Suburban Girl Gifts and Stuff is a chic eclectic boutique in Cypress, Texas that caters to women. The owner, Melissa Pontiff shares her story of leaving her interior design corporate job to pursue her dream of owning a brick & mortar boutique. Melissa talks about how she started her business on a very tight budget, as well as, how difficult it was in the 1st year to keep afloat by consistently reinvesting all profits back into the store.
After a few years of running a successful store, Melissa decided to transition to a mobile boutique and then shortly thereafter had a mobile app developed to bring in more business.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL FIND OUT ABOUT:
- Melissa initially went to college for fashion design and merchandising, but then switched over to interior design.
- When business in the interior design industry started to decline, she was inspired to open up a brick and mortar boutique.
- She quit her full-time corporate job to open up the Suburban Girl Gifts and Stuff store and then after a few years, it evolved into a mobile boutique.
[bctt tweet=”The mobile boutique… I figured that if I can’t get people into the store, then I’ll just go to them. @SubGifts” via=”no”]
- The brick and mortar has been open for 5 years and the mobile boutique has been operational for the last 3 years.
- Melissa paid $8500 for the bus “as-is”. She spent a total of about $20k including the truck build-out and wrap.
- Since Melissa’s degree was in Interior Design, it was a piece of cake for her to design the layout / floor plan for the inside of the bus.
[bctt tweet=”We utilized every square inch of the interior of the bus…We even added a dressing room. @SubGifts” via=”no”]
- For the 1st year of operating the store, she was working by herself and put in about 60 hours every week.
- After the 2nd year she was able to hire a store manager + part-time people.
- With such a large floor plan, she only had a $20k budget to purchase merchandise and that $20k wasn’t nearly enough to fill up the store.
- For at least a year, every time she made a sale, she simply reinvested the money back into the store to purchase more merchandise.
[bctt tweet=”I wish I could write a book on how to open up a boutique on a budget because, honey, that is what I did! @SubGifts” via=”no”]
- The boutique has something that caters to anyone and every style.
- The inventory in her bus is always based on the location / market that that her shows are in.
- The mobile boutique has been an excellent marketing tool for the storefront.
[bctt tweet=”One of the BEST decisions I ever made was to open the mobile boutique. @SubGifts” via=”no”]
- She ran an add on Facebook in order to get more followers on Instagram.
- She also offers discounts to customers that post pics of their purchases from her store on Instagram.
[bctt tweet=”Email and social media is the cheapest way to market your business. @SubGifts” via=”no”]
- Melissa has her own mobile app called “Suburban Girl”, which allows customers to shop directly from the app, plus it includes a rewards program and provides push notifications on discounts.
- Square is the POS system that is used in the store and on the mobile boutique.
Suburban Girl (mobile app)
The Retail Bible (book)
The Starbucks Way (book)
HAR (mobile app)
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FIND SUBURBAN GIRL:
Website: Suburban Girl Gifts & Stuff
Facebook: Suburban Girl Gifts & Stuff
Pinterest: Suburban Girl Gifts & Stuff
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