Name of Business: Pixelated Boutique Owner: Vy Do Website: pixelatedboutique.com Phone Number: (757) 425-5577 Street address: 315-A Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Vy Do has faced many challenges on the journey to opening her first brick-and-mortar store in December 2020. Her business, Pixelated Boutique, is a beach-inspired, modern bohemian store, with a pinch of eclectic clothing, accessories, gift and goods.
COVID-19 changed her course in so many ways prior to launch. It forced her to focus on the e-commerce aspect rather than on her main focus, local pop-ups. She had a lot of exciting ideas and events planned out but when everything shut down, her online store, which had only been established for a couple months (in November 2019), was the only stream of income.
Her opening date for the brick-and-mortar store also had to be pushed back countless times. According to Vy, since everything was virtual, corresponding with people was extremely difficult. Everything took double or triple the time to get done, especially the paperwork. She was hoping to open by late Summer/early Fall to get a little cushion before the slow season began. For people not familiar with the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, it’s a ghost town after the Holidays.
Connecting with the local community has been a focus from early on in her business. “By doing a lot of pop-ups in the beginning, we were able to dive into the local community,” Vy commented. “We got to meet a lot of other local business owners and vendors who have been the best, pointing me in the right direction, and just being supportive because they’ve been through it all before.”
Vy feels fortunate to be able to open a brick-and-mortar store during a global pandemic after only one year of launching online and be welcomed with open arms by the community. “We are very active in the community through stocking products by local makers and artists, as well as collaborating with young and local entrepreneurs through events to provide a healthy hangout spot and creative outlet for the younger generation. I absolutely love the day-to-day task at the store and meeting women from all walks of life in person and not just through an Instagram feed.
“One of the best parts of owning my own business is being able to curate fun collections, working with cool artists and other small businesses, and having so much fun shooting with my sister and friends. My entire world is my little shop now, it’s like a little baby that needs catering to constantly, but it is so rewarding at the end of the day.
“For a long time, we couldn’t really find a boutique within our style that is both high quality and still affordable. I’ve always been drawn to the relaxed fit and carefree lifestyle and I wanted a way to encapsulate the peacefulness that the beach brings me. Through colors, materials, and clothing styles, I created a brand that hopefully brings it closer to my customers.”
When asked what advice she would give to others interested in starting their own business, Vy responded that success doesn’t happen overnight. “Be patient. Expect mistakes and look at them as challenges to overcome. Have large doses of humility. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who you want to learn from. Grab coffee, bring a notepad, and learn! Also, being prepared is good but don’t overthink it. Half of the battle is to overcome your fears and just do it!”