Starting a “Mature” Business

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Historically, Detroit has had its own unique sense of fashion style.  And like the Motor City over the years, it has evolved and continues to make its own statement, locally and nationally.
And entrepreneurs have taken notice and continue to tap into the fashion industry as part of the city’s resurgence and re-emerging status as a city “cool, hip city”.

 

Meet the Humes’ brothers and their Mature clothing line, an Detroit-based men’s clothing retailer which carries an exclusive collection of contemporary casual clothing, modern dress wear & unisex accessories.  

Launched earlier this year by brothers and co-founders, Darryl Humes Jr. and DeKoven Humes, its initial business strategy is primarily focused online while participating in pop-up shops across metro Detroit.  Longer term, the Humes are looking to expand into retail outlets across metro Detroit.

I recently sat down with Darryl for his perspective on starting a clothing retail online business, leveraging “pop ups” to support growth and Detroit’s perception within the fashion scene nationally.


Lee:  Why did you and your brother decide to become entrepreneurs?


Humes:  As brothers growing up, we always had a business mindset, very ambitious and demonstrated a hard-work ethic. We wanted to utilize our passion for style, our love mentoring and encouraging others, and building a business to create our own legacy. With that being said, we knew that leap of faith took another level of courage and strong belief in ourselves. 

We have been truly blessed through this journey and the feedback and support thus far has positively reinforced our decision. We view entrepreneurship as a commitment and we won’t let the city of Detroit down. 

Lee:  Your family has a history of selling clothing apparel in Detroit.  Please tell us about it. 


Humes:  Our grandmother owned a women’s store called “Patricia’s Fashions”.  Her store was located on Grand River and Greenfield in Detroit. She was in business for roughly 10 years. My dad was in the retail industry for about 8 years. Being employed at several different stores around the city of Detroit (Van dykes, Montees, and Mr. X customs), he gained a wealth of knowledge. 

Our dad and grandmother shared their knowledge with us but most importantly they were examples of true servants. They also put the people the style and served first before the sell. It was always evident that genuine relationship with the people brings true personal satisfaction. So, our passion you can say it’s genetic and its family legacy we want to continue. 


Lee:  Why the name Mature and what are the business’ core values?


Humes:  The definition of Mature is an advanced stage of mental or emotional development characteristic. We felt Mature represents what we strive to stand for. Mature is an inspired store where your wardrobe can elevate as our customer elevates through the life. 

Our core values are positivity, style and attractive character. We aren’t your typical clothing store, we inspire style.  Mature is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle. 

Lee:  You launched your business on July 4th of this year.  What has been your primary strategy for business launch and growth?


Humes:  We have focused on a quality in every aspect of our business. We strongly believe if you think like a startup you will just be a startup. If you think like a well-known store you will become a well-known store. We wanted to take our time refining some of our business practices to provide exceptional service and come across as experienced. 

Our goal when we launched was to provide an extensive collection of products but not sacrifice quality. We focused on building relationships with quality/known brands and learning how to buy fashionable productsLearning how to buy inventory for customers versus shopping for ourselves has been adjustment. Being able to forecast and anticipate your customer needs and wants are keys to success in any business. 

Lee:  You’ve had pop-ups across the city.  How has that helped you?


Humes:  We believe the pop-up shops has helped our business in a tremendous way. We have been located in Twelve Oaks Mall, Beacon Park, Briarwood Mall, All Things Detroit Eastern Market, and now at the Downtown Detroit Holiday Market. 

The pop-up shops have helped us generates more brand awareness. With us being an online clothing retailer the pop-up shops allow us to engage with our customers and for them to become more familiar with our products and service.  Pop-up shops also allow you to test a retail concept before taking on longer term risk like getting a permanent location. 


Lee:  How would you categorize the clothes you sell online and what makes them unique?

Humes:  Our collection of products allows the consumer to feel comfortable and fashion forward from noon to midnight. Whether that individual is spending time with family during the day or enjoying the nightlife, you can do it in style with Mature. We pride ourselves on curating a unique collection of products from various brands to create an exclusive mature look. We consider our styles and products versatile and they should have longevity in our customers wardrobe. We don’t just sell product but we love to educate and actively participate developing the entire outfit. 

Lee:  During this holiday season, online sales are expected to increase in record numbers.  Will Mature’s line of products expand into retail outlets or remain online exclusively?


Humes:  Mature as of now is a part of the Holiday Market Downtown Detroit. You can shop right now at our Pop-up Shop located at 1001 Woodward Detroit MI 48226. We are open Tuesday-Sunday till Jan 7th. Our sophisticate e-commerce store will continue to be updated and all new arrivals are available online as well. 

Lee:  And where do you see Mature in five years and advice would you give to those starting a business?


Humes:  In 5 years, we see Mature in a permanent location in Midtown Detroit or Downtown Detroit. We would love to have a second location by then potentially in the suburbs. Within the next five years Mature will launch their own brand of clothes and designs.  

Advice we would like give to those who starting a business:  1)  Begin with a detailed plan and join small business networks to learn retail operations,  2. Get out there and network,  3. Surround yourself with the right people, and 4. Stay ahead of the curve and be willing to adjust your plan,  5. Find a healthy work-life balance


Lee:  Finally, when it comes to fashion, how does Detroit stack up compared to other cities?

Humes:  Detroit has always been known for leading fashion styles. There are many individuals in the Detroit area they continue to make our city look good but overall, we do lack enough retail outlets to support the individual fashion needs. We are excited about the resurgence in Detroit retail

Detroit does have some signature clothing/lifestyle brands that are becoming household names on the national level. We are hopeful Mature can become a retail landmark in Detroit where local residents and tourists can look forward to a great shopping experience,

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