Photo: Shauna Miller
Shauna Miller started a fashion blog in 2010 with a simple mission: to make women feel good about their discount attire.Just over two years later, she’s a fashion designer with an upcoming line at Walmart, the world’s largest retailer.
On her blog, Penny Chic, Miller put together fashionable looks she had put together from shopping at Walmart, Forever 21 and JCPenney.
“There’s nothing challenging about having a $10,000 budget and putting an outfit together,” Miller told us. “I wanted to approach the subject of discount fashion and wanted everyone from discount shoppers and high-end fashionistas to be interested in what I was doing.”
Miller’s blog caught on quickly. Her readers began informally reviewing apparel for sizing, fit, quality and durability.
Miller figured there was some way that vendors could use this information, so she began contacting them and was hired as a freelance consultant.
“Readers would write in and ask for things, and so I was able to relay that information to companies and influence the design and product offerings,” Miller said.
In September, Miller took things a step further: by collaborating with a supplier about starting her own clothing line.
“Through years of blogging, I found that every woman needs, but has a hard time finding: the little black dress,” Miller said. “So that’s what I focused on.”
Miller designed the collection for her readers: women who shop discount.
Now, she’s come full-circle.
“I started shopping the collection around, and the first retailer to buy it was Walmart.com,” Miller said.
Walmart will test out the collection online beginning in February before deciding whether it will come to stores nationwide.
Miller says that she never saw Penny Chic as “just a blog.”
“I saw blogging as a platform to build my brand and potentially start a business,” she said. “It’s surreal to have my own line, but I’m just sitting here at my computer, making it happen the only way I know how.”
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