Hot Variety | Stone Mountain, GA
Tequasia Watts wants to share her love of clothing
Like a lot of people, Tequasia Watts has been interested in clothes and fashion for her whole life, but unlike most people, she has known she wanted to have her own clothing line since she was 10 years old. The entrepreneur bug bit her early and wouldn’t let go. Hot Variety is the culmination of years of dreaming.
“I can only see myself as an entrepreneur and something related to clothing.”
When she was 10, Tequasia’s dreams involved a clothing line called Georgia Peach. She laughs now about that name, but she still has those original designs she drew up. Despite her early clarity, Tequasia’s journey to starting her own business hasn’t been a straight line. She started out college at an art institute, but soon switched schools to study medical assisting. That seemed like a safe, reliable career path, and although she earned her certificate, the medical field did not appeal to Tequasia. She quickly realized the only path for her was entrepreneurship.
The first time around, Tequasia’s clothing business didn’t work out. She knew she lacked business knowledge, but she tried to sell her clothes anyway. “I knew what I wanted to do but I did not make the right approach. I just posted items on the internet and expected it to sell itself,” she explains. When that launch was unsuccessful, Tequasia didn’t get discouraged. She decided to go back to school to study business. She’s back at entrepreneurship now and ready to learn from her mistakes: “Being in school for business has been an eye opener and I have a better execution plan this go round.”
Part of learning from her mistakes for Tequasia means looking for resources instead of trying to launch her business entirely on her own. When she discovered Sky’s the Limit, she started looking at her company with fresh eyes. She rebranded, changed the name, and started over with a new logo. Volunteer Alexandria Brimage Gray, a management consulting senior analyst at Accenture, helped Tequasia with these steps. “I helped her decide on a logo and we created a SWOT to help her understand how she could define her niche and build the model/concept for her business and started the discussion on creating a business plan,” Alexandria says.
“We collaborated for about six months, usually doing calls/working sessions once a week. We set goals after each meeting to stay organized and moving forward. I was really happy to see she achieved her first customer milestone!” - Ismael Boussatta
Once Tequasia had settled on the look and name for her company, she laid out her next steps which included research, developing an initial product to start with, and setting up a website, and Ismael Boussatta, a technology senior analyst at Accenture, was there to help: “Working with Tequasia was a rewarding and productive experience! We collaborated for about six months, usually doing calls/working sessions once a week. We set goals after each meeting to stay organized and moving forward. When we started, we performed market research on other women’s fashion companies to help gain inspiration for Tequasia’s logo. We created a timeline, identifying the major activities needed to achieve her first sale. We performed a cost analysis on different products to help inform her MVP; we refined her MVP to be a signature pair of leggings. Tequasia worked with multiple manufacturers both domestically and abroad to source samples for her different products. She also researched different shipping container options and identified a cost effective option which met her needs. After aligning on her MVP, she did a photo shoot with the leggings and placed a production order. We built her website on Shopify, highlighting the leggings. I was really happy to see she achieved her first customer milestone!”
Since joining Sky’s the Limit, Tequasia has reached several business milestones like opening a bank account, getting a business license, manufacturing her products, and having her first customer. “Sky’s the Limit played a part. It has been the best thing Iʼve ever done,” she says.
“Sky’s the Limit played a part. It has been the best thing Iʼve ever done.”