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The authority behind Darling Authority

Bradley senior Natalie Konopka started Darling Authority online and plans to expand to a brick and mortar store after graduation. Photo via Darling Authority.

Though Natalie Konopka is still a student, she wanted to launch her business right away. The idea of Darling Authority (DA) came about during a road trip, when Konopka’s friend mentioned someone else she knew that had started a boutique.

Konopka’s goal is to offer pieces that push women’s style limits while looking and feeling comfortable.

“I want to inspire women to do it all, and I’m kind of hoping to serve as an example of a girl that … wants to do whatever she wants and sky is the limit,” said Konopka, a senior professional sales and public relations double major.

Because DA does not have a brick and mortar store yet, it is thriving through the store’s online presence. It also has a blossoming Instagram account with over 3,000 followers that posts not only outfits, but also memes to attract new customers.

To figure out what clothes she wants to sell for the next season, Konopka does online shopping of her own at wholesale websites and tries to find pieces she would wear.

She also looks for pieces that she knows will be popular, and from the pieces she’s found, she will create a style board with all the pieces to make sure they all are on theme and on brand.

She said she plans to move to Orlando, Florida after she graduates in May and expand DA by potentially opening up a brick and mortar and expanding her online base.

In the day and age of body positivity, Konopka said the lack of size expansion was because of the lack of resources.

“In Florida, I want to come out with like a full line of plus size, not just ‘Oh here’s one top you can potentially buy you know, type of thing,” Konopka said.

Her goal is to expand on the growth that DA has experienced in its first year of operation.

Konopka advises other students with passions for business to start right away.

“Honestly, just go for it,” Konopka said. “The biggest step in starting your own business or doing anything … you just have to jump in feet first and just really decide to go for it. Do your research, but definitely just put yourself all in. There’s always room for whatever your skills are and your expertise is.”

To learn more or to shop the new line, visit darlingauthority. com or @darlingauthority on Instagram.

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