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Meet Velicia Hill of Ms. Heel Boutique in Perimeter Mall

Today we’d like to introduce you to Velicia Hill.

Velicia began her modeling career at age 18, modeling bridal gowns at the Dallas Apparel Mart. She moved to Philadelphia and was signed by The Reinhard Agency. From there, she went to Paris and ended her runway walking days in Miami. In 2000 with the birth of her first child, Velicia started her own maternity line & boutique-“Hollywood Mama”. To her surprise, the line and store was an instant success. Her line was in more than 30 maternity stores throughout the United States and Europe. Hollywood Mama Boutique was named the Best Place to buy maternity clothes in Miami for 3 years straight. After a flooding of the market, Velicia left the maternity industry and turned her attention to her other passion-SHOES! In 2010 after a failed engagement, she remembers telling her ex to not call her baby, but Ms. Hill (she had a “corny”, light bulb/Janet Jackson moment) and MsHeel.com was launched (combining her love of heels with the play on her last name). But after 2 years of shipping heels from her basement-she was over it; simply put-bored! She recalled her childhood inspiration, the 1979 book & mini-series, “Scruples”; where the lead character was also a 5’10 former model, who went on to open Beverly Hill’s most glamorous boutique. So in 2016, she followed her destiny and opened the doors to Ms. Heel Boutique- the hottest & sexiest place to buy heels.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
O hell no! The road to success is so not a straight line! It’s been full of twist & turns, potholes, cliffhangers and more drama than an episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta! One of the first struggles was location, location, location! I tried for 3.5 years to find a brick & mortar home for Ms. Heel in Buckhead. Landlords didn’t bother to return phone calls, rents were astronomical or at the last minute, deal would fall through. Finally, in early 2016 I signed a lease on a space in Smyrna. I spent $30,000 building that space out; to only be there for 6 months! It was a brand-new shopping center (under construction) and after all spaces had been rented, Ms. Heel was the only retail in plaza! It was horrible foot traffic! It was the equivalent of being a luxury boutique in the midst of a giant-ass food court! But irony has always played a part in my life. In my first month of opening, I was approached by GGP (owners of Perimeter, Cumberland and Northpoint Malls). I was still very much excited and wasn’t thinking about moving and I had visions of dollar signs still dancing in my eyes. But after months of slow sales, dipping into my savings to keep business afloat, I gave them a call. To only be told, they had no openings. Fast forward to January right after the holidays, (after Ms. Heel experienced a very lackluster Christmas season), they called and asked if I was still interested–Perimeter Mall had openings. And as they say, the rest is history. {And as a side note, three of the Buckhead shopping centers I wanted to desperately to be in, are now being torn down to make room for condos!}

Ms. Heel Boutique – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Ms. Heel Boutique is Atlanta’s ONLY STORE dedicated to the love of high heel shoes! We carry heels (at least 3 inches) alongside hosiery, handbags and hot accessories. And all sizes: 5 1/2 to 12!

At Ms. Heel, you’ll find dazzling chandeliers, pink walls, velvet draperies, gilded mirrors and over-the-top visual presentations and merchandising. And our very own “Cocktail Ring” Bar! We wanted the boutique to feel as if one is dressing in their own private boudoir. But yet, kept the prices affordable for any budget. Prices typically start at $35.

I am most proud of our company for our honesty and “feel good” policy. We always tell our clients the truth, even if that means losing a sale, if a heel just isn’t right for an outfit or on their feet. And we make a point to make ‘love’ our secret ingredient. We literally have a sign in our stockroom, that reminds the girls to give a compliment to every person who walks through the door-regardless if they buy or not! And don’t be fake about it! Women put time and effort into their looks and sometimes a little validation feels damn good! People don’t always complement one another. But the world needs it!

What sets us apart? Our “experience” customer service. Notice I didn’t say experienced (not a typo). In order to survive in retail nowadays, you gotta give your clients an experience. We work over-time to make sure our Ms. Heel’s of any age, leaves here with a story to tell, a pic to share socially, a new friend (literally) and of course, a gorgeous pair of heels! This boutique has a soul, not a corporate formula. We also offer personal heel styling. We have three (3) private dressing rooms. Why go home to try-on that heel with the dress? You can do it all here!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success by my employees-they’re my real customers. If my employees aren’t cheering us on, happy as hell to be working here and love coming to work, then we won’t be successful. My employees want me/Ms. Heel to succeed just as much as I do…that to me is priceless! We’ve had to rid the place of some cancers (before they spread…eventually killing the host) in our short time of being open. Because believe it or not, some people thrive on negativity. Love freaks them out!

Another tell-tale sign of success: my clients (Ms. Heels) referring to us as “My shoe store”. Or when they personalize it, claim it as their own and reluctantly share with their friends (prices and merchandise so good, they tell us they really don’t want to-but they do), we’ve done our job. Sales receipts/tallies will reflect that success.

Making lots of money is too easy and actually a lazy way to measure success. Just look at Wal-Mart. Successful monetarily yes, but a national joke. The nickname “Wally-World” and the website dedicated to the people that shop there. And not to mention, the low hourly pay; Their workers supplementing wages with public assistance…that formula doesn’t work for me.

Pricing:

  • We pride ourselves on “Affordable Glam” prices start @ $35!

Contact Info:

  • Address: Located inside Perimeter Mall: 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. suite #1605 ~Atlanta 30346
    (we’re on 1st flr near Nordstrom’s, next door to M.A.C. )
  • Website: MsHeel.com
  • Phone: 770 444 9080
  • Email: info@msheel.com
  • Instagram: msheelboutique
  • Facebook: MsHeel
  • Twitter: MsHeelBoutique
  • Other: Pinterest & Sanpchat: Msheelboutique


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