We had the good fortune of connecting with Dominique Banks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dominique, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Diversifying our revenue streams and offerings has been a critical component to the success of the business. The Dominici Collective initially went to market as an apparel brand with a heavy emphasis on graphic tees. Overtime, the concept of The Collective began to evolve into a multi-faceted retailer inclusive of fine art offerings and appointment only barber services.
By expanding our product and services portfolio, we have been able to reach a broader market while also providing a unique in-store experience.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
The Dominici Collective is a Harlem based haven for creatives of all disciplines. In addition to an array of apparel that we have sourced from brands/designers globally, The Collective is also a bonafide art gallery. To compliment the retail side of the business, we also host monthly events ranging from artist showcases, dance parties and book readings to keep the community engaged and connected with the ever evolving space we’ve created. This combination of art, fashion and culture is what makes us unique in comparison to most retailers.
Introducing a new concept is rarely easy, especially against the backdrop of a global pandemic and economic decline. However, I am firm believer that if your foundation is built on authenticity you will attract and retain the right clientele.
Learning how to ask for and subsequently accepting help from a myriad of sources has been the key to overcoming the many challenges that have surfaced during the process of building The Collective. It is impossible to have expertise in all areas of effectively running a business. Assembling a team of capable and trustworthy people is critical to both growing and sustaining a business of any size.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Harlem is home to so many gems and unsung heroes. Hungry? We’ve got you! Eateries like Belle Harlem, The Edge and even the local bodegas offer delicious and unique dining experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. Need a dope fit? We’ve got you covered there as well. In addition to The Dominici Collective, hot spots like Dapper Dan’s Atelier and Harlem Haberdashery will have you turning heads as you strut down the iconic 125th Street. Need a bit of art and culture? Say no more. The historic Apollo Theater, Studio Museum and Schomburg Center are a few of the cultural sanctuaries that can be found in Harlem.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My support team consisting of family, friends and staff have truly been the lifeblood of The Dominici Collective. They keep me grounded, act as sounding boards and most importantly- are not afraid to tell me “No.” Without their dedication to the vision and trust in my leadership, the entire operation would pale in comparison to what it has become today.