My name is Stevie and I am the owner and operator of East 2 West Clothing, which is a brick and mortar clothing store located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I offer my customers fashionable and reasonably priced clothing items that are not currently available anywhere else in Cedar Rapids Iowa. I purchase merchandise from wholesale retailers located in Chicago and New York. I also purchase from vendors online as well. Some of the items you’ll find in my shop include clothing and shoes for Men, Women & Kids.
My dream has always been to be an entrepreneur and have my own business. When I met Mrs. Freda Long in 2005, she agreed to rent me the back room of her beauty shop. At that time, I would sell shirts, hats, and accessories to customers before and after getting their hair styled. And, I knew that one day I wanted to have a store of my own. When the opportunity to own my own business arose, I jumped on it. The landlord said I was the first on the list for retailers should the space become available. As mentioned above, 16 years later, I feel very blessed to call this space my own.
With these funds, I will add a wider variety of merchandise in my store, including mannequins and a broader selection of items for women and kids. A portion of this funding will allow me to purchase a lit sign for my brick-and-mortar store, which will better promote the location of the business. This signage will also generate and direct potential new customers to our shop.
I will also be using these funds to build a professional website and generate a stronger online presence, including paid advertising on social media platforms – such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
I have always loved fashion, and I was born and raised in the fashion capital, New York City. I came to Iowa in 1994 to visit a cousin who lived in Iowa City, and I saw opportunity to change my life and pursue entrepreneurship. That same Fall, I enrolled in Kirkwood Community College and studied Business Management. The following year, I went back to New York for a visit, and with $200 I purchased some clothing at a wholesale market. From there, I returned to Iowa and sold the clothing to friends. It was at that moment I knew this was what I wanted to do. My dream has always been to own and run my own business. In 2005 I met a couple of people who introduced me to an owner of a local beauty shop owner, Mrs. Freda Long. Freda agreed to rent me a room located in the back of her space. Fast forward 16 years later, and I am blessed to be operating my own business out of this space that I rent.
My goal has been to offer high-quality, fashionable merchandise at a reasonable price. With the growing online community, my potential customers are endless. I’m excited about the new possibilities, and I’m eager to meet the demand. My plan going forward is to purchase more merchandise, market my products, and advertise more broadly on major social media platforms. I’m also interested in offering opportunities for those interested in learning business and fashion.