There are SO many topics I will take you on about being a retail boutique owner, but please remember----this is all MY journey and I can only speak of what my experiences are. I do hope this journey of my experiences over the last 10 plus years, can help anyone else out there to let them know "I understand", "you are NOT alone", "hummm, I wonder if I should do that?", etc....or to just let customers know what it really is like behind the scenes of that loving boutique you visit.
I guess I should start at the beginning....about my life growing up on the bayous of south central Louisiana with Cajun/Creole grandparents. It all started back at the age of 4 when I would sit FOREVER cutting out my own paper dolls and the clothing from the wonderful SEARS catalog (of course AFTER my Meme was done with it).
(Sears Catalog 1957)
My Meme was the most "thrifty" person I knew...she did all her own patterns, seamstress, quilter, crochet, knitting, canning, etc...and when Saturday came around it was time to get in the old Ford truck and head out for "yard sales". (We didn't have garages out in the country, so everything was called a yard sale.) Meme and her group of "yayas" (yes they were known as that even before the movie ever came about) would roam the country side for HOURS looking for materials, knick knacks and of course DISHES.
I grew up loving fashion---always looking for that perfect material or outfit that I could have my Meme redesign. I would draw pictures of what I wanted for me and my dolls, and she would draw up the patterns and sew them for me!
(The type of machine my Meme sewed on)
So, I guess you could say it was in "my blood"....now skip many years to my college days. I worked in retail stores all through high school and college, so I learned a lot of "first hand" work it took to get product in, inventory, merchandising, etc. I wanted to go to college to get a degree in "art and fashion merchandising"....but because it was the "hippy" period, my parents refused to help me pay for such "wasted time". So, I got a degree in marketing. Which I guess looking back, did help me more in the business then I thought it would.
(I actually worked at this store right after I graduated from high school!)
I would visit boutiques all the time, but could NEVER afford such clothing; so I told myself that I wish I could own a boutique and would make sure that women could have beautiful fashion and it not cost them "an arm and a leg". Little did I know that back over 40 years ago....God had heard me and started my path for me.
Fast forward to marrying the love of my life....he was the one that actually pushed me forward on a dream of so long ago and I was able to do just what I had hoped for all those years ago---own a boutique that offers beautiful fashion at GREAT PRICES!!!!
Trust me...this has not been an "easy" journey and it has GREAT rewards, LOTS of failures, and days of laughter with nights of tears. So, believe me when I say that the saying "build it and they will come" is NOT true! It takes a lot of hard work, a deep pocket book, etc...BUT----it has been worth every smile and tear that I have experienced for the last 10 plus years.
Next time, I will talk about how I went from "dreaming" to "planning"....