Business

Fizz and Frolics owner trades financials for fashion

Tanya Matthews helps a customer with a sweater at Fizz and Frolics in NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. Matthews wants to give shoppers a customized experience when it comes to picking out clothes. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Tanya Matthews helps a customer with a sweater at Fizz and Frolics in NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. Matthews wants to give shoppers a customized experience when it comes to picking out clothes. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Since Tanya Matthews changed her career focus from finance to fashion, opening a women’s clothing boutique in NewBo City Market, she’s been picking up things about entrepreneurship that she never learned in business school.

“I had no exposure to business plans, for example, or knew what elements to include,” she said. “I had to spend a lot of time researching, but found a lot of helpful resources out there.”

With an MBA under her belt, Matthews had worked in a corporate finance department in Cedar Rapids until her position moved to Tulsa, Okla., in 2016.

 

At that stage, she determined that corporate life wasn’t for her and started dabbling in direct sales of health and wellness products. But that work also did not satisfy her entrepreneurial urge, so she decided to open a clothing boutique.

Recognizing the value of a business plan, Matthews exercised the discipline to set her ideas to paper before moving forward.

“I could see myself just jumping in and doing the planning along the way, but it really made me think about things,” she said. “The most important thing is to understand your mission. My mission is to enable women to feel confident in their clothing while still feeling comfortable and not breaking the bank.”

Even with a good business plan, Matthews learned that an entrepreneur needs to be flexible.

Initially envisioning her business as an online-only boutique that potentially would expand into a brick and mortar retail location after year two, Matthews launched an online store in early August. Around the same time, she opened a pop-up shop at NewBo City Market.

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“The pop-up was a way to spread the word for the online business,” she said. “I have a lot of local supporters who like to see and feel the clothes, and this gave them a chance to do that.”

But that experience accelerated her plans for a permanent retail space.

“I fell in love with the interaction,” she said. “I love helping people choose the right outfit. I love the artistic community here.”

When the opportunity presented itself for a permanent vendor space at the market, Matthews jumped at the chance, opening her boutique on Sept. 27.

Her shop, Fizz and Frolics, offers women’s clothing ranging from size small to 3XL, with many items priced at $25 and under.

Items purchased online may be shipped for a fee or are available to pick up in-store. Matthews donates five percent of all profits to Project SAFE, a local organization focused on suicide prevention.

While Matthews said she still is figuring out “how to juggle all the balls” that come with being a business owner, she is happy with her career change.

“I’m fortunate to have the finance background, but I’m a creative type,” she said.

“I just want to design my space and design outfits. That’s what is fun for me. Not financials.”

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At a Glance

l Owner: Tanya Matthews

l Business: Fizz and Frolics

l Address: 1100 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Phone: (319) 573-3394

l Email: shopfizzandfrolics@gmail.com

l Facebook: www.facebook.com/fizzandfrolics

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