Uforia Muse is celebrating its 20th year in business this year! These boss ladies have been grinding for over two decades and have inspired every girl that has worked for them, as well as the girls who have shopped at their stores. From selling vintage clothing, to men's and women's fashion and most currently women's trendy fashion pieces. Carleen and Shalene have proven that hard work and dedication can make anything possible.
We want to celebrate these amazing bosses with an interview for our customers and audience to know more about them! They are truly the best women to work for!
Read on to see how exactly they got to where they are today!
1. Wow, 20 years? How does it feel to have such a successful business?
Carleen: It feels sort of unbelievable given the amount of challenges that small businesses face but I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.
Shalene: I am very proud of what we accomplished. It doesn’t feel like 20 years in business. We have evolved so many times thru the years and I think that's what helped us survive the ever changing landscape that is fashion retail!
2. How did Uforia Muse come to be?
Carleen: We started as a really small vintage clothing store in the 90s and changed through the years into what we are now. We’ve always shared a love for fashion and just started experimenting on how we could turn it into a business.
Shalene: Carleen explains it best!
3. What does a typical day look like?
Carleen + Shalene: It varies day to day! Some days are in the office planning for upcoming events, doing the books and orders while other days are spent on the sales floor helping our fabulous customers!
4. Favourite time of owning a business and least favourite?
Carleen: My favourite time is when a customer really needs help finding an outfit for an event or special occasion. I get to style them and really help them find that perfect outfit, and they leave happy. We believe that fashion should be fun and finding an outfit should not be a stressful experience. So I enjoy making those stressful times easy on people and help them enjoy the experience.
My least favourite time is when the computer won’t work. As a small business owner you wear many hats and sometimes have to spend a lot of time trying to figure stuff out.
Shalene: I love finding an outfit for a customer as well! It’s exciting to make someone happy with the perfect outfit and fun to play stylist! I also just have a passion for clothes! So buying is definitely one of my favourite things. Travelling to different cities to see what the upcoming trends are and getting inspired. One of my least favourite, is a personal challenge for me. Conflict resolution.. .managing a big group of people is not easy. I want everyone to be happy & get along and that's not always the case. So can be very challenging.
5. How often do you go on buying trips for the store and what is the best thing about them?
Carleen: It varies but usually we go to LA four times a year as well as Canadian trade shows in Saskatoon and Vancouver. The best thing about them is seeing the upcoming trends and trying to forecast what will be the trends in Regina.
Shalene: Like I mentioned previously this is one of my favorite aspects about owning a clothing store. I love all fashion and seeing the new trends for the upcoming season is always exciting.
6. What would you be doing if you did not own Uforia Muse?
Carleen: Absolutely no idea
Shalene: That’s a tough one! But I may have pursued a career in helping people. Social work, teaching or counselling.
7. Where do you all travel for the clothes that you bring into the store?
Carleen + Shalene: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Vancouver, Edmonton and Saskatoon are the places we have been to order clothes.
8. What does Uforia Muse stand for and How did you come up with the name?
Carleen: Long story...started as Uforia Vintage Clothing, then Uforia Streetwear, then we opened Muse Clothing across the hall. Our customers started referring to us as Uforia Muse so we went with it. The actual names had no meaning to us when we named the stores, we simply liked the way they sounded. Now Uforia Muse stands for a vibrant, fast paced boutique full of current fashion that’s attainable.
Shalene: Yep (what Car said) I would change the name if I could though hahaha
9. Dream brand to have in store?
Carleen: I think we have our dream brands already, a diverse collection of current fashion.
Shalene: I mean I love all the top luxury brands Gucci, Chanel, Marc Jacobs to name a few but we could never carry them. We are excited to bring really small labels in from the wholesalers we find in LA.
10. What is a random fact about yourself?
Carleen: I’ve never had a cavity
Shalene: I’ve lived in Regina Saskatchewan my whole life haha
One Piece of advice for new entrepreneurs who are trying to start their own business?
Carleen: Work hard and believe in your vision.
Shalene: Having passion is important, I think, it’s what keeps you going. Work hard, nothing comes easy in my experience. Start small and build slowly. Success doesn’t come over night. Don’t be afraid to fail. I think failure is part of the building and learning process and you grow from that.
Sweet or Salty?
Hip Hop or Pop?
C: Hip Hop
Coffee or Tea?
S: definitely Coffee
C: Las Vegas this weekend with friends.
S: Planning a family one just not sure where just yet! Somewhere warm!
C: I can intimidate people just by wearing red lipstick
S: 80s and 90s music trivia