In order to get a girl to like you, you have to get her to like yourself.
That’s what Torrid Women’s Clothing has been trying to do for a long time.
“We’re a very progressive company,” says Robyn Stearns, one of Torrid’s founders.
“And when you do that, you’ll see your business grow.”
As Stearnes explains, the brand started in 2013 when her then-boyfriend asked her if she’d be interested in going on a fashion and makeup tour.
“It was the best decision I’ve ever made,” she says.
“I was a little nervous, but I just kept telling him, ‘Yeah, I’d love to go.'”
After three years, the couple decided to move in together.
They’d met through Stear’s brother, a photographer.
They wanted to do things in their own way, so they bought the house together.
“When we bought the place, it was like we’d just got married,” Stearn says.
In order for Torrid to make money, it needed to have a strong brand.
So they set up shop in a strip mall near their office, just down the road from their local grocery store.
The store was filled with cheap clothing, but it wasn’t a big deal.
“They were buying the same stuff you’d see at Macy’s,” Staughns says.
The couple soon had enough of the cheap clothes.
“There were too many of them,” Stokes says.
They were so frustrated that they decided to go after more expensive clothes.
It didn’t take long for the pair to hit a snag.
They needed to get rid of clothes that weren’t good enough.
The problem, Stokes explains, was that most of the stores they went to didn’t have the money to do the shopping.
“So we started looking at other stores, and other stores were also not making enough money to buy the clothes we wanted,” she recalls.
“Then we found a store that had this really cool product that was really hard to find.”
They decided to take a chance.
“That was kind of our first foray into retail, really,” Stears says.
Stear, a lifelong gamer, wanted to wear some new clothes to meet a friend’s birthday.
She had been wanting to do that for months, and it was a great chance to show her friend how much she loved him.
Stokes’ friend decided to buy her a gift for her birthday.
“She just couldn’t believe I wanted a gift from a man, but she said I should wear a black dress to my wedding,” Stoughs recalls.
And after she got dressed, Stear asked her friend to give her a few extra bucks for their wedding anniversary.
The pair went shopping.
When they arrived at the store, the clerk told them that the store was full of items for their birthday.
So the pair decided to wait for the store to fill up.
But the clerk said that he had to make a special request for their guests.
“He said that we could get a couple of extra dresses for the occasion,” Sticks recalls.
The clerk let the pair have a few dresses that they didn’t need.
But she wasn’t happy with the way they dressed.
“The thing was, I was like, I’m a girl,” Stays says.
After they got dressed and walked in the store they were greeted by a woman in a white dress who asked them to step out of line.
“As I walked out, she said, ‘You know, this dress is not really appropriate for me.
I’m just going to go out and buy another dress.’
And I was just like, what the heck is she talking about?
It was very inappropriate,” Stocks says.
“But she was so nice.
And so she didn’t say anything, and I went back in and was like you know, I want a second dress.”
So the couple had a good conversation with the clerk.
He apologized and let them keep their dresses.
“In that moment, I had a really good moment,” Starts says.
By the time the store closed for the night, they had the right dresses and clothes.
But that didn’t mean that Stears and Staughn were done with the idea of getting their girl to love them.
Stears, who has a degree in social work, wanted her daughter to know that she was important to her.
So she bought her some clothes.
After a couple more days, they were invited over to Staughs’ friend’s wedding.
“One of the things I wanted to show him was how important I felt,” Stickers says.
So Staughnes bought a couple gowns for her friend’s daughter, and they planned a reception for their daughter.
But before they could start planning the event, Staughks’ daughter showed up at the reception.
She was upset, but Stears was able to comfort her.