There is an aspect to fashion that directly revolves around internet-oriented companies — a successful attempt at appealing to a multitude of people to broaden consumer demographic. Locally owned store, Tiger & Hunny, is making strides to secure their position as a coveted online-based brand in the heart of Colorado.
The soul of this line lies with the founder, Ashley Boden, and her philosophy on body positivity and emphasis on confidence. Through Tiger & Hunny’s website, Boden produced not just a place to shop but she created an experience as well. From a personal blog to vintage collectibles, this brand advocates a space for women of all shapes and sizes to shop and embrace their beauty through the means of clothing. Pop-up shop events are frequently a part of the itinerary as well, most recently making an appearance at Thriftopia in October. If you missed them then, there’s a chance you’ll spot the “Hunny Van” making it’s way to another event soon.
Ashley Boden: I have always been drawn to fashion and retail from a very young age. I recently found a scrapbook filled with Cosmo and Teen Vogue magazine cutouts from when I was in junior high, which kind of made my heart smile because Tiger & Hunny wasn’t always a clear choice as a career path due to the noise of what I thought I “should be doing” with my fashion degree.
What really ignited my decision to begin my own story in the fashion space was seeing and feeling a need here in Colorado and online for a place to shop that provides stylish, West Coast-inspired fashion that emphasizes ease when it comes to customer service and online shopping. In addition to this, I want boutique clothing to be accessible to people of all body types. Right now it is trending to pay attention to plus size but I also mean considering women who are petite, tall, have broader shoulders, etc. I think that by being open to talking about all body types and being open to the fact that not every piece is going to be right for every customer makes Tiger & Hunny unique.
303: What was the process of becoming an online-based business like?
AB: Honestly, the process is pretty similar to opening a regular retail business minus the actual location. My online business functions very much so like a retail store because I am carrying inventory for my pop-ups so I am still dealing with inventory management, etc. The online space is obviously a very competitive one so for me becoming an online-based business was really about the platform and the website. Ease of shopping is crucial so I spent a lot of time choosing the website layout and ensuring the mobile version was on point. I also spend time weekly ensuring the website is merchandised and looking good so customers are shopping a fresh assortment of styles.
Being based online can be pretty tricky just because it’s a huge virtual world out there. No physical location can definitely be a bummer for some of my customers but this is where I pick it up in great customer service and establishing personal relationships at my pop-up events. Customers can always send a [direct message] on Instagram or an email if they have questions about sizing or just general styling questions as well.
303: What are the benefits of hosting pop-up shop events as opposed to other forms of retail?
AB: Exposure. I love doing pop-ups because my customer base changes frequently. This is my first year of business and I’m loving finding out which locations are fire and maybe which ones aren’t quite right. It’s great meeting new people and watching my brand grow as new people discover it.
303: We noticed that your company emphasizes the importance of body positivity. Can you tell us more about that?
AB: Being someone who has struggled with the fit of clothing from a young age, it was not an option to ignore body positivity when I started Tiger & Hunny. I’ve also worked in retail since I was 16, so I’ve had the opportunity to listen to other women’s struggles when it came to not only shopping for clothing but also how we tend to talk to ourselves on a regular basis. Our society doesn’t make it easy to love ourselves loudly and this translates directly to personal fashion and expression.
Tiger & Hunny is all about finding something that makes you feel good for and about yourself. I am always striving to find styles that are complimenting multiple body shapes and talking with my customers about what they are loving or would like to see added in. I want my brand to be a constant conversation and about building one another up. Fashion is such a powerful tool for this.
303: What do you hope to contribute to the world of fashion through Tiger & Hunny?
AB: I want Tiger & Hunny to be a place that women can confidently shop not only trending but also comfortable styles. To me, there’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in a dope outfit. Outside of this, it’s my vision to create a brand that emphasizes and celebrates all people. This not only means to be inclusive of plus size or curvy body types but providing options for those of different heights, athletic body shapes, different chest sizes, etc. It’s so crazy to me how “one size fits all” clothing can truly be. I spend time when buying and try to get creative with fabric options and shapes. It’s my hope that Tiger & Hunny becomes a place that women feel stoked about having options.
I also want women to feel comfortable asking questions about style, fit and fashion and know that it’s not about us making the sale when we are tossing out compliments or outfit advice but truly hoping this person leaves feeling like they got something they are excited to wear when they get home. “Don’t buy it if you’re not gonna show it off” is something I say a lot because these styles are so good they don’t deserve to just be hanging in your closet.