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The Runway a run away success

By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Christyle Ryce has her own runway. More than one, actually; The Runway 1 on Dequindre and Eight Mile and The Runway 2 in the Russell Bazaar. The Runways are boutiques that sell women clothing and accessories.

“I’ve always had a desire to design clothes but I kind of compromised,” Ryce said. “It was easier to get into retail.”

Ryce has been in the retail clothing business for 12 years. She said her mission is to provide quality unique apparel, handbags, shoes and accessories at reasonable and competitive prices. She has had a booth in the Russell Bazaar for four years. Women have patronized The Runway 1 for eight years.

Ryce has also worked at Chrysler for 15 years. “When I’m not at Chrysler, I spend the majority of my time here (at the Russell Bazaar),” Ryce said. “I’m always here on Sunday after church.”

“I named the boutiques The Runway after seeing so many TV shows. I wanted every woman to feel like she is on the runway when she comes here,” she said.

Ryce said she would advise any person who asked her about going into business to pray and to make sure it is what they really want to do. “There are days when I work and don’t make any money,” Ryce said. “But I love what I’m doing and that makes those days happy days.”

Ryce said family support is very important. She said her family always believed in her.

Ryce said the next thing she would tell them is not to spend more than they have in the bank, adding that her first Runway was in a storefront.

“The money was slow and the break-ins were frequent,” Ryce said. “That’s why I moved to the flea market on Dequindre.”

They should also do their research and make sure their finances are in order. “Young people should go for it,” she continued. “People told me I was stepping out too far too fast, but here I am,” she beamed.

Education is important to the entrepreneur, she says. For them to be successful, young people should continue their education and take the programs offered and talk to other business owners. “One took me under her wing and taught me,” Ryce said.

Ryce started her business as a result of her girlfriends wanting the clothes she bought on trips. So she began to buy multiples and sold them.

“I came to the conclusion this was my calling. I began to purchase what came to mind. I went to a garage sale, bought hangers, mannequins, racks (and) didn’t know why I was buying them,” she said. “Two years later, I used it all when I opened my first store.”

Ryce says her next and possibly final step is to have a location at the mall. “I’ve started small and smart and would like to end at the mall with my own clothing line,” Ryce said.

The Runway 1 is located at 20900 Dequindre; The Runway 2 is located at 1600 Clay; 586.855.0031.

Contact Marcus Wright at marcuswright@michigancitizen.com

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