It’s the middle of the day at the Audrey B Boutique in downtown Oakland at 1415 Webster St. Audrey Baptiste sits in her chair in the middle of her women’s clothing boutique talking on the phone and taking orders from women looking for the right fit.
The boutique is a full service women’s clothing store that features formal and business attire, as well as casual evening wear and one-of-a-kind clothing for that special event.
“I have a lot of unique clothing for women,” said Baptiste. “All different types of clothing and special occasion clothing. Clothing that can either dress a woman up or dress her down depending on the event. I have all the regular sizes, but I specialize in plus sizes for women.”
Baptiste started out with an online clothing store, which was met with success and a buzz. This was due to word of mouth and her heavy following on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram and a large number of online sales from her website.
After seeing this response, she decided to open up a clothing store.
“I have always been into fashion, and I have a sense of style,” she said. “I always wanted to own my own boutique and when presented with opportunity five years ago, I decided to do it.”
Baptiste carries clothes from various designers including her own line of clothing. A San Francisco native, she decided to set up her boutique in Oakland in order to cater to patrons who come from all over the Bay Area.
Prices are reasonable, and besides local residents, her shop attracts out-of-town tourists who make it a priority stop by her boutique when in town.
She works closely with her fashion consultant, Mario B, who plays an instrumental role in the boutique and has styled and dressed many celebrities for shows when they come to the Bay Area.
This list includes Angie Stone, Michelle, Sydney Nicole and Jaguar Wright. They also host a lot of fashion shows to help support the Audrey B Boutique, as well as other Black owned boutiques in Northern California.
Baptiste and Mario B will be sponsoring the upcoming “Rock the Runway” fashion show and event at 7 p.m. at the American Steel Art Gallery at 1960 Mandela Parkway in Oakland on May 20.
The fashion show will feature designers such as Audrey B, Hill Tribe, James Head, Bilo and Modern Man.
“Rock the Runway” will also feature a special performance by Angie Stone, Dee Dee Simon, Sydney Nicole and Lunacie. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at the Audrey B. Boutique or online at rocktherunwayonline.com.