By Andy Furman
It’s the process of being mentally stimulated – or to do something – especially to do something creative.
And Catrena Bowman-Thomas did just that.
She followed her life-long dream; and in November of 2021, she turned it into a business.
That’s when Inspired Fashion made its debut.
“I’ve always loved fashion,” said the native of Madisonville. “My mom always had outfits for me, and I loved trying them on.”
Now Bowman-Thomas is helping other women, well, feel special.
“I love helping them not only look good,” she told the Northern Kentucky Tribune, “But also help build their confidence.”
She opened her boutique in Covington – 827 Madison Avenue – during the tail-end of the pandemic.
“I found instant success on social media,” she said, “we had online orders from New York, California and Houston.”
Now, she’s striving for greater in-store traffic.
“We had a real good small business incentive from the City of Covington,” said the University of Kentucky graduate, “and that’s when I knew it was time for a brick-and-mortar shop.”
She takes individual style appointments; and says she emphasizes on shape – not size in women’s clothing.
“We try to understand their size – be it straight, hour glass, pear or apple,” she said. “Our goal is simple – to enhance the body type.”
And she wants to be an inspiration to women.
For Catrena Bowman-Thomas, that’s not a problem at all.
She’s been Executive Director for the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission the past four years.
“I was recruited out of Lexington,” she said, “where I did similar work.”
The NKCAC helps individuals and families in Northern Kentucky through financial, family, and children’s services.
Balancing the two jobs doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for the 49-year-old Bowman-Thomas.
“I have a staff here at the shop,” she said, “and our NKCAC offices are just around the corner at 717 Madison Avenue.”
Her pricing ranges from $25 to an average of $250, she says, and her attire covers the women’s gamut from work, special occasions, bridal, and jump suits.
In fact, she’s planning a wardrobe for men come the Fall.
Her focus – on color.
“The majority of women’s wardrobes are just four colors,” she said, “black, brown, blue and white.”
As an African-American shop owner she says she’s pushing some white women, “out of their comfort zone, and into some exciting colors.”
Inspired Fashion Boutique made its public debut in June at Fashion on the Fountain, in downtown Cincinnati.
“We basically highlighted our designs,” she said, “I don’t create my own pieces; we’ll showcase many local designers. More so come this Fall.”
Her Vision Boards highlight many of her special events, and Instagram and Facebook are a great sales tool, she says.
Catrena Bowman-Thomas wants to be an inspiration for all women.
“I want them to have confidence and take on the world,” she said.
Catrena Bowman-Thomas already has.
Inspired Fashion Boutique is located at 827 Madison Avenue; and is open 2-6 pm Tuesday through Friday and 12-5 pm on Saturday. Visit the website at inspiredfashion40.com, and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.