Local Business Spotlight: DFTI Boutique

DFTI  Boutique is a high-end experimental boutique with prices under $100 in Philadelphia. The clothes sold here look like something off a fashion blogger’s Instagram account. Storeowner Ashley N. Taylor lives by the mantra "Always dress like you're going to run into your ex." DFTI’s mission is to help you find unique pieces with which you can flaunt your personal style or find an awesome gift for a friend. Decked out in DFTI clothes, you will definitely stand out in a crowd.

Ashley, the woman behind the magic, has been a fashion buyer for years and she effortlessly anticipates the wants and needs of her customers and their personal style. After taking a Wharton Small Business Development course at the University of Pennsylvania, Taylor presented her business plan to retail developers. She found the perfect location on Chestnut Street and DFTI Boutique opened in May of 2015 after a yearlong process.  

(Image via DFTI Boutique’s Instagram)

With an impressive talent for making up completely new outfits for customers on the spot, which my roommate and I have witnessed firsthand, Ashley is one of a kind. She greets all customers with a smile and dedicates time and effort into helping them find whatever they’re looking for.

The inspiration for opening the store stemmed from the desire to fix a flaw in the Philadelphia fashion scene. Ashley saw people wearing the same mass-produced outfits that lacked individuality. She often heard of people who wanted to buy unique pieces that no one else had, but they couldn’t afford to break the bank trying. So, like the entrepreneur she is, Ashley set out to solve the problem. The solution was to open the boutique, which only receives six of each handpicked item from Los Angeles. These unique clothes have to be pricey, right? Wrong, each piece in the store costs under $100.

DFTI Boutique has been featured in Philly Style Mag twice in one month as a great place to find cute fall outfits. The store has also been mentioned on Philly ChitChat in a feature called “The Week’s Standouts in Style” after Lauren Stevis wore an outfit from DFTI to the Saxbys Coffee headquarters opening party.

(Image via Philly ChitChat)

Ashley’s biggest challenges as an entrepreneur in Philadelphia include the weather and managing money. Most of the money she makes goes back into buying merchandise for the store, especially since she receives three weekly shipments in order to supply new arrivals to her customers, she said. Making money during inclement weather is a recurring problem for many small businesses. “The hardest part is not being able to control the weather because climate has a huge impact on sales,” Ashley said.

The main goals for Ashley are to dress the entire community and make women feel beautiful. Her merchandise appeals to nearly every demographic and she advises everyone to "dress for the way you want to be perceived." When customers return to the store beaming about the compliments they have received on their DFTI outfits, Ashley is overjoyed and feels like she has accomplished what she set out to do.

When asked what the best part of running her own business was, Ashley said it was being able to go to work with her dog, an adorable Yorkie who is usually running around the store or perched at the door.

(Image via DFTI Boutique Facebook)

As of now, the primary focus for the business is to expand their reach in the Philadelphia area and maybe, in the future, branch out toward Charleston, Georgetown, or even Boston.

The store comes highly recommended from me and roommate—this is one of our go-to stores whenever there is an occasion, a night out, or we just feel like dressing up. The store always has the newest trends and I guarantee you will love it, so go check it out!

DFTI Boutique is currently located at 2026 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Image via DFTI Boutique Facebook)

You can also check out DFTI on its website, www.dftiboutique.com and social media (IG: @dftiboutique and Facebook: DFTI Boutique)!

Recent press:

http://phillystylemag.com/fall-fashion-finds-from-new-philly-boutiques

http://phillystylemag.com/digital-edition page 48-49

http://www.phillychitchat.com/2015/09/fashion-friday-weeks-standouts-in-style.html