River Rouge’s own social butterfly, T’Kay Montaque (courtesy photo)
By Xavier Jones
Telegram Media Specialist
There is a box of treasure hidden under River Rouge, Mich. The hordes of people traveling for sports, food and entertainment in the city has skyrocketed over recent years. The fact that has taken the region by storm, is fashion. Ladies’ fashion in particular. River Rouge’s own social butterfly, T’Kay Montaque spearheaded this movement way before it was the fashionable thing to do.
Montaque’s lifestyle has naturally led her to the spotlight, and the position she holds today. While attending River Rouge High School, T’Kay played basketball, and used her voice to narrate other school events. After graduating in 2013, T’Kay went to college to study business. Along the way she found a passion for hosting events, and an internship at Oh So Radio. She was building the creative cocoon she’s currently bursting out of.
Although T’Kay worked diligently on her studies and stockpiled her reputation as a networking prodigy. The million-dollar idea didn’t arise on campus, and the opportunity didn’t come from an administrator of any kind. To get the best out of her studies, Montaque spent a considerable time in the River Rouge Library. There she created a blog, “Plus Sized Boss Babes”. An internet space designed for plus-sized women. At the same time T’Kay secured employment at Darling Dior. A women’s clothing boutique in River Rouge.
Owner of Darling Dior, Yatavia Hester, grew impressed with the organization, dedication, and knowledge T’Kay brought to the boutique. Montaque was promptly promoted to store manager. Plus-Sized Boss Babes ran well as a blog, and T’Kay excelled at her position at Darling Dior. T’Kay’s supporters demanded more of her, just like she did of herself. The women following T’Kay inquired on Plus Size Boss Babe platform regarding fashion. Testifying that they are not represented by most clothing racks.
There was a demand for a plus-sized narrative to be showcased. With the help of Hester, Montaque dug her heels into the ground and supplied it. She flooded the airwaves with affordable, high quality, and comfortable clothes for plus-sized women.
Two years in the game and T’Kay has just about doubled everything. From inventory to customer base, outreach, and overall knowledge of the fashion industry, she was on top of it. T’Kay was able to take her talents to Las Vegas and California. She was marking new milestones, and wells of information that continue to push her progress.
T’Kay recently hosted an event to celebrate the second year of Plus Sized Boss Babes. The function was the furthest from a party. Under Covid-19 social distancing laws, T’Kay hosted a ceremony of life. It was a gathering where black businesses, the black experience, and the black dollar could be shared and kept safe within the community.
Montaque has had time to rest in her two-year glory and has already moved forward with the next phase of Plus Size Boss Babes. T’Kay has to be on top of the new stock coming and going every day and keep a constant scan of the market to ensure Plus Sized Boss Babes will always be on top of the evolving market.
Xavier Jones: How can you compare your results from the first year to second?
T’Kay Montique: Business has definitely hit its mark and stayed there! Starting up, I was just doing it. Not sure of the future, I just knew it had to be done. I was living off of prayers. Now everything is there, and the prayers have manifested. I don’t have to question my purpose. I’m sure and confident of where everything is going.
Xavier Jones: What factors do you feel make your business unique?
T’Kay Montique: I pride myself on the quality of material. My goal is to always find things with great material, clothes that make the ladies feel good, and clothes that look like money. I’ve also got to learn my customers. I’m stocked up with clothes I know I would wear. But I know every woman and myself do not share the same taste. So, I’ve taken my time to learn every style, type, and personality of the ladies coming in.
Xavier Jones: Where did you learn the skills that put you in this position?
T’Kay Montique: Everywhere! High school, college, working, literally everywhere! I’ve taken small skills from each entity my hands have been on and built it up to this.
Xavier Jones: Why is it special that your target demographic is made up of plus-sized women?
T’Kay Montique: I never want to hear a woman say when she goes shopping, all she can choose from is a rack. That’s scary! I’ve never been a skinny girl! I’m 6 foot tall with a little weight to match it! There have been times when I went shopping with my friends, and all I could get was a purse! So, believe me, I know how it feels.
Xavier Jones: What’s the goal for year three?
T’Kay Montique: Keep moving forward, keep my inventory up to date, and stick to the process that has proven successful. I’ll be adding a line for non plus-sized women, and hosting workshops on entrepreneurship.