In the two and a half years since she opened online clothing boutique Marque Modest Apparel, Allie Shirley has sold products to women in 40 states, many of whom are repeat customers. However, as with most success stories, the road that led to her thriving business was not without a few bumps.
Shirley was sitting in a gymnasium at church camp as a high school sophomore wearing what she calls tiny shorts and a low-cut V-neck shirt when she says she heard God speak to her about the idea of a modest clothing company.
“I thought it was hilarious,” Shirley says. “I didn’t want to choose that path then. I was still living the life I wanted, finding my value in guys and all the wrong places.” Shirley says through reading the Bible and involvement in church activities, she realized her worth could only be found in God, and she decided to surrender her own plans and follow Jesus.
Not knowing where to begin in her pursuit of this dream, she enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design after high school, with the goal of designing and sewing apparel. She discovered quickly that making clothes did not come naturally to her.
“That’s when I realized God’s plan wasn’t for me to actually draw and design the clothes,” she says.