Since she was in high school, Marin Godwin knew she wanted to do something in the fashion industry.
Less than two years after graduating from Mustang, Godwin is days away from realizing her dream.
Godwin will launch an online clothing store Feb. 1 called Blue Honey.
The store will include different clothes that Godwin picked out when she attended a clothing vendor market in Chicago, as well as clothes that include her personal style she wants to create with the Blue Honey brand.
Godwin attended the University of Central Oklahoma as a freshman in the fall of 2017, and started as a psychology, pre-med major. She quickly decided that was not the path for her and became a strategic communications major.
The 2017 Mustang High School graduate said she always wanted to pursue something in fashion, but wasn’t sure she was in the right location.
“At the time, I didn’t know if Oklahoma would be the right place to pursue something in fashion. I spoke with my Advisor at UCO and was told the school didn’t really offer anything like that. I was frustrated because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Communications is a great degree, but it’s so broad and everyone is doing it.”
Godwin then decided to head down the public relations/marketing path.
“I started working on this idea on the side for an online clothing store,” Godwin said. “I really wanted to do it, but had no idea where to start. I just worked on some concepts. I didn’t even have a name or any logistics.”
This previous summer, Godwin went to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip with her church, Victory Family Church.
Godwin said she had been really frustrated with where her life was prior to that trip.
“I just felt stuck. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just unplugged on the mission trip and had a lot of time to think about everything. I realized that I was just 19 years old. There is no reason to feel stuck. I can do anything right now, so I decided I was going to just go for it.”
Following the trip, a fellow church member contacted Godwin to talk about her idea.
Greg Starling, who had previously met Godwin at Victory Family Church through her roommate and friend Ali Sylvester, invited Godwin to his house to have dinner with him and his wife.
Starling, who has helped several start-up businesses in his career, was interested in investing in Godwin’s idea.
After speaking with Godwin about her vision for the online clothing store, he and his wife decided to invest.
“Their investment has been way more than just money,” Godwin said. “Greg has helped so much with the legal stuff and the tax stuff. I had only met him and his wife a handful of times. For them to reach out like they did was amazing. It was truly a God thing. This has been a learning process for the both of us.”
Godwin met with the Starlings several times a week after they originally met in July to come up with a game plan for the new business.
They filed for a Limited Liability Company license (L.L.C.) at the end of July and received it in August.
Next up on the list: attending a vendor market.
CHICAGO VENDOR MARKET
Godwin said she didn’t want her online store to resemble anything a shopper could find at any other store in the area.
“I wanted to make sure this store was going to be unique. Nothing around here embodied my personal style and I wanted the same concept for Blue Honey. I didn’t want it to be like anything else around here.”
Godwin and Starling decided it would be best to attend the vendor market in Chicago rather than one closer to the Oklahoma City area.
“A lot of clothing stores around here will go to market in Dallas or Atlanta,” she said. “I did a bunch of market research and I decided to go to market in Chicago. It was a big learning experience. We had a great time.”
More than 800 brands of clothes were being showcased at the vendor market in the windy city. Starling and Sylvester made the trip along with Godwin.
“We had no idea what to expect,” Godwin said. “We prepped really well. I went through all 800 brands thoroughly and developed a game plan. We were so prepared. We were able to knock out all of market in one day. I was able to build relationships and I was able to pick out clothes and brands that will be included with Blue Honey’s launch.”
Following the initial launch, Godwin said she will work on finding a manufacturer for her personal stuff that will encompass what she wants out of Blue Honey.
“I have a book of designs ready to go. I just need someone to make them. I want to eventually make the transition solely into the Blue Honey brand of clothes. I have a special vision for it.”
LAUNCH OF BLUE HONEY
Godwin said the initial launch will not be what Blue Honey will become down the road.
“It will not be at all what it’s going to be. I want people to buy into to what it is now. It will be a 90s aesthetic. We are focused on building brand aesthetic right now. We want to create a unique experience for shopping online. We want our shoppers to have a fun and exciting experience on the website. I really think people will enjoy it. It will be different than what people around here are used to seeing.”
The website for Blue Honey is www.shop bluehoney.com and will be up and open for business Feb. 1.
Godwin said she has spent endless amounts of time and money to build the website and market her store.
“I have spent so much time on every detail. For example, I spent three hours trying to decide on the color of the tissue paper I want to put in each package. I want our attention to detail to set us apart.”
The biggest tool for marketing Godwin will use to drive traffic to the website will be Instagram.
Blue Honey’s Instagram will constantly be updated and be the main source of information for what is going on with the online store.
Godwin is still attending school at UCO, but is shifting to an online only schedule. She also is working at Reclaimed Warehouse. She said she plans on Blue Honey becoming her career, but that will be down the road.
“It’s a passion-driven thing. I want this to eventually become my career. This is not a hobby to me. I hope people buy into it. I kept it a secret for a long time. I teased it a little bit on social media. I was a little nervous about the market here for an online store like this, but since I have announced the launch, the feedback has been amazing. People are excited about it. I do believe it can flourish here. It’s an idea that became realistic. I am going to work so hard to make it work. I see where it can go and what it can be.”
Throughout this process, several people have asked Godwin if she has plans on building a walk-in store for Blue Honey.
She said it is not in the plans at this point.
“I want to stay in the online clothing world. I will do some pop-up shops every now and then where I bring some inventory to a location and let people come see what we have and shop. I plan on doing my first one in either February or March. The pop-up shops can be great advertising for us. Once we get going with the online store, I plan on doing a pop-up shop once every other month in the Oklahoma City-area or in different regional locations.”
BLUE HONEY’S UNIQUE STYLE
The style of clothes Blue Honey will encompass will be unique. Godwin said she wants to create an environment where people feel comfortable with their own style.
“The clothes will be eclectic, street style and a little funky. I believe style is important. It’s a unique and cool way to express yourself. Your personal style could be your own personal art form. You can do so much with it. Our personal styles are our way of expressing ourselves. It’s important to not care what others think and not have to worry about what you wear. I want people to feel free to wear what they want to wear and I want Blue Honey to represent that.”
Godwin said she plans to incorporate a blog attached to the online store that she will write, so she can have a personal connection with her customers. She said she wants to focus on the experience rather than the shopping.
“My focus has always been on building aesthetic over brand. We want our customers to know we are dedicated to our product. I know what I like in a style and I want to recreate that style with Blue Honey. We want our shoppers to know they matter as our customers. This will be about more than just selling clothes. We want to make it a full experience.”
Godwin said she believes people get too caught up in what they wear, but she believes there is a market for her style of clothes in this area.
“A lot of our clothes will be funkier stuff. I want people to see it and think it’s cool. This has been a learning process for me. I believe in what I am doing. I want to enjoy this whole process.”