As the windy weather unpredictable month of March approaches its yearly exit from the pages of our calendar, we take time to observe the dynamics of the plight of women within the workforce, politics, entertainment, ecclesiastical domain, as well as the domestic. We also pay homage to the many women that have created and added great substance to countless fields of endeavor and the continued strides that they have made toward equality and diversity in doing so. In this “In the Know” blog we will discuss the vulnerabilities that women may face in taking steps toward success and how Renee’s Boutique seeks to be a haven for that continued success.
With glaringly known issues such as wage inequality (The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported in 2017 that female full-time year round workers only made 80.7 cents for every dollar earned by men, which is a 20 percent gender wage gap), the occupational discrimination associated with job type (women working in occupations that were traditionally male dominated occupations) and balancing the duties between the job and the domestic, there is a deeper and more intimate sense of vulnerability that comes into play for women as a whole. This dynamic is hard to describe in the general sense because it is often time the “elephant” in the room that many women do not care to discuss or are hesitant to for fear of some sort of reprisal.
Women in society both past and present have been told that you have to look a certain way and present yourself a certain way in order to be within the “in-crowd” of business, entertainment, amongst their immediate communities, and even within their own households. Very seldom is there a true examination of what women actually see themselves as and the picture that they would like to paint of themselves in opposition to what they are guided to be or to present. This brings within oneself an existential dilemma. A true pull between a type of dual consciousness that relegates one to either a conformist mentality or a radical revolutionary type of rejection of the popular trends of society, when in fact it should not have to be neither. Renee’s Boutique represents the neither. At Renee’s Boutique To quote the Temptations from the song “Cloud Nine” “You can be what you want to be”.
With class, dignity, love, and care Renee’s Boutique seeks to outfit its customers that come seeking their own fit, their own style, their own trends. Renee’s Boutique wants you to come as you are and along with its owner Crystal Renee Napier find your rendition on what you believe is pizazz, style, and what is free within the realms of fashion. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom or a woman that is working 40 plus hours a week; Renee’s Boutique has something special for everyone, each individually and specially tailored. The uniqueness of it all is that Renee’s Boutique is a place that is specific to the customer not just to the brand. In today’s fashion market many clothing outfitters present a “take it or leave it” approach to its customers, primarily larger long existing brands. Crystal Napier wants you to take her merchandise rather than leave it! This is why she exhibits so much care into what the demands for the customer wants. She also does it from a place of familiarity.
Crystal Renee Napier empathizes with the women caught in the hustle of the day to day struggle; primarily women in the workforce. The reason being: she was you. She was the quintessential banner for women having success and making strides in the workforce. After graduating from the University of Virginia with two degrees it was a given that she was well on her way in the business world and success there in. After having achieved a certain measure of success in the banking industry it came to her. Am I creating my own masterpiece or am I just playing my piano to the notes to someone else’s composition? For years her dream had been to create, motivate, and inspire through the fashion industry. And realizing this she stepped out into the dark unknown where only opportunity and mystery awaited.
After completing her Masters of Business Administration degree from Liberty University to get more knowledge on running a business she took the leap of faith to start her own business which we now know as Renee’s Boutique. This was a transition that brought on much uncertainty and yep you guessed it vulnerability. To go from the security of a salaried position to a “get what you put in” realm is not easy. It took planning, coordination, and countless hours of labor to bring the product that you see today. Much more than this Crystal, also identifies with the rigors of domestic life as well. She is currently running a business full time while also caring for her new-born son Micah. She balances the two gracefully and willingly, but not without its own stringent demands.
In summation, Renee’s Boutique reaches out and grabs the essence of liberation, creativity, individuality, and class. It compacts all of those factors to present a product that is filled with exuberance and unique style. This does not come by surprise but rather intent. Renee’s Boutique seeks to turn vulnerabilities into strengths and age old perceptions of acceptability into newer more vibrant inventories of one’s self.
By Waddell Howard Jr.