Her Love Affair For Fashion: Interview with Oklahoma City’s boutique owner, Heather Parsons
Her love affair with fashion began when she was a little girl. Being obsessed over the perfect Barbie outfits and filled notebooks with doodles of various tops and dresses, was something that stuck with Heather Parsons. The combination of her love for fashion and a business mindset are what gravitated Parsons to get into the fashion business.
Parsons studied Fashion Marketing at the University of Central Oklahoma. The program was taught by a well experienced fashion professional. The downside of studying fashion in Oklahoma, is that there are no fashion hubs. Fortunately, UCO has a great relationship with other universities, and because of this, it opened doors for Parsons. She landed a gig in the Big Apple during college for a fashion transient program. She spent a semester in New York City’s Fashion district learning from fashion professionals where she learned from experience, she stated:
“Working in one of the best fashion hubs in the world, I was able to gain a great deal of understanding of how to run a successful startup business within the fashion realm. I think one of the biggest lessons that I learned is that a fashion business doesn’t just consist of one element, there are many, many moving parts. You need to have a balance of creativity AND business in order to keep moving forward.”
The experience in New York City inspired Parsons to open her own business, The Cargo Room in Oklahoma City. “During my time in New York I caught the entrepreneurial bug! I wanted to try my hand on starting something on my own using the knowledge and skills I had acquired over the years. I evaluated my prospects and came to the conclusion that going back to Oklahoma to pursue my new venture would be a better fit for me; so, back to Oklahoma I went…” said Parsons. With Signiant’s time spent on business planning, she later decided to pursue her Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Oklahoma State. During this program, she had the opportunity to spend weeks in Cape Town and South Africa working with underprivileged businesses doing consultation. This was an eye opener for Parsons — she learned to think outside the box and understand business in a different perspective.
When she returned to the states with a fresh mindset she again attempted to open up a retail shop. Parsons had a concept of converting a trailer or box truck into a retail shop. The idea came about because of the rising popularity of the food truck industry in Oklahoma.
In January of 2014, after the purchase of a plain “white box” trailer, the Cargo Room was formed. After several months of beautification, stocking it with apparel and accessories, the trailer hit the streets on July 2014.
With the understanding of the shift in buying trends, the trailer’s interior is designed to resemble a woman’s “dream closet” with shelves and racks full of unique, feminine, high quality but affordable clothing, all just under $60.
“Shopping at Cargo Room is not your typical shopping experience, instead I like to think of it as somewhat more whimsical; therefore, we strive to have our collections adhere to this same persona…” said Parsons.
So, if you see the big yellow bubbles strolling down the road in Oklahoma, you’ll know it’s Cargo Room!!