Many women have thought about starting their own business and wonder what it would be like. As the owner of Shoo Shoo Baby, a women's clothing boutique, I am asked the same questions on a regular basis.. So I thought I would share my thoughts to these frequently asked questions.
Did you always want to own your own business?
I never even considered owning my own business until 2009. The idea always seemed too overwhelming. But after 10 years as a social worker and several years in pharmaceutical sales, I took some time to soul search and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. I have always loved fashion and all things 'girly', so when the idea of opening a women's clothing boutique was growing in my mind, the timing was right and suddenly, it didn't seem overwhelming at all. I had no help, other than the emotional support of my family, so I taught myself and learned as I went along.
How do you know what to buy?
A lot of factors contribute to what pieces I choose. I always want to find the most beautiful and unique fashions, but that isn't always the best choice. For example, I've seen dresses that are absolutely stunning and incredibly eye-catching, but they might be too expensive, or just aren't something my customers would wear. So I have to be a bit more realistic and find those beautiful and unique fashions that also meet my requirements. The first consideration is to make sure clothing I carry is something that women will feel comfortable wearing. Next is that it must be appropriate for my target demographic, which is women between the ages of 30 and 60. My customers want to be stylish, trendy and attractive, but also age appropriate. They aren't trying to dress like their daughter or their mother. I strive to help women find clothing that compliments them and makes them feel beautiful at whatever age they are.
Do you only carry certain brands?
I love to find brands that have a good reputation for quality and are also affordable. I want the clothing to last and to wash and wear well. However, this is often quite challenging. There are a few brands that my customers really like and that I trust so I always make sure that these brands are well represented.
What are the important things women should consider in updating their wardrobe?
I pay attention to trends and fads, but try to choose pieces that are realistic in their everyday 'wearability' as well as their versatility. The cut of a piece of clothing can go a long way in updating a look and it doesn't always have to be about a 'fad' to look stylish and put together. Now, that doesn't mean that I haven't jumped on the fringe trend because I just think it's fun and can be done really tastefully. But the fit of a garment is really important and goes hand in hand with trends.
While all of the things above are important and always on my mind at a buying show, I also have to be willing to take a few risks and bring in things that make women excited for the next season. Sometimes those risks pay off and sometimes they don't, that's just part of the business. I always want my customers to walk into Shoo Shoo Baby and be able to find something new and different that fits great and is of high quality so they walk out the door feeling confident, stylish and beautiful.
Located at 203 N. Prospect in Bloomington, Natalie and Shoo Shoo Baby's friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect pieces for your wardrobe. For more information, please visit www.shooshoobaby.com, call (309) 663-6292, or "like" them on Facebook.