About six months prior to opening my online boutique I had just moved back home to Connecticut from Washington DC where I was working as a manager in a high- end clothing boutique. The store actually closed down due to a lack of customers choosing to purchase expensive name brand products while there is an entire world of shopping and better deals online. I loved working in the store and I definitely loved living in DC, so having that job come to an end was a bit sad. However, the timing actually worked out quite well because my mom was also starting her chemo treatments a couple of weeks after I was moving back; so this gave me an opportunity to be able to bring her to all of her appointments and be her moral support while she went through that.
Luckily she didn’t have to finish her originally planned 12 chemo treatments and instead they stopped her at 6 due to a new study on her treatment that had just come out. She is now cancer free and that was the best news of 2017! It was around mid Summer at that point and I was back to figuring out what my next move would be. I was 21 years young and had not finished my college degree and my passions laid within fashion and photography.
My interest for fashion and photography has always been present since I was a young child. I always needed (my parents) to buy new clothes for me so I could be as trendy as possible. I also received my first disposable camera when I was about 5 years old. I have always been interested in owning a business of some sort but unsure of what and how to do that.
One day I decided I would just sit down and build my online boutique. From getting the licenses and building the website to everything else, it all came together after a few weeks of hard work sitting at my computer. I have been working on incorporating my photography into the business which comes in handy when shooting outfits. I think it is important to stay true to what you love to do since the best work usually comes from being passionate about something.
The most difficult part of running an online boutique is organically making yourself known. Since there isn’t a physical address where customers can come in and get to know myself and my brand this is super difficult. Digital marketing and networking has become the main priority for my business. There was no part of me that wanted to own a storefront and I still do not plan on doing so unless some kind of change happens in the world and people start shopping in stores more regularly again. However, I do have a lot of plans in expanding my business in different and more modernized ways. One thing I am working on is publishing a new blog/website to go along with my brand that focusses on outfits, styling tips, and my journey of owning an online boutique.
By the start of, July my boutique will also be only selling USA made clothing pieces rather than outsourcing from other countries as a way to support more local and US designers. I want to figure out more ways of doing some type of good within my business as it grows.
Overall what I’ve learned is that owning a business is simply not easy at all and requires serious dedication and motivation as well as passion to keep on going and that is what I am continuing to do each day.
Owner at Keally Boutique