Rosemary Frazier: Goliath RF
Dearest In Her Shoes readers, I’d like to introduce you to Miss Rosemary Frazier, the trailblazer behind Goliath RF, one of the hottest sneaker boutiques in the country. Although Goliath RF is located off the average New York City tourist’s beaten path, the store has always been a “must see” for sneaker-lovers from all corners of the globe including Japan, Sweden, Germany, and Canada.
Photo Credit: allthingsfly.com
Goliath RF inhabits an old bar and instead of getting rid of the location’s rich history, Rosemary has embraced the space’s past life by using the bar as the sales counter, complete with stools and coasters that act as business cards.
I’ve always admired women who are true visionaries and thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about Rosemary’s business. Grab your beverage of choice, take a seat, and take in our interview with Rosemary as she dishes about how Goliath RF came to be, the benefits of working in a male-dominated industry, and where the brand is heading in 2009. Ladies, if you have plans of opening a sneaker boutique in your area, pay close attention as Rosemary drops a few jewels of wisdom:
In Her Shoes: Tell us about the “a-ha” moment you experienced when you came up with the idea of opening your own sneaker boutique?
Rosemary: My moment of clarity was when I was still working my day job and the stress of the job was really getting the best of me. I thought to myself, “why should I continue to go through this amount of stress for someone else and not for myself?” This is the moment I decided to open Goliath succeed or fail. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments but this time the stress is for my benefit – not someone else’s!
Goliath Spring 2009 Arrivals
In Her Shoes: Being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be quite an interesting experience. Although this fact may present challenges, how would you say it has also benefited your business?
Rosemary: Yes, it does present challenges but it also presents countless opportunities. Whenever you are the first to do anything people respect you. I am the first African-American female exclusive sneaker boutique owner in New York City. There are many people who are behind my cause because they want to see me “make it” as the first woman to take this path. I get respect, not only because of the female factor, but also for my decision to open a store in El Barrio. No one thought it would work in El Barrio and now that we’ve been successful, they respect me even more.
In Her Shoes: What separates Goliath RF from any other sneaker boutique in the business?
Rosemary: Goliath is the first sneaker boutique in Harlem to bring both sneakers and streetwear brands (that you would normally find downtown) to Harlem. We are known for breaking new brands. Before Goliath you would mostly find brands like Pelle Pelle, Rocawear and G-Unit in Harlem. Now you come through Harlem and you’ll see 10 Deep, Crooks & Castles and Mishka, just to name a few.
In Her Shoes: We realize that naming a business requires a lot of thought and contemplation. What was the thinking behind the name Goliath RF?
Rosemary: Well, after giving the name much thought and still not coming up with anything I had a conversation with a friend. We were joking around and I said “I’m going to take over Harlem like a Goliath!” After saying that I realized that Goliath RF (Rosemary Frazier) was the perfect name as it symbolizes what the boutique is about: taking over and exposing the community to new ideas.
In Her Shoes: How do you keep Goliath’s traffic high & sales up when consumer confidence and spending are considerably low?
Rosemary: I believe that it’s a combination of the relationship you have with your customers along with your selection of products. Most people are only shopping for specific items now, or are waiting on a sale so it’s important that we have inventory that’s in demand. We also increase awareness of our products through our website and blog. This helps a lot because even though people may not come into the store, they’re still engaged because they check the site regularly.
In Her Shoes: How has the sneaker/streetwear industry changed since you entered it?
Rosemary: Nowadays, everyone wants to open a store because they think it’s easy. Many of the people who want to own a store aren’t really dedicated to the time and effort it takes to make it successful. Most people don’t realize that there’s a lot of sacrifice you make when going into business for yourself. People see the fun side of it but don’t stop to consider the challenging business side of it.
In Her Shoes: Tell us about a day in Rosemary Frazier’s shoes.
Rosemary: To start with, no two days are the same. Usually my day starts off with paperwork then I head to the store and take a few calls. Shipments may come in and then I’m interacting with customers or meeting with vendors. The most important part of my day is spending quality time with our clients and nurturing relationships.
In Her Shoes: What are the three biggest lessons you’ve learned with Goliath?
Rosemary: The three biggest lessons I’ve learned through my business are:
In Her Shoes: What can we expect from Goliath in 2009?
Rosemary: This year is all about expanding Goliath’s brand product offerings and increasing our web presence. We already have a large following for our blog but we just can’t stop there. Be on the lookout for a Goliath RF takeover!
If you’re an early bird and have already started thinking about Father’s Day gifts for the special man in your life (or a little something for yourself), check out Goliath’s impressive collection of exclusive men’s and women’s sneakers and streetwear.
Goliath RF is located at 175 E 105th St, New York, NY 10029. Phone: 212.360.7683.
Visit www.goliathny.com for additional information.