Houston native Ciera Rogers has been making major moves in the past few years.Her clothing company Babes And Felines is continuing to grow in popularity, catering to women of all shapes and sizes. It’s a breath of fresh air for shoppers, thanks to its diverse marketing and advertising.
In my interview with Ciera, she talks about being her own boss, tips for entrepreneurs and much more.
When did you decide to start Babes and Felines and why?
I started Babes six years ago out of a frustration of not being able to find clothes to fit my shape. I did not have a lot of money at the time and wanted to offer affordable staple pieces that high-end boutiques sold.
What’s the most challenging part about being your own boss?
The most challenging part of being my own boss is not having anyone to ask questions for major decisions. It’s great making decisions on your own but that second opinion is something great to have.
What tips do you have for young women looking to start their own retail store?
I suggest looking at the open spaces in the market. Selling what someone else sells is only going to increase your competition. Go to an open space where it isn’t so crowded so you can be the first and stand out on your own.
What do you love most about being the CEO?
I love having the freedom to create my own schedule. If I want a week off, I can do that. I never do. But the option is there.
What sets your company apart from the competition?
When I first started my business there weren’t a lot of online boutiques promoting through social media. Now that there are plenty so I try to stay aware of what they sell so I don’t sell the same thing. I design my items instead of selling mostly wholesale and I also market to curvy women, plus and maternity which sets me apart from the average boutique.
Where do you see yourself in the next two or three years?
I see myself branching out into other businesses in addition to Babes. I want to sell everything including menswear.
What are your future goals for babes and felines?
I want Babes to eventually become more high-end, but still super affordable.
Why do you think you grew in popularity so quickly on social media?
I’m super surprised at how quickly this happened! I think showcasing my flaws pushed me further into the eyes of a lot of people on social media. I’m not afraid to show my cellulite or my back rolls. I think people appreciate the authenticity.
What tips do you have for women looking to grow their supporters on social media?
This is a hard one. I think if you want to gain followers, you need to study them. Study what they want to see and then give them that. I learned early on, it’s great to showcase what I want to show my personality but I still do recognize what my followers like to see as well.
When you’re not working, what are some of your favorite pass times?
I’m a major movie buff. If I wasn’t working in fashion, film would be it. Behind the scenes. That’s a passion of mine and something I eventually want to work towards.
What or who motivates you to stay strong during difficult situations?
Growing up my sister, mom and I didn’t have much. We were either homeless, living in government-funded homes or staying with relatives. Now that I am able to take care of myself and my family I am never going back. I think struggle is motivating in itself. Once you’ve had a taste of it, you’re never going back.
What is something you want your supporters to know about Ciera Rogers?
That I read their comments! I don’t always respond trying to get through them but I love all of the positivity. I even go to their pages and stalk them a little J I am a major Instagram stalker. I’ve probably been on most of your pages.
Your clothing line caters to women of all body shapes, why was that important for your company?
This is super important for any store. Every woman is built differently and beautiful. I think your body should be celebrated. You shouldn’t have to squeeze into something that was made for one person with a specific body shape. That sucks and drains your confidence.
Who is your role model/creative inspiration?
Not to sound cliché, but my mommy. If you’ve seen her, first of all she’s perfect. Hasn’t aged since I met the woman (when I was born). She’s way more stylish than I’ll ever be. She’s never worn the same outfit twice. Trust me on this, I’ve checked. My mom can go into a thrift store with $20 and come out runway ready. She’s so awesome. And on top of that she’s sooooo sweet. If you’ve met her, you’re her family.