Elizabeth Poulos has turned her passion for fashion into a successful online business. After graduating from Palmetto Senior High in 2012, she began buying and selling women’s clothing to fund her shopping habit. Now in her second year at Miami Dade College, Poulos has launched a website to expand her growing company, called Liz’s Boutique. This move, she says, is simply another step on the way to opening her own store.
“I’ve always loved clothing and shopping, and I share this passion with my mom and cousin,” Poulos said. “My goal is to have my own store after I graduate college.”
Poulos is the first to admit that she has the same entrepreneurial spirit as her father, Steve Poulos, who co-owns the popular Lots of Lox Deli in Palmetto Bay. His encouragement and a little help and guidance from friends and family have helped Poulos grow Liz’s Boutique.
When she first started her business, Poulos was introduced to some of the clothing vendors she carries by her cousin Christina Poulos, who owns Bella Boutique in Boca Raton. Poulos is now a regular at the fashion houses in the Miami Design District. She shops locally for her inventory and chooses unique styles from popular brands such as Olivaceous and Naked Zebra.
“The clothes I carry are great quality,” Poulos said. “I often see similar styles in stores that are priced higher, but are lesser quality.”
During the early stages of her business, Poulos marketed her clothing to friends through word of mouth, Facebook and Instagram. But, the growth of her business has prompted her to implement a more sophisticated business plan. She developed her Liz’s Boutique shopping website with the help of her boyfriend of three years, Palmetto High alumni Carlos Gonzalez.
When customers visit the site, they see the clothing modeled by Gonzalez’s sister, Westminster Christian School student Melody Gonzalez, who is “the perfect model for the Liz’s Boutique line,” says Poulos.
Customers can shop online at Liz’s Boutique for trendy tops, shorts, pants, dresses, rompers, cover-ups and accessories, most of which are priced under $60. Or, they can schedule a private appointment with Poulos to view the collection at her home boutique or shop in the comfort of their own home.
“Many customers look at the collection online, and then give me a list of styles they want me to bring to their home so they can try them on,” Poulos said.
As she builds her business, Poulos may be following the advice of another entrepreneur – Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
She added, “Owning my own business gives me the flexibility to work around my classes, do what I love and build my career in the fashion industry.”