“Aren’t you just playing dress up all day?” Now I never got asked that specific question, but I’ve had similar questions or remarks about what I do for a living as a boutique owner. “Your job must be easy! Anybody can sell clothes! Is this a job, job or just a hobby? So, since you don’t make the clothes you sell, you’re just selling someone else’s creation?” But if they only knew what is it like!
Owning a boutique isn’t always what it may seem like. Here is a glimpse in what is a day like for a boutique owner:
Consistently being creative – I don’t mean arts and crafts, I mean coming up with new ways to tell your story. Describing what makes you different and what sets you aside from everyone else. Sounds easy, but it’s tougher than what you may think. It gets to the point where you ask yourself “how many more ways can I possibly say the something over and over, without actually saying the same thing over and over”.
You truly never have a day off – Very few will love it as much as you do. And because you love it some much, your brain will consistently think of what to do next. Even when you’re not in your shop, you’re taking work home. You find yourself thinking about it day and night, creating content, making videos. There are times I’m taking a shower and have to grab my phone, because I thought of something else I can do. Your brain never really turns off!
Sometimes it feels lonely – Who knew a place with all the glitz and ahhhh can make you feel lonely. Why? Because you’re in a constant go. Sometimes it leaves you thinking, am I the only one that feels this way?
It isn’t playing dress up at all, but how much I wish it was! It’s about numbers, strategy, being unique, SEO, being a photographer, being a shopper, planner, social media expert and a million more things.
You have to know every aspect of your job. Why? Because you’re a small business. You not always sitting in the boss office over looking your business. You have to get down and dirty with your business, in order to succeed. Doing things you don’t like, things you fear.
Buying inventory sometimes feels like a guessing game. Would they like this top? Am I getting this dress because I like the style? Do I buy things that would sell regardless of my opinion on its style? Do I buy things that fit my personality and style with hope my costumers would love it too?
Giving up – I can’t lie and say there hasn’t been times where I feel like I’m done! With all of it!! These emotions do happen. But you know damn well you wouldn’t just pick up and leave it all behind. You just feel defeated.
Sometimes you can’t pay yourself. You work hard everyday and there WILL be times that you can’t cash that paycheck. Sometimes it has to be thrown back in your business. There is no way you can pay yourself and not your employee. It takes money to make money. Simple.
The closest people to you may not support your business – Just because you own your own business doesn’t mean every family members, bestie, social media friend has to buy your stuff. Or share your stuff. Or even remember your store exist.
You plan on being a boutique that caters to everyone – So the opposite. From the beginning you have to understand you simply won’t fit everyone’s taste. After you realize that you have to truly understand it. And not take it to heart.
This may sound like a super negative post, but I promise it isn’t. Just more of a realist. And I know the question you are probably thinking… why are you even doing it? Well loves, it takes passion to continue doing something that has all these emotions and feelings into it. It takes love. Compassion (for yourself). Dedication. Determination to get up every single day and hustle. Because if you don’t do it, no one will.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing a customer love an item from my store as much as I do. And not because it’s “cute” but because she can relate to it. It makes her feel good about herself. It builds her confidence. How lucky am I that I can help someone experience those feelings?
You’re building a community. You’re making one on one connections. You’re making someone’s day. Seeing this makes it all worth it. Worth the hardships, the tears, the frustrations.
And what it does for me? It’s one of my favorite versions of myself. It makes me stronger even when I don’t see it or when I’m tried. It helps me believe in myself. It makes me feel like I’m setting an example for my children. It makes me feel empowered! #girlbosstruths
Dress: Bella V Boutique || Pumps: Sam Edelman || Earrings: Vici Collection (sold-out) – identical || Lips: Tarte
Rachael and Sheree will be taking a little break from hosting our weekend wear link up. Until then, you can email Mom with Style with you would like to co-host a week with me 😉
I absolutely share your dream, but not your courage. Keep at it lovely – I love seeing you making a success of this! xx Maria
AW thank you soooo much Maira!!
Wow Melissa what a post! You are an inspiration and love the raw behind the scenes of what it’s like being a boutique owner. Cute pair of statement earrings! It’s so fun. Happy Friday and wishing you a fabulous weekend ahead!
Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com
Thank you so much! Its hard being raw but sometimes putting all out there can help another boss babe 😉
Turning any passion into a business is work! My husband started a photography business and quickly found out it is more than “just taking pictures.” All the business stuff takes the fun out of it.
Absolutely true!! There is a lot that goes into making your passion a business
Great post, Mel! Owning any small business is hard work that people don’t understand if they are not small business owners. Isn’t it funny how easily people can dismiss your work as a fun hobby? Blood, sweat, tears, and money get poured into it because you love it. And because you love it, you will succeed at it! I wish you so much success in the new year, my friend!
You are so accurate! Some people don’t know that amount of work and sometimes it gets to you when you hear the word hobby. Hobby is something you do whenever you feel like doing it. Work isn’t that flexible by any means!
This is a great post, Mel. My best friend owned a boutique in NJ for years and it was such hard work. Everyone thinks it is all fun and games, but like you said it’s long hours, everyday and can be stressful! You look stunning in these photos, I love your dress!
Yes girl yes! Its hard work. And for you to keep doing it over and over, everyday is passion!!
Wow, how did I not know you owned a boutique? I’m sure it is very challenging and stressful. It’s hard to shop for others and not inject your personal style and taste into the equation. I’m also sure you’re never really “off”. Congrats on a successful business!
Who knew shopping can be difficult. And unfortunately you don’t really know how its going to work until you continue doing trail and error with buys.
It’s great to have some insight about what it takes to own a boutique – I would love to do that one day, and can certainly see it’s a lot more than “playing dress up’. I feel a lot of people do not understand each other’s jobs!! Lovely red plaid dress.
Absolutely right my friend! Don’t give up on your dreams though 😉
You did awesome capturing the reality of boutique ownership! You took the words from my mouth and the feelings from my soul and summed it up perfectly! Wishing you only blessings and prosperity!
Maine Creations Gift Boutique
🙂 Boss babes minds think alike! Thank you for your well wishes… Wishing you the same babe!
It is nice to talk about owning a boutique and what lays behind it. You are doing great my friend
Thank you so much love
I really enjoyed reading more about your boutique. My dad owned his own business for a few years and he worked incredibly hard to make a go of it…you never get a day off even when you’re not physically on the premises. I love your plaid dress! If I lived near your boutique I’d be popping in frequently!
You truly don’t! Your working in your mind without even realizing!
Love this post! Owning my own boutique has always been a dream of mine but I admit more for the fun parts , appreciate your honesty and reality about all the behind the scenes work.
There are always going to be the fun parts babe! Don’t give up on your dreams just yet. Theres a feeling walking into something that is yours and its what you always wanted that makes your heart complete!!
Love this behind the scenes post so much! So interesting 🙂
xo Anna Elizabeth
Thank you 😉
Great post! You gave me some awesome insight into what my dream job is like – thanks so much!!
Anytime babe! Wishing your dreams to be a reality babe 😉