Tips for Success from the 2016 South Carolina Female Business Person of the Year

By Briar Davis

Denise Thigpen

Denise Thigpen

Denise Thigpen of Building 2’s Wholesale Boutique and Viv&Lou was recently named the 2016 “South Carolina Female Business Person of the Year” at the National Small Business Week Awards in Columbia, SC.

Thigpen stated, “I am so incredibly honored to have been chosen as South Carolina’s Female Business Person of the year. I strongly believe that a solid foundation is the key to success in all areas of life. I was fortunate enough to be taught at an early age by my parents Lewis and Vivian Atkinson, the values of hard work, integrity, honesty and respect for others.”

“The best advice I could give anyone starting their own business would be to do what you love,” said Thigpen. She believes that as a business owner, it is fine to work hard. However, it is important to have fun while doing it.


Wholesale Boutique Team

Thigpen stated, “Learn and contribute all you can to the growth of your business but it is also very important to realize your own limitations. As a business owner, you will need to hire the right people to help accomplish the tasks you cannot do alone.”

She encourages aspiring business owners to be willing to make changes and understand that all ideas may not be winners.  She said, “Recognize and expand on what works and learn from what doesn’t work. Put your mind to work and be creative. Embrace new technology and take advantage of all that it has to offer your business in order to stay competitive in the marketplace.”

Most importantly, Thigpen stresses to entrepreneurs to always follow the golden rule. “Owning a business is a never ending process of small steps, if you don’t take the next step you will stay exactly where you are. A successful business doesn’t just happen; YOU have to make it happen,” said Thigpen.

Since 2001, the South Carolina based brand has served as a leading supplier of bags, accessories, apparel and home goods at AmericasMart. Thigpen said, “AmericasMart allowed me to establish an outstanding customer base and quickly became my top show to attend for new customers as well as repeat customers. Our popularity was noted by the AmericasMart staff and they have always been available to help us grow to meet our needs.”

As the founder and CEO of Wholesale Boutique and Viv&Lou, Thigpen plans to continue supplying buyers with unique and innovative products with “best in class” speed and customer service.  She envisions continued growth with retail partners resonating from the strength of her brand’s exceptional products and outstanding service.

At the upcoming Gift & Home Furnishings Market, both Wholesale Boutique and Viv&Lou will debut a larger showroom in Building 2, Floor 8 in Suite 807. Buyers will have the opportunity to purchase from the fall selection of Wholesale Boutique and Viv&Lou’s lifestyle brand.

Thigpen stated, “I am truly thankful for my entire team at Wholesale Boutique for all of the dedication that contributes to the success of our ever-growing company. This award is validation of what was taught to me by my parents and it was all made possible by our hardworking employees and loyal customers.”

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