By Jessica Thomas
It’s typical of some college students to only go through the motions in school. However, Christine Philip took a mock business plan she created as a marketing class assignment at Emory University and turned it into a reality, a Buckhead boutique.
Philip applied the plan to her fledgling online clothing line and founded CP Fusao, the boutique she currently owns and runs at One Buckhead Plaza. The boutique carries Philip’s private-label collection as well as clothes and accessories she imports from around the world. She also custom-designs clothing for clients.
An international studies major at Emory, Philip knew that her business plan would come to fruition. “I have been designing since I was 14,” she said. “But when I took those business classes, it made me realize my concept was marketable.”
Initially a pre-med major, Philip notes that some of her business professors helped her see that she could succeed in starting her own store and fashion label. “I really enjoyed learning about business more than I did about medicine,” she added.
Philip unveiled her first collection at the end of 2003 at the Emory Diwali Gala. People responded well to the first collection, she said. The rest, as they say, is history.
The entrepreneur established CP Fusao, on the street level of One Buckhead Plaza, at 3060 Peachtree Rd. N.W., in August 2007. From her graduation in 2004 until 2006, Philip worked on building her online business and distributed her line of clothing to stores in Florida.
Philip’s background has influenced both the design of her line of clothing and the other items in her store. She has moved around quite a bit and lived in Iowa, Florida, India and the Middle East. She also has traveled abroad extensively. “Moving and traveling have brought me different experiences, and that translates into my clothing,” Philip said. “I want what everyone is wearing abroad to be over here.”
Fusao means “fusion” in Portuguese, and the products in her store blend many styles and cultures. “CP Fusao is fusion fashion. My label is comprised of garments that are Western silhouettes using Eastern elements and embellishments,” Philip explained. “Each place [I visit] is specific and unique.”
She imports lines from Europe, Malaysia, East Asia, St. Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monaco. She recently visited Barcelona to get more items for the store.
It is all part of the plan that has kept her in business for almost a year so far.