SMD Designs and Boutique has solely operated online since it was established in 2014. The thriving business owner has now opened a chic storefront in Waxahachie for women of all shapes and styles.
Before Stacey Duenas managed her own retail store, she spent 14 years answering distress calls for the Grand Prairie Police Department. As a communication specialist level three, she was cross-trained to answer calls related to police, fire and medical emergencies.
“You had the calls where you knew you helped a family,” Duenas explained. “You knew you helped capture a suspect. One call, in particular, was a robbery at a Payless […] and there were hostages inside.”
Duenas was the calm person on the other end of the phone while police set up a barrier. Moments like that were satisfying.
She completed the police academy in 2014 and had six years left before retirement. As she sat on the third floor of the station, God spoke to her to get a tax ID number for an online boutique.
“There is no additional way to add or make it sound magical or mysterious — that’s what it was,” Duenas explained.
She sat down with her chief and penned her letter of resignation. She was out the door onto her new career by October 2014.
SMD Designs and Boutique then launched in February the following year. Duenas utilized her three initials to create the name of her store. She also recalled the creation of the first logo had been designed on her iPhone 4 and she invested $500 from her savings account to initiate the company.
“Apart from this building. That’s the only initial investment I put into this, and I’ve let itself flourish," Duenas said.
The business operated entirely online through social media and a website and evolved into personal shopping, wardrobe makeovers, and style sessions. Duenas established loyal online shoppers and impacted the lives she interacted with in person.
“I can’t tell you the number of clients I’ve worked with who didn’t have the confidence or had just had a major weight-loss or have been through a life event such as a divorce that had them mentally blocked,” she explained.
Duenas said the clothes on the hangers are a direct reflection of her own closet with staple items, neutral tones and bold patterns with glitz and glam. Duenas made sure her shop marketed toward all races, ages, personalities and sizes. A plus size section is even dedicated to the store as well as eveningwear.
"Every bit and piece is me," Duenas expressed. "It’s really hard to define. I don’t look at magazines or fashion trends; I don’t pull up the latest blogs. Literally, this is all me. I feel that I’ve tapped into a gift that God has given me. The more I’m obedient to him the more he thrives that.”
Her go-to outfit is skinny jeans, blazer and heels, and tries to instill that confidence in the women she works with. She is not afraid to challenge a customer’s taste to introduce a new perspective.
The boutique is located in the North Grove shopping center and is modernly designed inside with straight lines and clean racks.
Duenas celebrated her grand opening on Nov. 24 and was able to meet online customers she never had the chance to. The attendance alone was a reward, which spoke volumes to Duenas about the labor she put into her business.
“I never would have thought I’d be a boutique owner looking back,” Duenas admitted.
The career change had a significant adjustment to her family and lifestyle as a whole. With the 16-hour shifts behind her, Duenas has more time to mentor young girls at The Avenue Church and for her children to find salvation in Jesus Christ.
Duenas disclosed that she graduated with a high school diploma and worked her way through life whether it be behind a desk answering distress calls or impacting the lives of women with her gift of glam. Duenas said she hoped her strong work ethic would set an example for her two children.
Duenas will celebrate the opening of her business with the local community on Dec. 18 with a Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. The celebration will last until 6 p.m., and all customers will receive 10 percent off between that time.
“Come have a good time and come shop what I consider unique trends and the latest styles that are different, and you don’t have to drive to Dallas,” Duenas encouraged.
SMD Designs and Boutique is located at 2801 U.S. Highway 77 in the North Grove shopping center. More information can be found on Facebook or the boutique's website at www.smdboutique.com.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450