“Boutiques are like opinions, everybody has one” ~The Face~
Children are the best example to use when it comes to imitation, from birth children mimic what they see around them. From movements, sounds, and attitudes their behavior is learned. It is between the ages of 6 months to six years that children are most impressionable, you see a small child doing what her mother does you think it’s cute. You see a little boy imitating his father’s style or swag and you say “Aww” But what about adults? Is it still cute or an “aww” moment when adults imitate other adults?
The act of mimicry, usually with limited knowledge and/or concern of the consequences is the Wikipedia definition of the American saying, “Monkey see, monkey do”. They say imitation is the best form of flattery, well quite certainly there are tons of people walking around here flattering others to no avail. A few years back (and even now in 2013) nearly every man was either a rapper, producer or party promoter and every female was a model, part of a promotions team or a kitchen beautician. Now as times rapidly change they also stay the same, women are no longer models or aspiring to be models but they are now clothing designers, stylists, make-up artists, fashion consultants or boutique owners. (unfortunately, our men are still aspiring rappers, promoters and producers) I am not one to knock anybody’s hustle, I encourage any and everybody to get money however they see fit, there is enough money out here so everybody can eat. However, at the risk of playing devil’s advocate, you can’t eat off the same plate as everybody else. The online women’s boutique is the prime example of an over saturated market, there are hundreds of online boutiques all marketing themselves to the same demographic and people. To be frank, they are all marketing and selling the exact same items, some at escalated ridiculous prices for something they purchased for little of nothing from a wholesaler in China. (AliExpress has become a boutique owners best friend) Why would I buy something from a “boutique” when I get it from Ebay, straight from the wholesaler for a fraction of the hiked up price? I could understand if these “boutiques” were selling one of a kind pieces or pieces with limited stock, but this is not the case as there is nothing unique or one of a kind about anything I have seen on these sites. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a business major (actually the only thing required to run an online boutique is an Instagram) to “own” and “operate” an online boutique which makes me wonder is this taking the easy way out? I don’t see selling costume jewelry and cheaply made clothing as a way of truly making a living, especially since you have to spend to generate any kind of revenue. (Just as a I typed the previous sentence it all made sense, spend a little and charge a lot and Walaah you’re making money)
“Monkey see, monkey do. But so do we, it’s called cognitive modeling” ~Jane Goodall
It is almost as if we have become too lazy to apply ourselves and would rather make fast money than long money. Selling clothes, jewelry and weave via Instagram is the new drug trade except there is no long-term future or loyalty. The dope man (be it he sells weed, heroin or cocaine) can afford to raise his prices because a dope fiend or weed head is going to buy because of supply and demand. A person with an addiction is going to stick with that supplier no matter what for many reasons. This is the main reason Frank Lucas was such a successful dealer, he was supplying something that nobody else had. There is no loyalty when it comes to buying clothing, the first time that item is sold elsewhere for a lesser price that customer is on to the next and just like that you lose money. St. Louis (where I reside) is the home of imitation and over saturation. People don’t believe in being original, let’s be honest here everybody doesn’t have the requirements or skills it takes to design and sew clothes (To those who are truly talented from my city I commend their talent and hard work and I support them), anybody can create an Instagram, slap “boutique” behind the name and call it a store. Everybody doesn’t have a fashion sense to style or consult others on fashion and how to dress. I am one of those people and I am the first to admit that I consult true stylists and personal shoppers to dress me. If you can’t dress yourself why would I let you dress me? Maybe if we had more fashion merchandising majors or business owners who actually held a degree this wouldn’t seem so cliche’.
“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”
“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” ~B~