If you haven’t ever heard of Red Dress Boutique, you are either a boy, or you have never been to downtown Athens. This shop is a popular clothing store that sells up-and-coming clothes, shoes, jewelry, and every fashion accessory in between. However, what many people don’t know is that this boutique was featured on the popular show Shark Tank where famous business executives and investors consider offers and listen to pitches from entrepreneurs who are seeking funds for their products, services, or business.
When Josh and Diana Harbour, owners of Red Dress Boutique, stepped onto the Shark Tank carpet more than four years ago, they didn’t realize they were about to spread their already successful business into stratospheric territories. At the time they were aired on the show, they were already estimated to make $12 million in annual revenue. They did this by not only selling their clothing and accessories, but marketing complete outfits to sell which were promoted through Instagram and social media posts. Once partnering with Mark Cuban, this couple was able to overcome technical challenges of growing and sustaining an online business. Because of their appearance on the show, their company has exponentially grown and they have even had the opportunity of opening up another boutique shop called Fringe in Athens.
One way that Red Dress markets to their customers is by bringing in local college girls who have a large amount of followers on their social media accounts and having them model clothes for them to post on their Instagrams. I have seen this first-hand as three of my roommates modeled for this company by dressing in their clothes for our sorority events and tagging Red Dress in the posts. This is a smart tactic because not only is Red Dress marketing to customers who follow their media accounts, but they are also marketing to all of the girls who follow my roommates and others from their accounts.
All in all, Red Dress Boutique is by far one of the most successful locally grown companies to have been built in Athens. It is widely popular, and several of their clothes are worn for events such as game days and sorority functions. I think it is important to highlight these hardworking businesses, and next time you decide to shop downtown, make sure to stop by Red Dress to see what it’s all about.