Amanda Valderas remembers the day she decided to follow her dream of owning her own boutique. She had been working in human resources for a little more than six years but felt restless.
“I’ve always loved fashion and was the go-to girl in my friend group for advice on clothing or where to find cheaper versions of things,” says Valderas. “But I never worked retail, I was always the consumer, so I never thought owning my own store would really happen.”
After talking with her mom and her husband, Joe, she decided to write up a business plan and take the leap. Many long nights later, Arrow Clothing was born in December of 2017, offering affordable—most items are under $50—contemporary women’s clothing and accessories.
What makes Arrow Clothing unique is its business model. The store is online-only, relying heavily on social media to spread the word. Valderas, who has always preferred online shopping, saw a need in the market for convenience with a local feel and a more personal touch.
“We call it a hybrid model: We are mainly online but also give people the in-store experience through our social media content, pop-ups, and events,” she says. Valderas stays connected to her clientele by doing online try-on sessions where she is able to walk her customers through each item in her store, allowing them to see how a product fits or looks on someone else before purchasing.
“When I first started doing my try-on sessions, I would hear Joe listening to them in the house, and I would hear my voice and think, ‘No one is going to want to watch these,’” laughs Valderas. But in fact, these videos are the thing that has allowed customers to develop trust with the brand and keeps them coming back for more.
While online customers can look forward to new arrivals each month, local Arrow shoppers can look out for events and pop-ups at nearby venues such as Anthem House apartments and The Charles in Federal Hill. Follow Arrow Clothing on Instagram for details on their spring launch party happening this month.