• Sun. May 19th, 2024

Henrico Small Business Spotlight: Be Unique Custom Clothing and Alterations

Be Unique Custom Clothing and Alterations is a space where creativity, craftsmanship, and clothing alteration come together to serve the community. Since 1992, this Sandston clothing alteration shop has been a space for those seeking more than just everyday clothing tailoring.

Barbara Williams, the visionary and owner of Be Unique, infuses every aspect of her clothing alteration business with a passion for uniqueness and individuality. With a degree in business and a background as a professional seamstress, Williams is not just fixing clothing but crafting pieces to fit her clients’ unique styles and stories.

Williams’ vision behind starting her business was centered around the desire to give people an opportunity for self-expression through clothing.

Be Unique Custom Clothing and Alterations • 15 West Williamsburg Road, Sandston • (804) 326-2084

“My inspiration is giving people something different, something unique in clothing,” she said. “Letting them know that they can get very creative when it comes to retail clothing. . . I alter clothing to fit, and I might make some custom designs.”

Creating custom designs can range from small alterations to make clothes fit to adding custom patterns and prints to enhance the look of the clothes.

Managing the world as a small business owner hasn’t been without its challenges. Williams acknowledged the importance of location and market alignment, and that knowledge has aided the success of her business.

“Being in the right area is crucial,” she said. “Customer service is very important when it comes to a service business because people are your business.”

Along with creating a space for customers to express themselves through clothing, she’s had to find the right place to plant the roots of her business.

“Being in the right area. Being a person of service,” she said, citing some of the reasons for the business’s longevity. “I have to be in the right area. I have to be in the right market because if you’re not in the right market, you won’t have people to serve.”

“I wanted to service areas that didn’t have the service, and that’s one of the reasons why I chose Henrico County.”

Williams concluded that locating in Sandston was a way to give back to her community in an area that was lacking expertise.

Through the challenges, Williams has been able to find joy in clothing alteration and creation through her interactions with her customers. She recalled the joy of creating custom garments for brides and their entourage.

“When I first started in custom clothing, I ran across a lot of people that wanted custom clothing, especially brides,” she said. “They understood that they could get a garment that fit their bodies the way they wanted it to fit, and I was so inspired by that because to see the joy on their faces knowing that they designed it, they picked their colors, they gave me their measurements and then they ended up with a garment that perfectly fit. ”

One customer wrote that Williams’ prompt attention, quality and price made Be Unique an easy choice.

“Expert alterations and the owner also makes beautiful clothes to order, including wedding dresses,” the customer wrote. “I left a message and she returned my call and set up an appointment for me to come in promptly. Did a great job altering a pair of work pants for me. The store’s atmosphere is homey and friendly, and prices are reasonable. The store is right in Sandston – I can walk there from my house! Also, the owner kept going during the worst of COVID, but required masks and other protocols. I was impressed.”

To Williams, Be Unique Clothing and Alterations isn’t just a business but a celebration of individuality and a space for clothing design.

She finds immense fulfillment in entrepreneurship.

“I like the freedom of entrepreneurship, and I love helping people,” she said. “It has been a gift to me from God, and I thoroughly enjoy working with people, seeing the uniqueness of different individuals, and they enjoy the uniqueness of the products that I come up with.”

Through her expertise and dedication, Barbara Williams has created a setting in which clothing transcends mere fabric and becomes a canvas for self-expression. She weaves a story of creativity, passion, and the joy of being truly unique in every stitch.

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