of the bag and recalculated them.”
The total was the same.
“Bermuda is so expensive,” Ms Wales said. “I thought, I could probably do this myself.”
She started looking at online clothing manufacturers and vendors to see how much it would cost to bring in a few items for friends and family. When A S Cooper & Sons Ltd closed in June last year, there was even more need for a children’s clothing business.
“Coopers were one of the main stores carrying children’s clothing,” she said. “I was talking to a few people about it and they said, ‘Why don’t you just go for it and open a store?’ ”
But paying rent on a storefront, in the middle of a pandemic, seemed financially risky. So Ms Wales launched Child Style online.
At first business was pretty quiet.
“I am usually a shy and to-myself person,” Ms Wales said. “When I first opened only family and friends knew I was the one who was doing it.”
It was not until a few months later, when she introduced herself as the owner, that the business started to pick up.
“I have learnt that it is important to put yourself out there,” Ms Wales said.
Since then business has been slow but steady.
“Parents have been very receptive,” she said. “I have delivered to a few people who said they came across the website by accident, and the prices were so nice. Everyone is looking for affordable, comfortable clothing for their children.”
One of her challenges has been finding no-frills items for children to wear.
“Finding plain T-shirts and pants is not as easy as you would think,” she said. “So now I am getting lots of tracksuits and two-piece or three-piece sets. I have had a couple of customers ask for basic short or long-sleeved shirts. I was able to find some but there is maybe one vendor that does it.”
She carries clothing in a range of sizes, from preemie to size 14. Older boys have been the hardest demographic to clothe.
“The vendors say it is difficult at that age because the boys are getting more into what the men are wearing but not completely what they are wearing,” she said. “So it is just finding the niche that fits for them. What I have sourced for the older boys is usually grey and black and maybe a little bit of gold, but nothing too extreme.”
Ms Wales gets fashion advice from her daughter Ayani and several nieces and nephews who are a little older.
“I go to them and say, ‘What do you think about this?’ ” she said. “I am getting some help from them.”
Ms Wales runs Child Style in her spare time.
So far, running the enterprise has been exciting and challenging.
“It has all been positive,” she said. “I do enjoy it.”
Child Style offers free delivery anywhere on the island for purchases of more than $50.
Ms Wales will be taking part in the C31 Vendors Market on December 4 from 11am to 4pm on the Death Valley Field in Southampton.