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Meet Amber Fils-aime of Thick-tique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Fils-aime. 

Hi Amber, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I have been fixing hair since the age of 13 years old. It’s always been my dream to open up my own salon. Being that I fixed hair so long, I wanted it to take a side role to explore my love for math. I’ve been a math teacher for the past nine years changing scholars’ viewpoint about math. I’ve reached the highest heights as a math teacher and have a “Master” level rating (highest rank) for the state of Texas. However, a couple of years ago, I began to feel like it was time to try something new for a career path. 

One day I was walking in Desoto Market and the owner of a boutique stops me, “You can have anything in this boutique as long as I can take a picture of you in it and use it for my website.” I was a bit shocked but agreed. The owner was a wealth of knowledge and pushed me to explore my dreams of opening my own business. I told her that I really wanted my own a restaurant but I use to want to own a salon. She taught me all the beginning steps to building my business credit, but I was too afraid to actually put things in motion. One day after our session together, she tells me that the next time I came back, I better had made some progress. Although I was still unsure of how to take those steps, I begin researching everything she said and realized having my salon should be the first business venture. 

I ran my idea by a friend and she recommended that I put my own boutique with the salon. I wasn’t really confident with selling clothes. That was something I never thought to do. Then I remembered the lady from the boutique told me,” Every time you model an outfit, I sell out fast.” I decided I would give it a try for myself. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the biggest challenges of opening any business is finding the right amount of funding. My business had to be self-funded but luckily, I changed schools this year for the first time in seven years and it came with a stipend. 

Another challenge was finding the right retail location with the best deal. Each location wants something different from another one. I found the perfect spot and was told I could have the location but then they decided to snatch it back from me and give to someone else. I was like, “they can’t do that,” but I took it as a sign that it wasn’t meant for me. 

The spot that I did lease gave me five months of free rent but the building and permitting process has taken the entire five months. I am so stressed out about that but thankful to have not been paying rent! My biggest word of advice is to always shoot well under your budget because surprises do happen and I’m upset about that too. ☹️🙃🙄😑😒😒 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Thick-tique?
My business is called Thick-tique. We have something for everybody but we cater to the curvy and plus-size women. Our Boutique is Fashion Forward. We carry a variety of stylish clothing. Being a plus-size woman, you enter stores that carry a multitude of small to xl clothing and only a few racks of plus-size. At Thicktique, it will be the exact opposite. That’s our goal! 

Thick-tique is also a multicultural salon that specializes in the overall beauty of individuals. What sets us apart from other salons and boutiques is that we service clients with different hair types and cater to all body shapes. It is important that our stylists are cross-trained in offering a variety of services to clients with all types of tresses. We didn’t want to be a salon that only specialized in hair services. We wanted to create a home where there was an abundance of services to choose from! 

We will offer a variety of hair services that includes cuts, dyes, extensions, installations of bundles and wigs, Loc maintenance, Microlinks, itips, tape-ins natural hair care, perms, Barber services, and many more. We will also offer other services such as make-up, nails, facials, and waxes. 

I value opinions and is receptive to feedback. I want our customers to know that we cater to their needs. If there is a service you want us to provide or an outfit you want us to sell/find for you, just let us know. We are just an email, dm, or phone call away. 

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
What I have learned through the pandemic is that life is short. We can’t sit around and put off things today when tomorrow isn’t promised. No one could’ve imagined that the world would’ve shut down and so many lives would be lost at once. Get out there, achieve those goals and live life to the fullest. 

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