Interviewed by: Kharin Gibson | Photography provided by: Oliver Clothing
I met with Kelly Oliver, owner of Oliver Clothing, a casual, up-scale boutique in Wilmington, featuring chic, designer denim and sensible, yet edgy fashions for both sexes. Being a female entrepreneur, Kelly agreed to answer some questions revealing what fuels her passion and where she finds satisfaction and empowerment.
Q: What got you interested in the fashion industry?
A: After majoring in chemistry at UNCW, with the intention to go into pharmaceutical sales, I realized that the corporate world just wasn’t for me. I wanted to feel a deeper sense of connection with the people in the Wilmington community. After recognizing the need for better quality, effortlessly chic denim options in the area, I found my passion for jeans that make the wearer feel both confident and beautiful.
A: At Oliver Clothing, our goal is to empower both women and men by helping them find both the perfect basics and statement pieces to suit their body and their own personal style. We want to provide opportunities for them to express themselves through fashion and become the most authentic versions of themselves.
Q: What is the approach that you take with each customer?
A: I believe that each individual has a sense of style that is unique to them, and at Oliver, we help you express that artistic identity. The vibe of Wilmington is both laid-back and ahead-of-the-curve, and so are the customers who shop here. They inspire us to continue pushing the boundaries of fashion while remaining true to our high-end, casual-with-an-edge aesthetic.
A: My family constantly inspires me to continue improving, not only as a business owner, employer, or denim connoisseur, but also as a person. My daughter Ava and fiancé Jeff bring the kind of love to my life that empowers me to empower others. I love the look on each customer’s face when they buy an item that makes them feel like their best self.
A: To be honest, it’s almost impossible for my work day not to be fun. I’m surrounded by a great team of employees and friends that support and enhance my vision. Every time we outfit someone for a party, event, or even just help them find the perfect, everyday staples, I can see the difference that fashion makes in determining self-esteem and overall enjoyment of life.
A: Shopping locally is the best way to support the integrity of the community while maintaining our cultural identity. And when all else fails, it’s just so important to have fun with fashion—clothing should be something that brings joy to your life and enhances your self-esteem.
Our cover models in the May issue are sporting some of the latest trends from Oliver – from their outfits, to their footwear and accessories.