Camille Newman, is the founder of Pop Up Plus, a very successful online fashion business that sells dresses (and confidence) to plus-sized and curvy women. Born to Jamaican parents, but raised in the United States, she learned the value of hard work, good work ethic, and pursuing business dreams.
How she funded her company
As was to be expected, Camille was turned down by many banks when she applied for a small business loan. So, she funded her business with her personal savings, a micro-loan from CAMBA, and she also won $10,000 at a Black Enterprise elevator pitch competition.
But she got most of her financial assistance from Shopify Capital, a flexible cash advance program available to qualifying merchants. To qualify for this program, merchants using the Shopify platform to sell their products online must have a reputable sales history.
“Shopify Capital was the life line my business needed this summer,” Camille comments. “As you can imagine, when you have a business where you have to maintain inventory, maintaining consistent positive cash flow becomes a challenge. So many things are dependent on sales. Shopify Capital has been very easy, very straightforward. You have a dashboard that shows your progress. I have to tell you, I have never had financing that was this simple.”
Why she decided to target plus-sized women
During a recent interview with Shopify Blogs, Camille says, “I had always been a curvy girl, particularly in college, the freshman 15 became the freshman 70. While I was searching for clothing everywhere, I discovered that not only did I gain a lot of weight, but retailers at that time weren’t catering to my size.”
She continues, “I remember the awful feeling I felt when I was stuck in the fitting room and nothing fit. That’s when I decided that no other woman should ever be made to feel that horrible ever again.”
Recognizing the importance of being online
Camille’s business wasn’t always online. In the beginning, she had literal pop up retail locations. But she realized over time that she needed to adjust.
She comments, “Plus sized women have always said, ‘I want to try stuff on.’ I thought that a pop-up was the best way to go, instead of an online shop. Then I realized that most plus-sized stores was carrying stuff online. I realized that the customer was being trained to shop that way. That’s when I decided to pivot to a online store in the fall of 2014. We’ve been on Shopify ever since.”
For more details and/or to shop online at Pop Up Plus, visit www.popupplusonline.com