Basic Bee Boutique Serves Up Style for a Young Urban Demographic

For Renise Warners, her business is an extension of herself.

“All of the pieces of my brand represent me,” she said. “It’s my vision– everything reflects a part of me.”

Warners is the owner of Basic Bee Boutique, where she sells a curated collection of clothes aimed at an underserved demographic in the local retail scene — the young, urban customer. Take a look at her website or walk through her store, and one can see a curated collection of clothing that is ambitious, fun and fearless.

Before launching her business this fall, Warners had a long career in retail management. She worked for Hollister Co., a global teen and young adult retail brand for many years and even opened the brand’s first store in the Netherlands.

“I gathered a lot of business acumen and knowledge from that experience,” she said.

It was while she was working at a former local franchise, Scout & Molly’s, that she became inspired to take all of the experience she had gathered and open her own store.

“I was doing it for other people, so I thought, ‘Why can’t I do this for myself’?” she expressed. “‘I can do this!'”

With the support of the owners, Warners took the opportunity to learn everything she could about owning a retail business.

“I used it as an educational experience,” she said. “I also established relationships with vendors.”

Warners opened Basic Bee in part with funds from a GROW microloan.

“I signed the loan paperwork on my 34th birthday,” she said. “‘This is it,’ I thought, ‘Full steam ahead!'”

As our community continue to navigate the pandemic, Warners is looking ahead to the future.

“I am looking forward to gaining more customers and extending my reach,” she said. “And I am looking forward to people discovering our business district. Long-term, I want to hire employees and brand ambassadors.”

Basic Bee is something of a dream come true for Warners, and she encourages anyone who is considering starting a business to go for it.

“I have always wanted to be my own boss,” she said. “For anyone who wants to start a business … fear can hinder things in life. If you don’t try, you will never know!”


Click here for more information on funding opportunities from GROW.

More Small Business Stories