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Grad Danelle Johnson poses on the red carpet in a sparkling outfit with red thigh high boots

Grad is the Entrepreneur Behind Tiny House of Fashion Boutique

As the owner of Tiny House of Fashion Boutique, Fashion Design Graduate Danelle Johnson has captured the hearts of fashion lovers in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area. The first mobile pop up boutique of its kind in the area, Tiny House of Fashion Boutique offers eye-catching and on-trend pieces, personal styling services, private event, and girl’s night shopping. We caught up with Danelle, who recently appeared on local news channel WUSA9 and has been featured on Good Morning Washington and Voice of America, among other outlets, to learn more about her inventive business.

What was your path to FIDM? After getting best dressed in middle school, working in fashion retail, and graduating with a bachelor's degree, I wanted to be more well-rounded in fashion so I applied to FIDM in Los Angeles and was accepted. After my first degree, I saved for a year by working two jobs to move to Los Angeles from Virginia on my own and paid out of pocket for school. I also was fortunate to receive two small scholarships, one for orphans and one through FIDM. I managed to graduate in Dec 2011 from FIDM with a degree in Fashion Design. I knew I wanted to create something innovative to bring back to the East Coast.

How did FIDM prepare you to be an entrepreneur? FIDM definitely added to my commitment, determination, persistence, focus, career-driven, go-getter mentality, creativity, and meeting hard deadlines. I had so many projects to balance and professors didn't take any excuse — FIDM was much more demanding than my four-year college. While I was there, Rip the Runway was filming, and being at such a prestigious school also added to the self-worth I have today. FIDM also prepared me for the real world by living and going to school in Downtown LA, but working in Beverly Hills, I was able to see and meet two different worlds which adds to my versatility. 

Being right next to Hollywood fueled my competitive nature and career-driven ability to be innovative in order to stand out. Being an entrepreneur after attending FIDM meshed easy because of how I was more prepared for drawbacks, being told “no,” but continuing on, handling discrimination as a double minority Black woman, marketing myself for media attention and interviews, and making celebrity connections for styling even when I left "Hollywood" and moved back to the DMV area.

What advice would you share with a current FIDM Student? Go to class and meet deadlines, utilize the free resources and labs that FIDM has. My advice would be that self-belief is one of your strongest tools; don't let others fears of success or origination reflect onto you, do it anyway. Don't always look for support from friends and family because you have to be your biggest supporter. Use the word "no" as motivation for something bigger. Network in your niche. Create or be a part of resources if they aren't there. Being the first is trend-setting. Consistency will create your name, keep pushing!

Learn more online at tinyhouseoffashion.com and on Instagram @tinyhouseoffashion.

Categories:  Fashion Design Alumni