Minority Businesses, Major Impact: Ivy Glam
By Chris Jones
Virginia Beach fashionista Ivy Do has dressed the likes of Coko of the 90s R&B group SWV, Miss Virginia Beach, and world-class model Tatyana Braxton. Fueled by her online fashion boutique, Ivy Glam, Do aims to empower a generation of women in Coastal Virginia and beyond who want to feel confident and look stunning.
“We try to give the best quality at a reasonable price,” Do says. “We have a team in LA and New York that designs for us. It’s based on the latest trends and fashions. Everything is made in the USA.”
Along with her husband, Peter, Do hits the fashion circuits in New York City and Las Vegas, drawing inspiration for her custom-made pieces. She also relies on industry insiders to keep her in the loop and on the cutting edge of head-turning styles.
“I want every woman to feel like a celebrity,” Do emphasizes. “You will feel more confident when you look good.”
Do, who immigrated from Vietnam to the United States at age 11 with her family, has been running businesses for over a decade. She’s the franchisee of three Skinny Dip Frozen Yogurt Bars, has owned a nail salon and with her husband will be opening a new seafood restaurant in Downtown Norfolk later this spring. She credits her parents for her indomitable spirit and fierce work ethic.
“They brought us to the United States because there was a bigger opportunity here,” Do explains. “My dad went from a rich man in Vietnam to riding a bike. He had to work at Walmart.”
Even as enterprising as Do is, some of the challenges that she faces in being a female entrepreneur come in the form of getting the right support, starting with believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with people who won’t try to take advantage. “You have to know what you’re doing. One mistake can hurt your business,” she warns. “Finding the right web designer was hard. I’ve had incidents with three PR firms. I’ve ordered the wrong products and couldn’t return them.”
Do stayed encouraged through it all, finding inspiration in the women she outfits, the numbers of messages across social media from those touched by her work, and by a dream that keeps her up at night.
“I’m happy that the little things I do have such an impact on younger woman. That makes me happy,” she says.
In the community, Ivy Glam has made its mark as a brand of compassion and caring. The concept of community responsibility was instilled in Do by her mother, who taught her the importance of giving back.
In February, Ivy Glam partnered with businesses across Coastal Virginia to offer a Beauty over Cancer package where she donated a dress, provided professional makeup and photos and a dinner for two to a local woman battling cancer. She’s also partnered with beauty pageants to provide free dresses for girls whose parents can’t afford the attire. “Everybody should give back something. Either through church or charity as a sign that you’re grateful for what you have,” Do recommends.
She believes aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make a difference need to fight for what they want. “Be strong. Don’t give up. You’re going to run into bumps,” she advises. “If you want something bad enough, find a way around it.”
Being a classic serial entrepreneur, only Do knows what her next move will be. And as she crosses into her 30s, she aggressively continues to build her empire.
“My husband and I are in our prime; we’re about to be in our 30s,” she says. “I feel like we are strong and should use this time to build.”
And much like her parents, she too wants to work hard, give back and make the appropriate sacrifices for her future children. “We want to create something for our kids and generations to come.”
Learn more at IvyGlam.com.