Inspiring Conversations with Shydiyah Gardner

Inspiring Conversations with Shydiyah Gardner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shydiyah Gardner.

Hi Shydiyah, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
The name “Shydiva” was given to me at an early age by my dad, who says that I was a little diva always carrying a pocketbook. I always had a passion for accessorizing as a young girl and then as a young adult I figured the nickname was very catchy (similar to my actual name) and fitting so I ran with it. I started Shydiva Co (firmly known as Shydiva Collection) as a sophomore in college in 2015. For the first two years in business, I bought a bunch of fabrics, hardware, zippers & embellishments from my local JOANNS and created a bunch of 1of1 clutch bags (& sometimes even matching chokers). I knew that I wanted to expand one day and start buying wholesale handbags to resell for a profit. In 2017, this transition happened. Out with the sewing machine, in with sourcing vendors and curating accessory collections.

Fast-forward to 2019, I took some time off from working and dedicated my days to doing my business full time. Around this time, I always started branding my bags (having my logo out on them). I was offering delivery service from sun up to sun down and the girls were calling me left to right. Our ‘CANDICE mini’ was a very very popular bag at the time. I always made sure we had the cutest pieces/collections in stock. In 2020, a friend I met earlier in the year at a networking event gave Shydiva Co a shoutout on Twitter which went viral. From there, things were on & popping. The power of social media has literally changed the dynamic of Shydiva Co in a very short period of time. September 2020, I received an email from a buyer at TJX Companies. She wanted to purchase 2000pcs of our TRACEE satchel to put in all their stores in 49 states (excluding North Dakota). This opportunity was so amazing, people actually being able to walk into a well-known store in their city & see, feel, buy Shydiva Co. Here we are in 2021 and we just finished sending them 23,000 pieces.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It had definitely not been a smooth road and I am sure it will never be. Every time I think something is going to go one way, it doesn’t (not all the time lol but most times). Some of my struggles along the way were: 1. Not being smart about money management. 2. Self-doubt and having imposters syndrome. 3. I looked for a storefront the entire 2019 & got turned down by literally everyone (I see now that wasn’t for me). 4. Getting up and going at it even on days/weeks/months, I barely made any money.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Shydiva Co is a women’s handbag and accessories brand based in Philly. We are known for unique handbag designs from mini bags to the everyday satchel. The quality of our handbags, shopping experience and our promise to serve our customers and community is what sets us apart.

I am most proud of selling over 16,000 pieces of our TRACEE satchel in a year. I want readers to know that our goal is to create fabulous moments for women to feel confident and empowered in their everyday lives. We believe that when you look good, you feel good. A true diva wears Shydiva. New customers get 10% off their first purchase by subscribing to our mail list. You can shop Shydiva Co from our IG page, online at www.shydiva.co or in your local TJX and Marshall’s stores nationwide.

I also have a mini ebook on my website right now, giving the girls valuable information about how to start a handbag business on a budget. I also provide a free vendor (the one I used when I first started buying wholesale) and it’s only $10.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey is that success/results happen in my business when preparation and opportunity meet. Every time we have been in full stock and ready to sell, something amazing happens and we have a great day/month!

Pricing:

  • TRACEE $66.5
  • CORINNE $58.5
  • NAOMI $48.4
  • NOVA $34.5

Contact Info:

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