Okay, so maybe that's not quite how most mamas would consider year 2, but our baby, Chic Avenue Boutique, has been terrific this past year!
That's right, we are officially TWO YEARS OLD! So much has changed over the last two years and to celebrate, we want to share some background about our journey as a boutique and how much we've grown in the past roughly 730 days since launching our website.
Where it all began...
We had spent months researching wholesalers, marketplaces, retail shows, fashion trends, tax laws and the list goes on. We had spent years before that always dreaming about "when we owned our own boutique..." It was only a matter of time before we took the plunge. So, one day, we just did it. We gathered up a very small amount of money between the two of us and another small loan from our parents and ordered our first set of inventory, one "mystery lot" of clothing and accessories and a few racks to hold it all. In the beginning, we bought inventory based on things we would wear or we thought our friends would wear and left a little up to chance. The "mystery lot" albeit a good value, proved little success with quite a few pieces that never made it into public eye (think a chocolate brown maxi dress with crochet details resembling a gingerbread cookie & a teal jumper straight out of Aladdin). We laugh thinking about some of the things that we bought in those first months, but are so thankful to have had that time to learn our customers better, get our style down and find the most reliable and quality vendors that offered prices our customers would appreciate. Now when buying, we go for unique, trendy pieces that are affordable and versatile. We always keep our customers in mind first and have not ordered any more "mystery lots"!
Two years later...
The night we launched the website, I went down to Krista's home in the deep south metro of the Twin Cities. We took some mediocre product photos with a 2 year old boy running around in some, built the website, nervously pressed "Publish" and never looked back. I (Jill) wanted to celebrate by toasting a glass of wine and Krista kind of nonchalantly declined. I'm like, "What the heck? We should be celebrating! Are you pregnant or something?" Yes. Yes she was. So, I had a glass of wine with her hubby and realized this business meant even more to our family now. Later we found out she was having twins *YAY!!* We kept trucking along doing pop up shops and getting our name out there. We did have to slow down a little when the girls were born, but kept trying to grow. And grow we have. Since our launch in July 2015 we have:
- Grown from 2 clothing racks to 10!
- Changed up our logo and branding Before After
- Popped up at 13 sip & shops (You can host one too!)
- Donated items to many community organizations
- Launched our Facebook VIP Group (have you joined yet?!)
- Have grown from 100 of our friends liking our business page to over 600 (still friends, but some strangers too!)
- Have paid back ourselves and our parents for the initial investment -- this felt really good.
- Loved every. single. minute.
There have been late nights, long days, laughs and tears in the last two years. We are so so so incredibly grateful for all of our customers who have been with us from the beginning and to all of those just joining us on our journey. You have helped us blossom and we are so thankful for that.
Our main goal is to continue growing and keep celebrating for years 3, 4, 5, 30 (long enough to pass onto the twins) ;) We will always aim to keep providing you with affordable, trendy pieces that are suitable for the woman who is busy whether chasing kiddos, hopping from work to happy hour, traveling the world or just plain ole having fun.
Lastly, we love you all. We feel SO blessed to have this business and such loyal customers. We wouldn't be here without you and we are so glad you have chosen to support us and Chic Avenue Boutique. You'll be seeing more of us in the future, so hopefully you're ready to #staychic for a long, long time.
<3 Krista and Jill
P.S. For making it through that long post, we're giving you 15% off your purchase. Use code BDAY15 at checkout.