Fashion business is booming for two young alums

October 8, 2012
By Bill Krueger

After a couple of short years working corporate jobs, Morgan Lashley ’07 and Caroline King ’07 – armed with a love of fashion – got the itch to try their hand at launching a company. With a booming online business and now a third brick-and-mortar location in the works, Vestique, which sells trendy and affordable clothing and accessories, has grown far past their expectations – and much quicker than they could have anticipated.

Morgan Lashley and Caroline King

Morgan Lashley and Caroline King (Photo courtesy of Julie Livingston Photography)

“We launched Vestique in October 2010 as an online boutique. At the beginning, we ran our operations out of my basement,” Lashley says. “Word kept spreading and next thing you know Caroline and I were getting calls from customers asking if they could come to my house to try on the clothes. It was obvious that people really liked the items we were selling, so we figured we’d give a retail store a go.”

One year after launching Vestique’s website, Lashley and King opened their first retail location off Oberlin Road in Raleigh. After tracking website orders and seeing a large customer base in Charlotte, they opened their second location in May 2012.

“Both our retail locations are doing exceptionally well,” King says. “So well, in fact, that we are in the process of opening up our third store in Greenville, S.C. Many of our customers are college students and young professionals, so college towns like Greenville are natural fits for us to expand.”

The work, while fun, is not always easy. Both women work more than 80-hour weeks, and have to travel frequently across the country to keep their merchandise fresh and seasonal.

“We started this business because we both love clothes and shopping. We’ve always had unique styles, and honestly, we got sick of having all our friends constantly asking to borrow our clothes,” Lashley laughs. “As much as we love what we do, running a company is hard work and takes a lot of sacrifice. But it is so worth it.”

-Caroline Barnhill ‘05


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