Fashion and style is a big deal for a Black Southern Belle and today we are featuring a BSB who is taking this passion and making a business out of it. Austin based, Alta Alexander has launched her fashion dreams with her new boutique, Altatudes. We are excited to share more about this budding entrepreneur and her Austin, TX Boutique. This small town Texas girl is taking her dreams and making them a reality and we know her story will inspire you to do the same.
A Black Southern Belle’s Dream: Austin, TX Boutique Opens
● Your Name: Alta Y. Alexander
● Business Name: Altatudes
● Alma Mater: Huston-Tillotson University
● Fun Fact: I am a charter member of the Lone Star (TX) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and the current Vice-President and Membership Chair
● Hometown: I hail from the quaint southern town of Smithville, TX
● Current business location: 1717 East 12th Street, Austin, TX 78702
● Website Link: altatudes.com
● What services do you provide? Altatudes is a mid- to high-end women’s clothing boutique sewn in the heart of historic East Austin, TX with an authentic style where modern design is threaded together with traditional tailoring. I currently carry 21 different designers and brands including Tracy Reese, Laura Siegel, AMS Atelier, Rebecca Taylor, Black Halo, Acler, Noel Asmar, and many more!
Altatudes also provides personal shopping and personal styling.
Altatudes stylishly “walked down the runway” on September 18, 2017.
● Why did you decide to start a business? I have always been passionate about clothes and accessories! During my college days, my friends were making sure they had money to go out. I was making sure that I had money to get an outfit to go out in! Feeling good about the clothes I wear has always been pivotal to me and also an opportunity to express my inner joy. Whenever I dreamed of entrepreneurship as far back as a little girl at 7 or 8 years old, I thought of being a boutique owner. At that time it was just to be privy to all the wonderful fashions. Now, it’s to provide other women that opportunity to have beautiful pieces to enhance the beauty they already posses. A second or third date with my husband 17-years ago confirmed it when he asked me if I ever wanted to own my own business. I told him then, yes, it would be a boutique, and I would call it Altatudes!
● Before you owned a business, what did you do? I worked for the State of Texas as a public servant in the office of civil rights. I have a heart for serving and plan to translate that desire for giving back. Now, I have been blessed to not only live my dream, but also provide others with the opportunity to expand on their own styles, or their own “tude”
●What is the most interesting client request you have had? Having been open only less than a month, I’m certain I will have interesting stories to convey later.
● What is the most important thing you have done to build your business? I have remained true to my own aesthetic. I have had many, many designers and vendors approach me to carry their ware in Altatudes, but if our style aesthetic is on different spectrums, I’ve had to decline. It’s not that I don’t respect their style vision, but if it is overly different than mine, it won’t make sense for me to add it to my showroom. So, knowing who I am and staying true to my vision is the most important thing I’ve done to date in building my business.
● Who are some of your business idols? Without a doubt, my husband Lamont. Although, our businesses are VERY different (he has a real estate investment business and a landscaping service) he has an incredible work ethic and has an impeccable business acumen. He’s my go-to for candid and accurate advice concerning business to-do’s (and not-to-do’s). I know he’ll tell me the things I need to hear as well as those things I might not want to hear.
● Do you have any mentors? My grandparents are my guiding light. Although they transitioned to their heavenly home many years ago, the wisdom they instilled in me still remains. Their spirit will always live inside me. My grandfather was the hardest working man I’ve ever known, and he did not mince word on being honest. My husband is very much like him in this respect. And, my grandmother was the most loving person in the world! Her love transcends time. I tap into both their spiritual characteristics when I need to be near them and utilize those elements to move through my business life. Their spirits give me a foundational strength and compassionate voice.
I am also blessed to have a wonderfully knowledgeable network of true sister-friends who are, thankfully, not shy about sharing lessons learned with me.
● What is your favorite thing about being southern? Unequivocally, the food! I will break ANY diet I am on for some shrimp and grits, and some chicken and waffles! I also love our ‘southern draw’. Yes, we have an accent, but I think it’s quite charming.
● What is your favorite southern entrees or sides? Why? I mentioned my favorite southern dishes above, but another is sweet potato pie! Sweet potatoes are my mother’s favorite – she eats them nearly every day with everything and sometimes by themselves! I think of her every time I have a bite of sweet potatoes.
● What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business? Give me a fit and flare dress and some sexy scrappy heels any time and I can go anywhere! I love a feminine look, but I’m a country girl at heart, so I great fitting pair of jeans and perfect white shirt and I’m set anytime! And, I’d be remised if I did not add shoes to my mix of favorite pieces. I LOVE heels, flats, slides – a unique pair of shoes is like a breath of fresh air! When I can’t find anything to buy (which is not often), I can always find a pair of shoes! Yassss sister!
I believe women are ever-evolving and retro at the same time. We change our style to match our mood and will circle back to favorite outfits, pieces and styles that make us feel good.