Accents couples unique business strategy and hard work to succeed
Along the strip mall at Mockingbird Station, one quaint boutique stands out from the rest. A small chalkboard sign stands near the opening of the store, handwritten in multi-colors announcing this week’s sales and featured items. Inside, the trendy indie store displays an eclectic mix of merchandise from clothing to accessories, showcased throughout. A sales associate immediately greets customers walking in saying, “Welcome to Accents, how may I help you?”
According to its website, Accents is a mini-chain of boutiques located in Southlake, Texas and Mockingbird Station in Dallas. Since 2007, Accents’ goal as a retail company is to provide fashionable, trendy items at affordable prices. It is known for featuring ever-changing selections from New York and L.A., having frequent sale events and exceptional customer service.
Lucy Huang, owner of Accents, decided to pursue fashion after working in technology management with Texas Instruments and other tech-related entrepreneurial ventures and wanted to try something different.
“I did not have a fashion background whatsoever, but I actually acted on very planned and deliberate life decisions,” Huang said. “I quit my job, wrote a business plan and took classes at El Centro for retail.”
After having moderate success as an entrepreneur, Huang also decided to be her own investor to bring her specific vision of Accents to life.
“That’s another reason I picked fashion – I wanted to not be held by venture capitalist or any angel investor– been there, done that, don’t want to do that.”
In only nine months, the first Accents store was opened. Its success grew over time, so much so that Huang opened another location in Southlake in 2013 and relocated from West Village to a 40 percent larger venue at Mockingbird Station in 2014, according to Culture Map Dallas.
Huang attributes the success and growth of the company to her business plan and method of operation.
“We emphasize we are a small, local Dallas business but we are a ‘grown up business’– we operate as a hybrid of corporate and local in a tight manner,” Huang said. “We want to stand next to Urban Outfitters and not look like a ‘mom and pop’ store.”
Huang’s detailed business plan, hardworking staff and endless motivation drives Accents to be the successful, well-known boutique that provides all the desired services it has. Her passion seems contagious as staff members work just as hard as the owner.
Chandler Helms, Accents sales associate, says Huang attracted her to the position about one year ago. Helms says Huang is an incredible boss and has taught her a multitude of things from retail to entrepreneurship.
“[Lucy] is thoughtful, understanding, reasonable, kind and extremely hard working,” Helms said. “She is constantly searching for ways to improve the store, employee morale and sales. She built most of the displays in the store by hand. Lucy never ceases to amaze me with her drive and curiosity.”
Despite Accents’ overwhelming success, Huang constantly strives to make improvements to her store, adjust what doesn’t work and find ways to continue things that are going well.
As advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in business, technology, or retail, she says, “be humble and remember that nothing’s beneath you.”