Mobile exotic emporium, Darnetta’s Boutique LLC, travels throughout metro Detroit selling lingerie and more.
Photo by Terance Drake
Put Livonia resident Darnetta Anderson in a corner and see what happens.
Watch how she finds her way out of that encumbered space, only to turn around and make use of the very thing that confined her – and for the betterment of others.
That’s exactly what Anderson, who owns and operates a mobile exotic boutique, Darnetta’s Boutique LLC, did when she created her business out of a need. Several years ago, she lost her retail management job where she managed stores that eventually went out of business. The now-single mom of a nine- and 14-year-old, who said she doesn’t like change, also went through a divorce that left her holding the bag.
The go-getter, however, is not one to rest in her uncertainty.
Before she developed her boutique, in 2018 after losing her job, she created a custom gift basket company, Darnetta’s Creative Gifts.
“That was kind of my getaway from everything,” Anderson told The Michigan Chronicle. “I enjoyed doing it.”
After her basket business saw growth (especially with the collaboration with apartments when she made baskets for new occupants) she knew she wanted something more.
“I just knew I wanted to go back to retail,” she said adding that retail is an unpredictable career. “You never know what is going to close again.”
The Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University graduate said that after she told her brother that she wanted to open a boutique on wheels he eventually found a truck the next year in 2019.
“It was already a mobile boutique,” Anderson said, adding that the previous owner sold clothes out of the truck.
Anderson said that once the pandemic hit, she found more time to start working on the inside of the truck; she just recently had her truck wrapped in bubblegum pink with her logo and company name on it and officially opened recently, though she’s already been in business.
Her social media fanbase, with built-in followers from her gift basket company, became quickly intrigued by her products and, naturally, wanted to know more about them and experience it for themselves. In addition to selling lingerie, she sells colorful dresses, jackets, fashionable tracksuits, accessories and more.
Loyal and local customer Latoya Bellafant said that when she met Anderson she immediately recognized the passion she had for her business, and how customer-oriented she was.
“We met off of social media and connected instantly,” Bellafant said. “I felt like I’ve known her all my life. The way she promoted her business is outstanding. And the quality of things she sells is excellent. I couldn’t have found a better business owner to support.”
Anderson said that Bellafant is a “huge supporter.”
“She just recently purchased a couple of pairs of sunglasses for her daughters,” she said.
Anderson, who is expanding her merchandise to include kid-friendly products like a “sassy line” with girl accessories said that she is always looking to build upon her products. She also tapped into the adult toy market.
Anderson said that she is always trying to get a feel for what her primarily Detroit customers, who are typically women 20-60 years old, want. She’s heard them and she delivers. Her boutique carries clothes in a variety of sizes including plus sizes starting at size 12 to around 4X.
“I do have a huge following for the plus size because I feel like a lot of boutiques cater toward the petites,” she said, adding that when she often shares a product for plus-size women online, petite women will ask her if that comes in their size. It makes her feel good because typically that scenario is the other way around, but she knows she’s selling cute pieces, she said. “Sometimes plus [size] is … not the best, so I’m just excited to definitely cater to them as well.”
She also encourages more men to come in and find something interesting for their significant others, especially if they feel uncomfortable shopping inside a mall or store for lingerie.
She added that with the pandemic a lot of people don’t want to go inside shops for another reason — crowds and germs. Her small shop has a two-person limit and she said there is “never a crowd.”
Anderson’s mobile boutique will continue to expand, she said, as she brings her business to Beacon Park, Eastern Market, and elsewhere; her products are also online. The savvy businesswoman also wants to partner with hairdressers and more down the line to increase her product reach.
“I definitely want to continue to build,” she said. “Connections are everything to me. Connections drive business and so I’m just definitely looking forward to linking up with other businesses in the city and continue to grow with customers and products. … Definitely excited for this next chapter.”
For more information visit www.darnettasmobileboutique.com.