My name is Latoya Tomlinson

The Founder of Prima Dons and Donnas

I was born and raised in New York City. Currently residing in Atlanta GA. I was living in New York, working a corporate job, and bartending while working on my MBA.

The combination of my life at that time lead me to starting my boutique. I was bartending at a night club, and some of us bartenders used to wear the same outfit. The clothing wholesale district was in the City. I decided so start going down there and purchasing our outfits. I found a manufacturer let me purchase only what I needed in the sizes I wanted. They charged me a little more since I was not meeting the minimum purchase, but it was still worth the trip since I was still receiving a discount.

Customers kept asking us where we got our outfits from, so I started getting outfits for them also. At the same time I was working a cooperate job. The manager called me in his office and offered me a new position and to move to Virginia with them, as they were moving their corporate location there, and closing our current location. They would pay to relocate me and give me a raise. I was intrigued until he said, “don’t tell any of your co-workers”. Some of my co-working had been working there for many years, had mortgages, car notes, children, and had no idea they were about to lose their job. I asked a couple coworkers that had been working there for many years, were they moving also, and they had no idea. So I told them, and decided I did not want to be a part of a world that didn’t value loyal employees and had no regard for their financial survival.

I decided to start purchasing the minimum from the manufacture, and selling the balance to customers from my bartending job, and on Ebay. After sales started to pick up, I expanded to other selling platforms like Ioffer etc.. Eventually started my own website.

I loved designing and liked extra flair so I stated customizing my work outfit with rhinestones and other accessories to stand out, and started getting request for those items. I then incorporated that into my business.  The business has since then morphed as time went on, but the key and core elements are the same. Sexy clothing that you can get customized.

Running a business has it ups and downs. The biggest down is when Fashion Nova became super popular.  They had the same effect on my store, that Walmart had on supermarkets. They had stores thought out the US and had such a strong online presence, that I couldn’t compete. I spoke with one of my distributors and they said that they purchased so much from them, that they gave them deeper discounts.

The customization part of the business was ok, but these are special occasion items with not as many steady sales, so I decided to start selling shoes which helped tremendously. Other boutiques was selling shoes also and I then started to design my own shoes, and was able to stand out from other boutiques and big name brands. I designed my shoes so they can be worn in multiple ways. Essentially 1 pair of shoes then became 5 pairs in 1.  I also wanted to be all inclusive so I stated using materials that enabled customers of any size or shape could wear our boots. We incorporated that same thing for our instock clothing and our special occasion line. We are very proud of the designs we have been able to come up with for our boot division and hope that customers will see our vision and continue this journey with us.

Our next step for the future will be to open a customizing boutique here in Atlanta where customers would be able to come in, and purchase a in stock item and have it customized with accessories and fit. We would do everything in house and give customers the chance to be involved with the design process if they choose.

We thank all of our past, current, and future customers and hope they will continue to take this journey with us