New fashion boutique opened in McAllen

Only five days left for Alexa Carranca, 25, and Patty Castillo, 26, co-owners of The Style Union to open its doors to the public for the first time. Carranca and Castillo both graduated from what was formerly known as the University of Texas-Pan American and now plan to open a fashion boutique in McAllen. The grand opening will take place Saturday, Sep. 30 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 6308 N. 10th St.

Castillo, a citizen of McAllen, said, “We want our shoppers to feel like their getting the best customer service. When you shop at a corporate retail chain, most employees don’t form a bond with customers because they don’t need to. At the end of the day, employees still get paid by the hour and you still buy what you need. The Style Union is different because we try to meet the needs of our consumers in every way possible. When we host our pop-up shops we treat everybody uniquely. We remember every face that’s purchased from us and we are very detailed from start to finish. When we host our pop-up shops we always offer our customers free drinks, small desserts, finger foods, and promotions so they know we appreciate their business.”

Both studied business management and marketing and are applying those skills in the fashion industry. In one short year, Carranca and Castillo transformed an online fashion store into a profitable business by providing the latest trends in fashion to stylish women.

Carranca and Castillo, two extremely resourceful young women, said, “Our boutique is slowly coming together. We’ve been working diligently to create a warm and welcoming shopping environment for all. We can’t wait to finally reveal the finished product this Saturday.”

Carranca, a McAllen native, said, “The Style Union is something we’ve been dreaming of doing since high school. Patty and I are really close friends and I think our store’s name projects a little of that. We love style and we wanted to create something catchy. The Style Union is something we both came up with together because we have a very united friendship and our fashion approaches are a paradox. We carry pieces that are very feminine and flirty along with some very rugged, street-style looks.  I remember telling Patty that one day we’d own our own clothing store; I just can’t believe we’re actually realizing our dream.”

The Style Union first debuted as an online fashion store last July, its avant-garde clothing became accessible nationwide. Shortly thereafter, the business leaned toward social media and grew a strong following on Instagram. Once its audience began to grow, customers quickly requested to physically see the clothing. That is when The Style Union got the idea to do a pop-up shop, which is when a brand is temporarily available to the public; this is typically set up inside another established business. Carranca and Castillo were amazed by the profitable turnout when they had a semi-permanent pop-up shop inside Francisca Showroom, another clothing store in McAllen.

With a strategic business approach including reaching out to fashion bloggers for promotional collaborations, Carranca and Castillo witnessed the small business develop into one with a substantial turnout. Branding its image has been a team effort and it continues to push toward higher sales.

Castillo, a social media and marketing guru, said, “It’s all in social media and how you market your clothing. If you’re constantly posting about which styles are trending, and how to get the look for less, then chances are people will want to purchase it before it sells out. We like to reach out to bloggers because they have an influential fashion platform that is constantly visited by young people.”

Allison Ramirez, 24, a fashion blogger form Laredo, manages an online fashion blog named The Stylish Soul. She met Carranca and Castillo through a collaboration for the online boutique last summer. With more than 10,000 Instagram followers, Ramirez worked closely with The Style Union to advertise its clothing through detailed posts and trendy photos.

Ramirez, a social media specialist, said, “I can’t wait to see The Style Union in full swing. I adore all of their pieces because it’s not something you’d typically see at the mall. They only order in small quantities so you feel a little special that there’s probably only five other girls with the same bomber jacket or sheer blouse you purchased. I’m a strong advocate for local businesses, especially if they’re fellow girl-bosses, that’s why I shop The Style Union. There’s a personal connection attached with every transaction, and as a blogger, I articulate that meticulously for my readers. If their boutique is anything like the style of clothes they carry, then I expect to see a modern-chic open floor plan, with gold and black accents, and a really edgy neon sign by the register.”

Anything from sequined skirts, to floral embroidered linen jackets, metallic heels, a little black dress, an everyday jean, and oversized sunglasses will be available to shop at the new boutique. The highly anticipated fall collection was revealed at the grand opening, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.

Castillo, who was working an office job before the business started, said, “We both quit our jobs so that we can be fully devoted to our own business. It was a really terrifying idea at first. We thought, what if sales don’t project the same once we’re physically established. But at the end of the day, we came to a conclusion; life is too short be fear your own dreams.”

Carranca, who previously worked at a department store, said, “We’re honestly very humbled that our brand has grown so much in the Valley. We know that not all trends sell too well here because this isn’t a big fashion scene like Dallas or even San Antonio. That’s why we’re so grateful to our clients who continue to shop with us and enjoy the trends we offer through The Style Union.”

Both businesswomen would like to thank everyone who have lent a hand during its journey and continue to be appreciative to the people of the Valley who’ve supported The Style Union. Carranca and Castillo invite every fashion enthusiast to its grand opening this Saturday.

The Style Union, a young prosperous fashion brand in the Rio Grande Valley, said, “Now that we’re opening our boutique, we’ve increased variety by hand-selecting a new affordable line of denim jeans, shoes, and accessories ranging from sunglasses to jewelry. We want The Style Union to be a one-stop shop for anyone with a price point as low as $20. We anticipate a positive turnout at the grand opening this Saturday. If you’re interested in affordable fashion, follow us on our Instagram page, @thestyleunion, to stay updated with what’s new and what’s trending, or visit our boutique at 6308 N. 10th St. McAllen, TX. Thank you again to everyone who made this dream possible.”