Wilbourn Sisters International Designs

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Biography

Wilbourn Exclusives'
is the design team of sisters, Carolyn Wilbourn and Janice Wilbourn-Woods based in Atlanta, Georgia. We are two of seven designing sisters who learned our craft under the loving tutelage of our mother, Elizabeth Chism-Wilbourn. We were born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee. Shortly after college in 1980 we moved to Dallas, Texas and began to work at Xerox Corp. and a year later we began our first business away from home, we called it Wilbourn Exclusively Yours. We were very successful for 3 years, designing and manufacturing one of a kind designs for people of all sizes and races . We decided to travel to Europe (Heidelberg, Germany) to visit family and of course we loved it so much, we decided to live there and do business. We met a beautiful German lady by the name of Renate Borneman, she was interested in going into business with us, we became designers exclusively for her, we opened a lovely designer boutique downtown Heidelberg called New York Designs. There in the boutique were very Exclusive Designs for Women who loved to look Sassy, Elegant and Original. All of the designs were designed and manufactured there on the premises by Carolyn and Janice, and also our German assistant Schneiderings. We were doing business on a regular base for 3 consecutive years, of course we would travel throughout Europe enjoying every moment being away from our country, including other cities in Germany, Paris, France, Scotland, Switzerland and enjoying many other beautiful surrounding sites.

After living there for 3 years we decided to move back to our hometown to spend more time with our family and do business there and throughout the United States. We set up another successful business in Jackson, Tennessee. Designing and Sewing during the week and traveling to Trade Shows and Expos on the weekends to cities such as: Atlanta, Ga. Chicago, Illinois, Washington, D.C. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Missouri, Indianapolis, Indiana, San Francisco, California, to name a few. We were very successful showcasing our designs and selling them all over the United States.

It was time for us to move again after doing that for at least 3 years, we decided to stay in the south near home. So we chose to move to Atlanta, Ga. The people in Atlanta loved to dress, the city also drew people that loved to make a statement and were very receptive to Black Owned Businesses. Shortly after moving to Atlanta in 1991, we met a dear friend by the name of Jean Murphy who was a personal shopper for the Rich's Department Store in Greenbriar Mall in Southwest Atlanta. We set up a private Trunk Show with Rich's and they loved every design in our collection. Shortly after that meeting we began to showcase our designs there in the department store. We observed 500 sq. ft. of leased space with racks throughout with all of Wilbourn Exclusives ' Original Designs on them. We met customers from all over the south loving the creativity and originality of designs. We sewed and designed all of the designs in our design studio in our home in Lithia Springs, Georgia. Well we worked hard everyday for 4 years. It was truly time for a break, so we moved out of Rich's in 1995 and decided to rest for at least a year, then we opened up a small boutique in Virginia Highlands in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a very quaint and slow artsy area, so it didn't work for us at all.

The next opportunity came up for us, to move into the Galleria Mall. We were there for 7 years. It was successful for 5 years, then business started to change in the Galleria, we persevered for 2 more years.  At the Galleria we met people from all over the world coming for conventions, vacation, the movies or just to visit. Word of mouth has been one of our best ways of advertising, we always would advertise in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Atlanta Daily World throughout the Holidays. In the boutique in the Galleria we showcase Wilbourn Exclusives' Originals, Designers Hats by a dear friend "Harriett Rosebud" of New York City, designer Jewelry and costume jewelry, handmade Dolls, Oils, Christian CD's and Tapes, Figurines and many other fine collectibles.

Wilbourn Designs range from soft, flowing ensembles in Rayon, Linen, Jersey Knit, Popcorn Knit, Crepes and Silks to Avante Styles in Faux Fur. We design for all occasions including: Weddings, Cruises, Fancy Balls and much more.

Moving from the Galleria in 2003, we opened up our next lovely Boutique in the Camp Creek Marketplace in East Point, Georgia in Southwest Atlanta.  We were only in business there for one year.  That experience was very challenging, we were in the community where things were new and open for change, by being a part of that change, it showed how we as a race support one another.   By moving into the Black Community really opened our eyes, and helped to make the decision to do retail on a different level.  Our new endeavor now is selling and marketing our business on the worldwide web where we can reach people all over the world that would love our fashions.   We are in the stages now of designing our new website, where we will be able to sell our designs online and E-Bay. 

 

Another endeavor for the Wilbourn  Sisters’ is Mentoring and Teaching Charm and Etiquette to our youth and children.

 

Wilbourn Sisters New location is now in the Studio Plex on Auburn Ave. in Atlanta, Georgia. Suite #118. In the Historical District Appointment Only or Thursdays thru Saturday (1:00 – 7:00 p.m.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations’

You Go Sisters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2001-2004 Wilbourn Exclusives Designs, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Designer Hats by Rosebud of New York. Photography by Arthur UshersonSite designed by Signature Designs.