Kim Bolufe was born in Hong Kong, and moved to the United States when she was four years old. Her mother worked hard to make ends meet in a fashion manufacturing house. This is where it started.
“I always knew I would become an entrepreneur, it was just deciding what kind,” says Bolufe.
Today, she is the owner of a multimillion business, Bolufe. The store sells high-end, casual wear to business people and South Floridian city dwellers alike. It carries celebrity wear and brands such as 7 For All Mankind, True Religion, and Christian Audigier.
But Bolufe’s circumstances weren’t always so glamorous. With less than three hundred dollars at hand ($264, to be exact), she emerged into the industry as a self-made businesswoman with her own, successful boutiques.
After years of business school, designing, inspiration, and tireless work, she began selling jewelry on the streets of New York City with the hopes of opening her own store. The few hundreds she began with became thousands, and eventually millions when her vision was complete. Bolufe was materialized as she expanded from streets, to malls, and beyond.
“At the age of 10, I begged [my mother] to let me watch her at the manufacturing house. I wanted to observe the craft and business of fashion.”
From an early age, Bolufe knew her passion. She learned how to sew coats, jeans, dresses, and anything else you could ask for of by the time she was an early adolescent. She then got a business degree specializing in fashion marketing, and began writing up a business plan for her future. As part of a first generation immigrant family in the United States, she understood the importance of diligence from her mother.
“Coming here as a child, I watched the ‘American Dream’ and I wanted it… It’s a true rags to riches story.”
For Bolufe, following design came naturally to her. It was more than luck that launched her career in the fashion world.
“I dream colors, I dream silhouettes. Fashion is evolving all the time, it changes every year, every season. Colors and shapes circulate; it’s really exciting.”
As a bilingual, Hong-Kong native, Kim Bolufe understands versatility and the power in being different, memorable. She applied her unique skillset towards her aspirations and yielded an outcome most people cannot achieve.
“Do what you love and you will be very successful. If you love what you do, you will become the best at it.”
Bolufe acknowledges with happiness that today, more than ever, women have more opportunities to pursue their dreams and build careers as legitimate and respected businesswomen. The family she has built, with a husband and daughter in college, is a major focus of her life. With her “American Dream” realized, she searches for a more spiritual fulfillment. But after all she’s accomplished, there’s no question that she’s been tremendously actualized as an individual.
“You have to have a really rewarding living, have to do something you absolutely love.”