The Passion's Only as Good As the Plan A focused vision and a can-do mentality made Shez Zamrudeen's fashion dream a reality.

By Robert Tuchman

Shez Zamrudeen has loved fashion since she was a little girl.

That's why it was a no-brainer for her to get into the fashion industry and turn her passion into a career.

"It was my biggest passion in life to be a part of the fashion industry," says Zamrudeen. "I live my life around fashion; I'm always the girl thinking and planning weeks ahead about my outfit for an event."

At heart, Zamrudeen has always known she's an entrepreneur. She wanted to open her own business when she was 21 years old, but she didn't have the knowledge to do so. After working in the industry for five years, Zamrudeen had the tools, experience and connections she needed to start a business.

"I'm always thinking about what's the next step for me. I wanted to open a clothing store, and it so happened that I love everything about fashion," Zamrudeen says. "My fashion background and experience made it easier for me to come up with the idea of opening up my first boutique."

To speparate her boutique--Deen--from the pack, Zamrudeen planted her flagship store in New Jersey's Powerhouse Arts District. The combination of art and clothing worked to Deen's advantage.

"There is no other boutique in the area that has an art gallery and clothing store in one," Zamrudeen says.

Zamrudeen hosts monthly art events and Deen has become known as the premeir city lifestyle boutique in the area. Not everything has come easily for Zamrudeen though. She opened Deen right before the recession hit, and she had to tweak her goals and plans because of the poor economic climate.

"I had to adjust my current business plan and long-term goals. I had to be smarter and more careful with my inventory," Zamrudeen says.

The recession may have altered Zamrudeen's plans, but her long-term goals remain intact. She plans to open up more stores in other cities and even design her own collection for the boutique.

"In the next five to 10 years, I want to see all the achievements in my business," Zamrudeen says. "I want to get to that point in my life that makes me proud to say I accomplished everything I wanted for my business."

Talking to Zamrudeen, you can tell she loves what she does and she's proud of her accomplishments. She does all the buying and merchandising for the store herself, so when a customer feels wonderful about finding the perfect outfit, it makes her feel proud.

Whether it's shopping at a trade show for the next season's collection or finding a customer the best outfit for an event, Zamrudeen says it's well worth it. She enjoys being the owner of a trendy boutique.

"It makes me so happy to be a part of the store and I couldn't have found a better job because I'm doing what I love. Fashion is my life."

Zamrudeen's positive outlook, passion for the fashion industry and entrepreneurship was a formula for success.

For all the young entrepreneurs out there, Zamrudeen says its important to always be positive, think ahead, learn from mistakes and plan things out.

Says Zamrudeen, "As an entrepreneur you must have full confidence in yourself and your business in order for it to succeed and blossom."

Robert Tuchman

Entrepreneur Staff

Host of How Success Happens

Robert Tuchman is the host of Entrepreneur's How Success Happens podcast and founder of Amaze Media Labs the largest business creating podcasts for companies and brands. He built and sold two Inc.500 companies: TSE Sports and Entertainment and Goviva acquired by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

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