Meet The Founder & CEO of Detroit’s Premier Bridal Shop, Pink Poodle Dress Lounge, Raeshawn Bumphers
Q: So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your business, Pink Poodle Dress Lounge.
RB: I am the Founder and CEO of Pink Poodle Dress Lounge (PPDL). PPDL is Detroit’s Premier Bridal Shop and Dress Boutique. I am a Native Detroiter that required to have my business located in Detroit’s urban neighborhood with the desire to become an inspiration to the young girls in the community.
Q: How did you come up with the name Pink Poodle Dress Lounge?
RB: My grandmother’s twin sister owned Pink Poodle Lounge in Milwaukee years ago. After spending months trying to figure out a name for my business concept, my grandmother finally shared the name of her sister’s business. After going pondering on the name, questioning if it would be appropriate for a bridal shop, I woke up the next morning and decided to go with it. It was the best decision I made from the City of Detroit and citizen’s response.
Q: Tell us about the Motor City Match entrepreneurial excellence program you were a part of.
RB: Motor City Match and Michigan Women Forward assisted me financially to open my brick and mortar. I won a cash award of $25,000 in MCM’s Round Team entrepreneur competition.
Q: How has Covid changed the way you do business?
RB: COVID allowed me to take time to revisit our marketing plan and kept a tight rope on the business financials. It led me into branding myself as Detroit’s Bridal Stylist while continuing to brand Pink Poodle Dress Lounge. My approach to keep up the momentum continued our sales during uncertain times.
Q: What has surprised you about business ownership?
RB: I am surprised by the full commitment and sacrifices required to flourish your business. Any given day something could happen, and it is up to you to ensure the fire is out.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to purse their dream and start a business?
RB: I would tell young women not to rush into business. Create a solid business plan that makes sense to the business and you. Be sure to have enough working capital when opening a brick and mortar. Most importantly, be good at what you do!
Q: Were there moments in your career that were pivotal to getting where you are today?
RB: I have many tools in my box from several industries I worked within 20 years. From hospitality to corporate America shaped me to be the business owner I become.
Q: What is it about your job that most excites you?
RB: My excitement comes from a bride, her mom and bridal party expressing the great experience they received followed by seeing the smile on our bride’s faces when she looks at herself in the mirror just before walking down the aisle on her wedding day in her perfect dress.
Q: What's your advice for women in male-dominated fields?
RB: We are dominators! Do not ever allow society to tell you that you cannot do what you can do.
Q: What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
RB: My greatest fear that I overcame was making the decision to move to a new location less than one year of opening my brick and mortar. I was so afraid that brides would not take me seriously. I was forced to move and take action to turn my move into a marketing transition.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
RB: Once something is not working, fix it immediately and/or substitute it with something else.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
RB: Beyonce Carter inspires me more and more every day. The inspiration comes from her knowing exactly what she wants and how to get it all while delegating and being a wife and mother.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
RB: Avoid the noise and do not look at setbacks or bad experience negatively. Good and bad experience can lead to your amazing
Five Things About Raeshawn Bumphers
1. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
My goal is to sit down and have a conversation with Jay Z on life, business, growth and urban communities.
2. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m a very early morning person. It’s imperative to handle my administrative tasks first thing in the AM with a clear mind and no distractions.
3. What would your perfect vacation look like?
Brunch with coffee and mimosa moving to outdoor pool area with summer cocktails and lunch until dinner time, and then repeat.
4. What’s your big passion?
My biggest passion is being an inspiration to young girls.
5. What were you like in high school?
I was like I am now. I had a business mindset as a young lady. I always wanted to start a business. I dressed in suits in elementary school.