Career Crossroads: One Blogger’s Entrepreneurial Journey to E-Commerce
Five years ago, Shibani Faehnle launched a creative project that would allow her to publish about life and fashion.
She started a blog, CLEShopaholic (Things I Luuuuurve).
You could say Faehnle’s blogging has since evolved – she’s a partner within the founding team of She In The CLE, a new collective of women bloggers in Cleveland. Faehnle also very recently reconfigured her business angle on CLEShopaholic, transforming it into e-commerce site Bombay Taxi Boutique.
“It’s going through an evolution now,” says Faehnle, 35. “It’s focused on affordable luxury for women. The blog will be folded in there.”
Entrepreneurship was the next logical step for Faehnle’s blog career, she said.
Through her blog life, Faehnle has worked with some great brands. When considering the future, she says, e-commerce seemed pretty obvious as the next evolution.
And that’s just her creative life.
Faehnle was born and raised in India. She moved to the United States for school, attending Miami University and eventually earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics.
From there, she landed in finance, working at a bank.
“My day job is numbers,” Faehnle says. “The blogging started as a fun hobby, and it continues to be something I really enjoy and am passionate about. I’m very much a logic-driven person for most of the day, and then creative driven at night.”
And as if that’s not enough to fill her time, Faehnle also just got her license to be a spin instructor. She taught her first class Sept. 10.
The Shes in CLE
She In The CLE was launched Aug. 23.
It’s for any blogger with a point of view who fits within the parameters of publishing to the site. It includes several topic buckets, including lifestyle, mom-related material, entrepreneurship, and she-suite, which is career focused.
Faehnle became involved in the She In The CLE project through her social media connections. She met She In The CLE founder Amy Martin through Instagram.
“Anyone is welcome to contribute,” Faehnle says. “The goal is to provide a voice for women in Cleveland who have a point of view. It’s not restricted to any one person or group of people. It really is meant to be inclusive.”
From Blogging to Business Owner
Bombay Taxi Boutique is about treating yourself to small bits of luxury.
“I think it resonates,” Faehnle says. “Who doesn’t like something that makes them feel special? Even if they’re buying it for themselves.”
The site features mostly women’s accessories, including handbags and jewelry. All merchandise is one-of-a-kind, sourced from India, and not mass-produced.
No single item is priced more than $500.
“This is small batch, curated merchandise,” Faehnle says. “My goal is to have jewelry that is very accessible to women. Women are looking less and less for approval from outside themselves. This is an extension of ‘Hey girl, you’re awesome, and if you want to buy yourself diamonds, you should buy yourself diamonds.’”
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