We're thrilled to introduce you to our first highlight interview on Optimistic Millennial.

Alecia Sanfilippo is the Founder and Creator of AdornApparel.us, an online clothing boutique that helps women feel more beautiful, appreciated and powerful in their own environment.

AdornApparel.us was launched in June 2015 and is based out of Jacksonville, FL.

I want to help women all across the board in any way I can. Whether that is helping them to know you are beautiful at any size or if that is helping women to know they can have a meaningful and successful life no matter what they’ve gone through.

Why She's Featured

Alecia worked in retail for eight years, dreaming about opening up her own clothing boutique, before she launched Adorn Apparel. She faced challenges, learned how to run a business, and optimized her work along the way.

On top of making her dream a reality, she has sought to improve other lives in this work - donating 10% of all profits to an organization that helps women in sex slave trafficking and women who are less fortunate.

Read on for an inside look at the successful launch of her business.

I worked in retail for 8 years and management for 6 of it. I loved retail even though it’s crazy. I would see boutiques and say, “I would love to do this”, but never really thought I could.

What are the habits/practices that get you motivated to start your work each day?

I'm starting to wake up and workout first thing. That energizes me and gives me more energy throughout the day and I can focus better. To spend time with God - I do that next after I work out - that will help you with anything. I also make a weekly schedule my time for specific things - that way I know what I'm doing the rest of the week.

What was an obstacle to starting the business?

Staying positive about it. People don't get excited for you or they are just not interested and it makes you feel dumb - even though they're not saying those things, that's kind of where your mind goes. It was just a few friends that I would tell about my excitement and they would just say, "Oh...". Not all my friends, but just a few. They wouldn't ask questions even if they would say, "oh cool!", but you know they're not interested. My husband and family are supportive - all about it.
Obstacles? Money for one. If you look it up, to open a brick and mortar location, you need $150-200K, it might even be more now because that was 1-2 years ago when I looked it up. You can do it for 1% of that if not less online.

Were there ever moments when you thought, "Maybe I shouldn't have done this? Am I crazy? This is never going to work."

There are definitely times that are scary and you may not always be 100% sure of yourself but you just have to keep pushing because it's all worth it!

What advice did others give you when starting the business?

I'm a part of an online boutique society Facebook group. It's a bunch of girls who are trying to start a boutique or who are already doing it. It's over 100 girls that have similar experiences. If you have an issue to see something that's not going so well - it makes you feel better.

What advice would you give to others who are trying to start something new?

Do it! Definitely research what you're doing ahead of time and to be prepared for things to not go as planned but to step out. It's never the right time - it's never a good time. Especially if you're spending money you don't know how it's going to end up, but to do it anyway. 
10% of our profits go to different organizations focused on helping women in one way or another. Right now it’s going to Beauty Restored in Nicaragua and they’re saving women and children - literally out of dumps - in Nicaragua.

To find out more about AdornApparel.us and shop their online boutique, follow them on Facebook, and follow their Instagram reel.

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