November 14th, 2018
Style File: Simple & Feminine
Originally published November 13, 2018
By Baltimore Magazine
Brianna Volatile started her lifestyle blog, The Brunette’s Diary, while she was still in high school. What began as a creative outlet for the young fashionista blossomed into a platform where she could connect with her devoted readership as well as the brands she loves.
Volatile’s aesthetic became shop-able with the opening of Simple & Feminine, a brick and mortar boutique as well as an online store. We caught up with the young entrepreneur to discuss her process, favorite things, and the future of Simple & Feminine.
What was your inspiration for opening a boutique?
I’ve always loved photography, fashion, and beauty, and the blog was my creative outlet. It started getting traction about three years ago and brands started to contact me, and we would work together on partnerships. I’ve worked with big brands like MTV, Maybelline, Coach, and Express, but I also worked with a lot of smaller boutiques.
With those smaller stores, I noticed when I would post their pieces or do a collaboration with them that I would sell out of it—often it would be gone that same day. I thought, why not have a place where I can highlight the brands I love, that my readers have already interacted with through my blog? So, I opened Simple & Feminine in January of this year.
You’re not originally from Baltimore. What brought you to the city?
I’m from Howard County, and my original location was in Ellicott City. I had been there for five months, and then in May of this year it flooded. I had to figure out where to go next. Baltimore City has so many cool small businesses and is very fashion forward. Plus, the majority of our following is Baltimore-based.
I reached out to a bunch of different places, and Harbor East took me in. They had a pop-up location available, which is where Simple & Feminine will be until February of next year. I’m working on scouting the perfect permanent location, hoping to stay in Harbor East. They’ve been so welcoming to me.