My Story – Behind The Boutique

I don’t think I’ve really gone into too much detail about how I got to this point.  I thought it was time to tell you MY story – Behind the Boutique.

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I’m Lauren.  I’m 25 and I graduated from college almost 3 years ago.  Time has flown since graduation from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  I spend my days working in marketing and my nights with my friends and family.

My Dream

I first dreamed of owning an online boutique in 2009 when I started job searching.  I love shopping, especially online (as I’m sure you do too) but being tall – I’m 5’10, sometimes I have trouble finding clothes that are long enough.  Especially dresses, my absolute favorite thing.  So I started dreaming about a boutique where I catered to taller ladies my mom and I even discussed it semi-seriously but due to my busy college student schedule at the time, nothing really came to fruition.  Fast forward to graduation 2010 – I’m jobless and nervous about my future (and moving back in with my Mom) I began writing up a business plan.  12 pages long – I have a degree in Sociology, not business; I was that serious. I even named the boutique.  When I started researching, I got even more reassured that this was something I COULD do.

Working Girl

It was right about this time that I got my job!  I was hired! I quickly shelved my plans and my dreams to happily settle into my 9-5 marketing job.  The next two and a half years absolutely FLEW by.  One day though, I read this post by Lara Casey and it ALL changed. “You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.”  All of my ideas and dreams were suddenly all I could think about.  If I didn’t try, I would never know what could be.

Dreams Realized

Failing at my dream didn’t matter, what really mattered, was failing to realize my dream.  Procrastination wasn’t an option any longer.  I knew what I had to do – I had to Make. It. Happen.  As my boyfriend was gone on deployment, I had alot of time on my hands.  At this point, I had big dreams and time to make them come true. One cold day in January, I took the jump and applied for an LLC – I remember how nervous I was standing in the post office my hands shaking as I waited to mail my application in to the State of NC!  Once I mailed it though, I felt almost immediate relief I just knew I was making the right decision for me.  I worked nights and weekends on my business plan and trying to get my licenses together.  I certainly ran into some bumps in the road, particularly in the naming process.  You already know about my struggle to find a name for the boutique, but you didn’t know that my original name, from 2010 was taken by the time I was ready to make my dream come true.  So between that, finding funding and figuring out what I needed to do to get everything started, there were definitely a few tears shed.

Roadblocks along the way

I had to apply for a special permit in order to be able to even apply for a business license.  Luckily, I won the permit but I definitely was very nervous speaking in front of the Raleigh Board of Adjustment.  It was actually just after I won (and was feeling really confident) that I got a call from my lawyer recommending that I change the boutique name.  I have to say, I was crushed.  I’m so grateful that I had the foresight not to order anything with the previous name before I spoke to my lawyer so that I only had to change my permit information and some licenses rather than everything so that was certainly a blessing in disguise.  At the time though, I was pretty down. Matt was still gone, and I was lonely and nervous. That lawyer while very helpful, was expensive and I was discouraged.  It was right at the time that the opportunity to attend Making Things Happen came up. I’ll save my Making Things Happen post for another day, but suffice it to say that I felt not only relief but encouragement.

Today and Beyond

I used my MTH experience as a diving board to launch me into the next level where I was going to succeed, no matter what.  And that brings us to today – May 7th 2013.  Today, I received my first shipment for the boutique. I cannot even put into words the excitement and elation I have from having my dream come true.  Doing what fires me up truly makes me so happy.  I am just thrilled and cannot wait to launch my boutique.  The sky is the limit.

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This is my year

Despite various setbacks that I keep hitting.  I am determined to make this my year.  The year I launch the boutique.  Obviously, April 1st isn’t possible – now I’m targeting June 1st.  I have alot to do to get ready for launch but I’m ready.  I just got back from an amazing vacation, I visited Albuquerque New Mexico, Las Vegas Nevada and Aztec New Mexico.  I have to admit, I’m pretty exhausted, but at that same time I’m so renewed.

Making Things Happen last month, really fired me up and inspired me to keep moving along.  One of the things that was stressed at MTH, was social media free weekends.  I’ve been toying (and I actually managed to do it once on a Sunday) with the idea, but never dived in.  I’m ready.  I’m so ready to break my “dependence” on my iPhone. I mean seriously, who wants to be glued to their phone 24/7? Not me!

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Question: Do you think you spend too much time using social media?

Close but No Cigar – Boutique Woes

“Close, but no cigar” – does anyone even say that other than my parents?

I feel so close, yet so far to launching the boutique.  There are some things that still need to be worked out, supply wise and legally that are holding me up. I actually found out from my lawyer, that I need to change the name of the boutique.  So I’m working on that now, I have a few ideas, I just need to draft a new logo.

I also attended Making Things Happen this week and it absolutely changed me (I’ll try to have a review of my experience up this week).  I have decided that instead of carrying alot of things in the boutique that I like, I would rather only carry a few things that I absolutely loved.  So I will be hand selecting and only selling things that I love.  I believe that the more that I love my products, the more that you will, too.

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After all, Small is the New Big.

Making Things Happen for Yellow Dress Boutique

I’m not quite sure how I found out about Lara Casey and Emily Ley, but I sure am glad that I did.  When I discovered the “Making Things Happen” workshop I knew it was something that I would LOVE to attend in order to get myself in gear with Yellow Dress Boutique and my life in general.  So when it was announced that the 2013 Making Things Happen conference would be held close to Raleigh, in Chapel Hill I was elated.  I knew that it was a sign, so I thought about it and prayed about it and decided to Make. It. Happen. And so I did.

I am pleased to announce, that I will be attending the 2013 “Making Things Happen” intensive which is “an intensive designed to fire you up and get you on a powerful path to making big things happen in life and in business.”

I am so excited to head to Carolina Inn in March to hear what some of the most inspirational ladies (in my opinion) of branding have to say. I can’t wait to see the changes that I’m sure will be in store for Yellow Dress Boutique are going to be.  I’m already feeling so inspired, the minute I submitted my registration, I just felt so… inspired. And ready.  Ready to make things happen.  Ready to do, ready to be – well you get the picture. I am so ready.