From Marketing to Merchandise

With business-savy instincts and a passion for fashion, Hannah Bering is well on her way to proving that her new business is sure to provide you with your next favorite outfit.

After working toward the opening of her online store all summer, Bering said it has been the definition of challenging, but thanks to her family and friends she said she could not be happier with her company than she is right now. In fact, Bering said a lot of the influence of opening a business comes from her parents owning a large garden center in Austin, and said it was not a shock to her family when she notified them of her plans to start a business of her own.

This is the homepage to E. Blackhurst.

“Growing up I had always wanted to own my company, whether it was a gymnastics gym, or even a summer camp,” she said. “I don’t think that it came as much of a surprise to many of my family members when they first found out because I guess it is kind of in our blood to open businesses. My family has given me valuable advice about starting and running a company, which I really take seriously because of all of their success.”

Even with opening an online store, Bering said she has not dealt with much fashion until she came to college at Texas Tech. She said she originally did not know what she wanted to open so she decided to attend the business college and double majored in marketing and management. Bering said she knew that no matter what, she knew those majors would help her in the future.

She said she knew she didn’t want to start her own business right off the bat, but after interviewing with companies within corporate America, she knew that was not the career path she wanted. She said she got her start in fashion by working for a showroom doing whole sale markets in Dallas and later went to Las Vegas and Atlanta. Finally, Bering said once she moved to Savannah, Georgia, she was ready to get the ball rolling on her business.

This is the "Get Your Game Day On" section of the website.

She said the name of her online store is called E. Blackhurst in honor of her two grandmothers’ maiden names. Bering said it was between naming her business B. English or E. Blackhurst. She said she thought English Blackhurst was too much of a mouthful of a name, so she shortened it. Low and behold, she ended up coming up with the current name the store holds today.

Here is the owner, Hannah Bering, on the right. She is wearing the bottom pleated dress.

Here is the owner, Hannah Bering, on the right. She is wearing the bottom pleated dress.

Bering said her target market is geared toward college and high school aged girls and their moms. She said she wants to do a lot of mother-daughter focused events with different organizations. She said one of her favorite outfits the store carries at the moment is the “bottom pleated dress,” which is pictured here. She said she also got a shipment of new jewelry that was handmade in Austin that will be coming to the website soon, and that she was very excited to reveal it on the site.

Taylor Addkison, an early childhood education major from Wichita Falls, Texas, said she heard about E. Blackhurst from a friend and said her favorite section on the website is “Get Your Game Day On.”

“There are so may cute pieces that I would definitely wear for game day at Tech. After hearing Hannah went to school here, I love that she has a lot of red and black and red and white options,” Addkison said. “I would definitely recommend her site to anyone who is interested in clothing, regardless of style or taste.

Bering said her ultimate goal is to maker her online store something similar to Nasty Gal, which is another online shopping site.

“If you can’t dream big then go home, you aren’t doing it right,” she said. “Obviously trying to be the next Nasty Gal is a bit ambitious but then again, great things come to those who hustle so why not aim high?”

Bering said she is focused on succeeding with her store online before she makes any decisions to open up a storefront, but she said it is a possibility.

Bering said if she could give anyone who is interested in opening a business or going into retail advice, it would simply be to know it is what you absolutely 100 percent want to do. She said the task of opening E. Blackhurst has been chaotic – yet exciting, and she even though it feels like she is constantly working, she loves it.

“At times it has been scary, and sometimes I feel like I’m getting by just by by the seat of my pants,” she said. “‘Winging it’ is quickly becoming second nature to me. It has been extremely rewarding and I would not rather be doing anything different. I am very excited for what the future holds and the hard work is definitely not behind me. There is still a long ways to go before I can honestly put my hands up and say ‘I’ve made it,’  but my support system so far has been incredible.”

To check out more from E. Blackhurst check out their online store or their Facebook.

These are some of the E. Blackhurst models Bering used to wear her game day merchandise.

About Lauren Estlinbaum

Entertainment Director    —    Journalism major, Class of 2014
Lauren Estlinbaum grew up in Pearland, Texas, south of Houston (go Texans). She is a journalism major with a minor in apparel design. Lauren would like to work for either a fashion or lifestyle publication post-graduation. As she likes to say, she considers fashion magazines survival guides.

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