Originally created 11/06/02

Ex-chemist tries fashion



There are a few pieces of lingerie in Ericka Moore's downtown boutique, but that's not the reason she called it The Pink Slip.

The 27-year-old first-time business owner decided to name her new shop after the piece of paper she surprisingly wanted every day at her last job.

"I hated it," Ms. Moore. "That's what I wanted - that pink slip forcing me to go out on my own."

After working for years as a chemist for a start-up technology firm in Atlanta, Ms. Moore decided to return home to Augusta to pursue her original desire to be involved in fashion.

The Pink Slip, a 300-square-foot store stocked with youthful, trendy clothes, opened Friday at 130 Eighth St.

The graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School studied visual arts and had grown up wanting to become a fashion designer, but she turned to a more stable career path by studying chemistry at the University of Georgia.

Now she's the newest member of the young, downtown entrepreneur crowd catering to other young people and hoping not to have to go back to a regular office job.

Ms. Moore said she chose to open downtown because of the influx of younger people living and visiting the area.

The small retail space in between Broad and Reynolds streets was cozy enough to feel like a boutique and cheap enough that rent didn't eat up all of Ms. Moore's initial funds.

Between the inventory and fixtures, she invested nearly $10,000 from family members and personal savings to open the store.

The financial and emotional risks can weigh heavily on a person when starting her own operation, said Jackie Moore, the area director for the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center.

"A business plan is a very good idea," she advised. "If they don't understand who their target market is, that will sink a business fast."

Although this is the entrepreneur's first venture into the business world, she entered prepared with formal business and marketing plans targeting a "young, contemporary" clientele.

"It's very risky, but right now my overhead is low," she said. "I'm learning and growing with it."

Reach Vicky Eckenrode at (706) 823-3227 or vicky.eckenrode@augustachronicle.com.