For a professional woman, clothes aren’t just fabric– they’re armor. Truth be told, no one wants to appear frumpy in a high-stakes meeting. We all want to command attention, exude confidence and leave a memorable mark. Erica Hanks is helping modern women do exactly that with her multi-brand women’s fashion e-commerce retail business, Shop Showroom.
A seasoned fashion stylist with over three decades of experience, Hanks recognizes that the “power suit” of days past doesn’t resonate with a modern professional women‘s lifestyle. Leveraging her background as a fashion stylist for NFL, NBA, NASCAR, and Olympic athletes, as well as private clients, she’s redefining elegance and blending comfort and style to create a new standard. Her business meticulously curates a shopping experience that aligns with the needs of modern women, allowing them to access the latest trends from well-established and upcoming designers. From formalwear to lingerie, boots to accessories, Hanks understands just what you need.
“I have loved fashion my whole life,” she shares. “I worked in retail on and off for over thirty years and had a personal styling career for over a decade.” Like many, Hanks’ life changed during the pandemic when she decided to embark on a new chapter in her career. “I had always been aware of the dearth of options for busy professional women who were in need of stylish clothing that was appropriate for the office as well as for leisure time at home. This became my focus, and really what drove me to start my business.”
Utilizing the contacts and experience she’d gained over the years, Hanks connected with future clients and started her market study. Armed with market insights and industry knowledge, she launched her e-commerce business, Shop Showroom, in 2020. The response was heartwarming, with professional women from all over flocking to the website. In 2021, Hanks expanded her business and opened her first brick-and-mortar store in Kiawah, SC. This success paved the way for her second store in Austin, Texas, in 2022.
Hanks attributes her success to two factors: anticipating the needs of her clientele and selecting brands and products in a cohesive and compelling way. “I’m proud to be the first to introduce brands such as Victoria Beckham, Batsheva, and Rochas to the area,” she shares. “My goal is to keep introducing and championing new brands to our audiences, ones that aren’t overly exposed in our regions.”
Erica Hanks’ efforts have earned her recognition from many quarters, including being named one of Southern Living Magazine’s Most Stylish Southerners in 2016. Additionally, she’s been regularly featured as a fashion expert in publications such as The New York Times and Women’s Wear Daily. Accolades aside, it’s knowing she’s improved women’s shopping experience that gives her the most joy. Her ultimate goal is to expand her retail footprint to California in the coming years.
As her business grows, Hanks hopes to open her retail spaces up to organizations that support female entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. “It’s important to me that we pave the way for the next generation of women following in our footsteps,” she says. She aims to continue reshaping the professional women’s style, impacting the industry, and mentoring a new generation.
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