For many college students, figuring out what they want to do after graduation is an intimidating thought. Fortunately, fashion enthusiast Erin Barfield figured it out the moment she came to East Carolina University.
“I’ve always had a passion for the apparel industry from a young age,” said Barfield, who graduated in 2012. “When I found out there was an apparel merchandising program at ECU I knew it was meant to be. I knew I wanted to have my own clothing store.”
Coming from a small town, it was hard for Barfield to get her hands on trendy and fashionable clothing. The idea behind her business, Truly Yours, was to give women who lived in small towns the opportunity to purchase fashionable clothes without the struggles of traveling hours to a shopping center. The creation of her online store gave women that opportunity.
Since opening in 2011, her senior year in college, Barfield’s business has blossomed. What was first an online experience has now turned into her own physical store, which opened this past fall in Greenville, NC. The lessons Barfield learned at ECU really changed her perspective of fashion and the business behind it.
“My time at ECU helped me see fashion as more of a business instead of just the fun side of it,” said Barfield. “I saw fashion as a way to make a career for myself.”
Barfield was recently the winner of the Uptown Retail Challenge, which was held by Uptown Greenville. As the winner, she received $15,000 to open her own store in downtown Greenville and $500 for advertising.
“I knew I wanted my store to be close to campus and I really wanted to be a part of the Uptown community,” said Barfield. “The retails challenge grant became available and really made the opportunity more realistic.”
Barfield’s growing business and hard earned success has been met with support from all of Pirate Nation, which has left her with nothing but gratitude.
“Thank you so much for all of your support,” said Barfield. “I have had Pirates near and far supporting my business and wishing me success. That means more to me than you will ever know!”
By Michael Avila