If you walk to the back of Value Village on Central Ave in Charlotte, NC, you will see a blue door, dim lights, and candles. You won’t know what to expect, but curiosity will pull you in. That’s exactly what happened to a friend of mine. She was so excited about discovering V.Vill, she left me a voice mail telling me that I must go NOW! About a week later I found myself not too far from Central Ave, and figured I’d take a peek in. That’s when I met Cigi Guz, owner of V.Vill Women’s Boutique. I was excited about her shop and immediately knew I had to feature her on heranyx.com. A week later we made it happen!
Cigi Guz is a self driven, ambitious, down to earth; female who started V.Vill in October 2011. The boutique started off as an appointment only business, but then changed to standard store hours- Tuesday through Saturday, 4pm-9pm. Cigi is originally from the suburbs, north of Tampa, Fl, but has been living in Charlotte, NC for 10 years. She took a chance when she decided to open her own boutique… this is her story.
V. Vill & How it All Began…
She initially wanted to be a photographer. Cigi never imagined running her own boutique. She started with The Flock Apparel; her own clothing line, which was sold at Niche, a local boutique in Charlotte, NC. Cigi soon began to work for Niche, which marked her first retail job. She was able to promote her clothing line and gain a hand on experience in the retail world. One day, as she was situating things around Niche, she said, “I can do this.” An epiphanic moment; the idea of opening her own boutique was born.
The Flock Apparel eventually closed due to the harsh economy, and Cigi began working on a master plan. After writing up a proposal, she went to Value Village and pitched her idea to the owner. She didn’t want much; she says all she asked for was a small section and rack that would say something like, Cigi Exclusive items. The owner was a bit surprised and offered to show her a space in the back of Value Village. She was thrilled about the space and immediately saw a vision. October 2011, became the official birth of V.Vill Women’s Boutique. It was a store within a store, so it was perfect to use a name within a name-Value Village.
The Atmosphere in V.Vill
The atmosphere is fun and full of character. It reminds me of a gallery filled with items collected on a journey. Cigi is big on details and meticulous about placement. She uses a ladder to store hangers, a jewelry case that illuminates different color lighting and cool furniture pieces for decor. Candles burn, while Miss Badu sings from her iPod.
$30 and under!
She enjoys items that are off beat and bizarre, but still chic. Those are the type of pieces you can find at her boutique. She explains that once she got older, great finds consisted of good cuts and fabric. It’s all about attaining a “rich” feeling. Nothing exceeds $30 in the V. Vill women’s boutique…gotta love that!
The lovely Miss Kathy modeling her purchase!
(Dress & Belt)
The beautiful Miss Andrea showing off her purchase from V. Vill!
What inspires Cigi?
“The stories told through people’s clothing. The generations of design and being able to translate them into my own story… that’s what inspire me” –Cigi Guz
What gets you through a rough day?
“Daily talks to God and faith. If I can’t get it right today, it doesn’t mean I’m not good enough. It’s okay; I’m still making a small difference in someone’s life.” She also goes on to say that watching yourself is sometimes the pep talk you need when you don’t have someone. Being able to see your progression, see your journey, whether it’s old work or a video. Remembering where you came from and all the small building blocks.
A Piece of Advice!
“I think that people’s fear and excuses get in the way of getting things accomplished. Anything can be done. You don’t need a lot of money; you just have to have a lot of determination. Anybody can do it. If I can do it, you can do it too” -Cigi Guz
I’m glad to have met Cigi. She remains appreciative and more importantly humble. She tells me that she is not afraid of the answer NO! Ask anyway, it’s a 50-50 chance.
I’m going to tell you like a friend told me. You need to go and check out V.Vill NOW! Her boutique hours are Tue-Sat 4pm-9pm, on 4451 Central Ave in Charlotte, NC. Go now and tell me all about it!!
Check out V.Vill on Facebook!
Hera wants to know…
- What do you think of V.Vill & Cigi’s story?
- Do you have a similar story?