When asked what she’s seen and experienced as a woman business owner in the Clark County area, Doppelganger Owner Teri Wilson said she’s been consistently surprised by the outpouring of support from women from all walks of life.
“The solidarity I’ve seen has been a real blessing,” Wilson said. “From attorneys, real estate brokers and small-business owners to homemakers, athletes and teenagers – I’ve felt the positive impact of their patronage, advice, social media promotion and other networking opportunities. The exposure and love these women have shown our growing boutique constantly warms my heart.”
Wilson first launched Doppelganger in the fall of 2013 with just herself and a couple of “very part-time employees.” She said the business started growing right away and now maintains a team of seven associates who have become her second family.
“We’ve enjoyed healthy growth year over year and I feel incredibly blessed,” Wilson said.
Doppelganger is a women’s fashion boutique (with a splash of men’s) and a selection of novelty gift items located in downtown Vancouver. Wilson said the shop’s clientele is largely the “fashion-conscious” woman who is looking for value without compromising garment quality or her look.
“We aren’t your typical chichi boutique with custom packaging, fancy frills and professional decorators,” she said. “All that stuff must be paid for through product markup. We are known for offering lower pricing for the same products, saving our customers money.”
As a fourth-generation Clark County resident, raised in the Hockinson area, Wilson said she started Doppelganger because she saw an opportunity to offer better, more personal fashion options in an underserved niche market in downtown Vancouver. She’s been involved in retail fashion, and built a successful career around it, her entire life – first starting out in specialty retail and working into big-box upper management.
“Opening my own shop was a big decision and took a lot of research and exploration before I could commit,” Wilson said. “Once I decided – I was all in. I’ve never looked back. It’s been a wild, amazing journey full of new friends, personal and professional growth and, of course, tons of my favorite thing – shopping.”
“As a mother, the control afforded me by owning the shop has made a significant contribution to my work-life balance by allowing me to customize my demanding schedule to better accommodate the demands of family life,” she added.
Wilson said she believes Doppelganger has been successful in the community for a variety of reasons, explaining that the shop is located just two blocks from the Hilton Vancouver Convention Center, surrounded by blocks of urban housing, and is within walking distance of most of Vancouver’s professional offices.
“We enjoy a broad demographic of customers and we strive to offer an equally broad selection of merchandise,” Wilson said. “We have something for everyone. Our service mission is to provide excellent customer service to every single person who comes in the shop. We also always give back to the local community. We consistently donate to the YWCA SafeChoice, Hands Across the Bridge, The Boys & Girls Club and Rock the Awareness. We also sponsor youth and high school sports teams each year.”
Doppelganger continues to grow, and Wilson said they have been exploring opening an eastside location, but they are currently focusing on expanding the shop’s online presence and launching their online boutique at www.shopthedopp.com.
If she had to offer some advice to other women looking to start their own business in the area, Wilson said: “Do your homework. Understand that running the business is a whole additional job in addition to your technical work. Be prepared to dedicate yourself completely. Maintain a positive, but realistic outlook. Set and work towards goals consistently. Don’t let the activities of other people distract you. Celebrate your wins and don’t be afraid to recognize your accomplishments. Most importantly: always recognize, analyze and learn from your mistakes.”
Doppelganger is located at 302 W. 8th St., in Vancouver.