Art in Motion is a ceramic studio and gallery located on Detroit’s famous Avenue of Fashion. After participating in Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s REVOLVE Detroit program, which matched businesses with empty storefronts, owner Marlynne Kay Willingham became one of TechTown’s first SWOT City clients, where she gained the resources needed to further grow and sustain her business.…
Aisha Warren believes fashion is her calling. Her business is Posh Fashions, a women’s boutique on East Jefferson. A TechTown SWOT City client, Aisha celebrated the grand opening of Posh Fashions on May 6.
Aisha began her career with the national chain Dots, serving as a store manager for over 21 years and learning about customer service, fashion retail and product management. She was so successful, customers sought her out even after Dots went out of business. She didn’t see her job loss as a strike but as an opportunity to answer the challenge her first mentor had posed: “When are you going to help people follow their dreams?”
Aisha had already considered the route of entrepreneurship, where she didn’t have to worry about decisions from corporate employers.
“If it was just about the money then I wouldn’t be doing this. But it’s my love for fashion that keeps me going,” she explains.
Aisha works with themes and the trends of her customers and community. For instance, over Memorial Day Weekend, one band of mannequins in her store wore only white clothing, appealing to those attending white parties. Aisha also considers the income of her customers.
“I looked at the demographics, and I saw that people across the river were making six figures,” Warren says. “But one block down from me I have single moms that are making less than $20,000, and I want to be able to cater all of Detroit.”
Aisha describes Posh as a “high-end boutique experience on a budget,” and she considers the women who visit her store clients, not customers. She works to ensure the shopping experience is relaxing and enjoyable for all body types. So rather than just advising “looser” clothing for women with weight insecurities, she guides them toward the right look.
Her personal touch extends beyond the doors to her store. She has been known to deliver a pair of shoes across town and she rarely waits for the UPS delivery truck. Instead, she stops by the facility to pick up her shipments in the morning so merchandise is laid out in time for customers when rush hour for shopping hits.
Her commitment is not only to her customers, but to the city where she was born and raised.
“Where I opened up is actually where I lived my childhood,” she says. “And I think the representation of Detroit isn’t what it seems. I love my area and I love my city, even though you see it differently on the news. When I see that, I’m like, ‘Well, I beg to differ.’ You have to understand Detroiters and their passion.”