Fashion Boutique Entrepreneur Inspires Retailing Students


Sydney Dao (left), Collegiate DECA group with Dr. Shirley Ezell and Dr. Marcy Norwood
Sydney Dao (left), Collegiate DECA group with Dr. Shirley Ezell and Dr. Marcy Norwood

University of Houston retailing and consumer science students from the Collegiate DECA organization, recently visited the boutique of DAO Chloe DAO, in Houston, Texas, where they learned about the challenges tackled by entrepreneurs when developing multiple design lines, opening a brick and mortar retail store, and working through rebranding and a name change.

Sydney Dao, sister of Chloe Dao, inspired the students with the story of Chloe's journey from her beginning as a designer to where she is today. Sydney also shared her own personal journey from working in New York City at a showroom, to managing Chloe's boutique for the past decade. The boutique opened in 2000 after Chloe's win on Season 2 of Bravo's Project Runway, a reality television show for fashion designers. Chloe sold an exclusive line for QVC from 2007 to 2010.

Impressed by her wisdom and experience, retailing and consumer science students Grace Brann and Orlando Herrera commented. "Sydney made it clear that success will come naturally with hard work and passion," said Brann. "Her philosophy of becoming like a sponge and absorbing the knowledge that surrounds me, will be something that I will carry throughout my professional career," Herrera remarked.