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Conversations with Taby Davila

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taby Davila.

Hi Taby, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
It all started when I was very young. I went from selling candy, colored contacts, and clothes in my school hallways to having friends and family come over to shop from the rack and couch in my parent’s living room and eventually start Taby Bags at 16 which was a physical storefront in Orem, Utah.

I ran that from April 1st, 2008 to December 31st of 2015. The business even stayed open from September 2012-March 2014 while I served a mission for my faith. Eventually, I fell in love with the man who I would end up marrying. At this point in my life, Taby Bags had been running for nearly 8 years, and was about to begin my last semester at LDSBC for my Social Media Marketing Degree.

As crazy as it seemed then, I decided that I would close the doors to my boutique on New Years’ Eve to start the New Year fresh. 2016 would be the year that I would embark on a new venture, Permanent Cosmetics. Permanent Cosmetics became my new passion and I absolutely fell in love!! It is truly rewarding to be able to enhance others’ individual beauty. I love seeing my clients light up with a new sense of confidence.

Both my husband and family have encouraged, supported, and motivated me to pursue my goals to the point that I was able to go back to school and finish up my Social Media Marketing degree which has only added value to my Permanent Cosmetics business. Never did I imagine myself as a Permanent Makeup Artist but I am so glad that I had the courage to pursue something that seemed so foreign.

I went on to have a successful career in Permanent Makeup which led to opening up my own rent salon in Provo called The Beauty Studio in 2018. That same year, I had the desire to bring back my boutique but this time around I wanted things to be a little different. I wanted my new business Shop Taby to be specifically online and to meet a need in the market that I had identified.

You see 2 of my biggest struggles when shopping was: Most traditional Boutiques only carry sizes Small-Large and I found myself not always being able to fit into their largest size while also being too small to shop at a traditional Plus Size Boutiques (1X-3X).

2. Being a 5’1” Curvy Latina, I felt underrepresented in the boutique world. I was tired of seeing the exact same standards of beauty being displayed boutique after boutique.

I wanted to create a space where I saw other minorities such as myself be represented. I wanted a space that carried sizes beyond the traditional S-L. I wanted to provide women with the exact same shopping experience regardless of size. All of this lead me to the creation of @ShopTaby.

Our rad assortment of size-inclusive threads has enabled thousands of women from all shades of the rainbow, to refuse to blend in and to embrace their ridiculous dope soul by wearing the rad, nostalgic, and comfy, threads that 6 and even 16 year old them would be so proud of!

This year we have gone from our already inclusive sizing to focusing on creating more Taby Original Designs so we can have more control over sizing and extend our sizing from Small-3X to XSMALL-5X!

Shop Taby is Women Owned. Latina Owned. Dreamer Owned.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t been easy that’s for sure.

I think there are a lot of obstacles and setbacks that you face when starting/running any business but especially as a minority-owned, women-owned, and dreamer-owned business. For starters the lack of mentors or examples that one has access to or connections to as a minority is limited. Resources are limited. It’s hard not to feel like the odds are against you.

I think what we are trying to do in the fashion industry specifically it’s challenging because most of the fashion industry focuses on sizes S-L even tho the majority of women in the US are considered plus size. So when at market or trade shows and shopping for and or selecting our collection pieces most vendors will not carry/sell clothing sizes beyond the traditional small-large so our options are very limited.

Also, most traditional boutiques only carry the financial burden of stocking 3 sizes but for us because we believe representation and inclusion matters we carry 9-10 sizes in 1 style. That’s a little over 3 times more than the traditional boutique. It’s an expensive risk to take on which is why I think most in the fashion industry decided not to follow this route.

Just recently, we wanted to purchase a warehouse for the businesses both our banker and realtor knew of our status as DACA recipients/DREAMERS. We had started the building process and had planned on an SBA loan with 10% down. As the process moved along we wanted to make sure we would have no surprises along the way so we kept following up with our banker to make sure our status would not be a problem he assured us that it wouldn’t be and that we would be fine to qualify.

Eventually, our banker ended up giving us a call that unfortunately, we would not qualify for an SBA loan of 10% down like we had planned for because of our status. He told us we could still qualify for a loan but we would have to do 30% down instead. It was devastating to hear that.

It feels unfair that even though I have lived in the U.S from 1st grade through college we would need to come up with 3 times the amount that someone else born here would. This is an example of what I mean when I say that being a minority/ immigrant in business is challenging.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m proud of where I’ve been. Where I’m at, and where I’m going. I hope others can be inspired to pursue and chase their own dreams regardless of their own unique challenges and setbacks in life.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I think we won’t stop until inclusivity is the norm. I see a shift in the fashion industry for more inclusivity and representation. I think we are already seeing that shift and I think ALL will benefit from this positive shift. Specifically the rising generation.

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