Stroll into the Selden Market, located in Downtown Norfolk, to find a lineup of small businesses set beneath draping twinkling string lights in an open-concept indoor shopping center. A simple and contemporary sign hangs and reads Mod & Soul, a chic and effortless clothing boutique for the everyday woman.
Mod & Soul is owned by Jasmina Zulic, who will likely greet you during your visit to the store. She splits her time between the Norfolk location and the company’s first storefront in Richmond.
The store has a bohemian vibe, decorated with natural tones, a cowhide rug, wicker furniture and flourishing plants. The season’s most sought after styles hang from racks running along the store’s exterior walls and tables are blinged out with earrings made from local artisans.
Mod & Soul made its debut to the Norfolk scene in the fall of 2019, and we are excited to give you a peek behind the curtain.
How It All Began
Jasmina is a creative gal at heart who found herself working in the technology industry after studying Mass Communications in college. Her vision for her career and her future grew bigger—and more entrepreneurial. “I always wanted to create something on my own. I used to draw and paint, and I was also interested in photography and creative directing,” she shares. As she explored these ideas and interests, she realized opening her own business would allow her to create a career that was fulfilling in all of these creative facets—fashion, photography, design.
At first, she opened Mod & Soul as an online shop and only focused on jewelry and accessories. The spark grew from a hobby to a full-time gig. She was sitting on the name Mod & Soul for about two years. “I like vintage attire, everything from clothing to decor. I wanted something that described that: Mod is a 60s movement and Soul is 70s,” she explains.
Jasmina opened the first Mod & Soul storefront in Richmond in 2016, following suit with an expansion to Downtown Norfolk three years later. When asked how you know it is time to open another location, she explains, “there is really no right time. I want to stay small, manageable and continue to be involved in everything. I never want to lose touch with my team and customers. It was all about finding the right fit [geographically].” Jasmina was searching for a creative and growing community. “I felt the urban city vibe [of Norfolk] and the arts district was an important draw,” she mentions. The fit was so well aligned that she wound up moving her home base to Norfolk, commuting to Richmond weekly.
The Mod & Soul Experience
The boutique offers fashionable looks catered for any occasion. From work to play or weddings to bridal showers, Mod & Soul provides customers with wearable, trendy and effortless styles made with quality fabrics at an affordable price.
“I curate the clothing in the store for the everyday woman. I want to fill a big space for our customers,” Jasmina says. She has done just that by creating a relaxing and approachable place for shoppers or passersby to drop in for inspiration for their next work outing, event or celebration.
The Boutique Difference
Each piece of clothing is handpicked by Jasmina and is done so thoughtfully. Her intention is for the styles to be all-purpose and to serve many seasons. “I want customers to be able to wear [the clothing] different places and occasions,” she explains. This also derives from personal preference. “I do not like to switch my clothes out of my closet every season. I keep stuff hanging year-round and add layers!”
Jasmina is so personable in nature and has carried this charm into the Mod & Soul shopping experience. She describes, “We refrain from a salesy atmosphere. Come hang out and take your time. We become friends with our customers and begin to know exactly what [styles] they like.” The store also holds events where the Mod & Soul team gets the opportunity to mingle with regular customers and meet new faces.
The clothing in Mod & Soul becomes a part of someone else’s story the moment they walk out the door. This customer journey and relationship is so important to Jasmina. She tells us a story of a social media follower who tagged Mod & Soul to share her recent engagement photos in an outfit purchased from the boutique, commenting ‘I am so glad I wore this. The pictures turned out amazing.’ These are moments she treasures and that make for a beautiful reminder of the value Mod & Soul brings.
Proudest Moment & Biggest Obstacle
When we ask Jasmina about her proudest moment owning Mod & Soul, she smiles and reflects. “We have received rewards, but to me, my day is made when I am in the store and I hear a customer say, ‘This is so cute. This store is amazing.’ It tells me we are moving in the right direction.”
As for the biggest obstacle, she explains, “I always tell people your highs are very high [when owning a business] but your lows are like nothing you have experienced before.” She carries weight in the contributions Mod & Soul brings to customers and the community. She continues, “You feel like how well your business does is a reflection back on you. You have daily insecurities envisioning things are not doing well.” We sense her self-criticism is rooted in her strong desire to bring the best possible experience to the community.
Advice for Aspiring Business Owners
Jasmina’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is wise and genuine.
- Do your research. Don’t rush into anything.
- Have a vision. Know exactly what you want to do.
- Be original. Create something that sets you apart.
- Know the things you want to delegate and the things you want to do yourself.
She has a goal for team growth while remaining a small business. “My hope is to be just big enough where I can employ 10 people and promote my team members who are bringing great value to the business,” she explains. She values delegation and providing her team with creative freedom. We look forward to watching her current team of four grow!
How to Experience All That Mod & Soul Has to Offer
If you have caught the shopping bug, head over to Mod & Soul’s website to check out what tops, dresses, rompers and accessories are available. Earn points with their rewards program by signing up online (obtain 5 points for every $1 spent); Send $15 to a friend and receive $15 in return when they make a purchase!
Follow along on Instagram to keep up with the latest and to be the first to hear about sales and events. You can also stay in touch by signing up for their email VIP list over on their website. Happy shopping!