Thanks to the world of social media, owning a boutique soley online is just as popular as having an actual storefront. These days women (and men:) are ready to shop from the comforts of wherever the day may lead.
One boutique has found themselves to be leader in the online boutique scape, and we got the chance to visit with their owner about how she got started in e-retail and how she manages to keep up with her family and running a very successful online boutique.
Meet Richelle Beesinger, owner of Jane Divine.
Tell us about life before owning a boutique?
I was a District Manager & outside Sales Rep for GANZ, a Giftware company. You know...the ones who created Webkinz?!? I loved my job and the people I worked for, but after having our 2nd child (which was a surprise blessing, more on that on our website), I felt a calling to do something different to be with my kids more. I should've known I can't just do something 'on the side' because I've never worked harder in my life, and have created something that now requires full-time attention!
What tips do you wish someone would have shared with you as a new entrepreneur?
How hard and time-consuming it is! But, you get what you put into it and I've always believed 'if you love what you do, then you'll never work a day in your life!' And, I LOVE being my own boss and having the ability to create my own destiny. The sky's the limit!
What has been the most challenging part of owning a boutique for you?
I think the challenging part is learning and managing the 'techy' side of it (Website creation, Social Media Pages, Outside Marketing). With no one around to teach you, it's really just trial and error and when I think I've learned it all, something new comes up.
Do you have a go-to style?
I definitely have 'mom-style'! With a 2 and 5 year old, I like to stay practical and comfortable. I'm often caught in flip-flops and a tank, or a maxi dress. And YES, I go without my hair fixed or make-up done OFTEN!
How do you balance your personal style preferences with what you buy for the boutique?
Our boutique audience is so diverse. We started out with customers a lot like myself (moms on-the-go) but have grown to appeal to a younger audience in the past year, so I try to buy for both. I'd say about half of what we carry are items I'd never wear, but something I learned from my previous job is to 'Buy 30% of what you LIKE, 30% of what you LOVE, and 40% of what you HATE' so you can appeal to everyone.
What scares you the most in life or business?
The thing that scares me is that something will happen to me and there will be no one to keep Jane Divine going. I now have systems in place where it can 'kind of' run itself, but if I'm down, the business is down. It's something I'm working on. Baby steps!
What’s your favorite retail season?
Hands-down, fall is my favorite, but this last spring is going to give it a run for its-money!
What is your favorite social network and why?
Instagram is my favorite social network - Your content is shown more and people are more engaged. Facebook has really screwed us over the last year, but it's important to stay active on there as well. Once again, they are two different audiences.
What’s the best marketing strategy you’ve discovered?
Google Shopping campaigns, retargeting ads and emails. If you're not doing them, you should!
If you could give advice to a young person interested in fashion, and maybe one day hoping to start their own boutique - what would you tell them?
Not to expect to 'blow-it-up' right away. It takes time and a lot of work to build your brand and audience, but even the largest boutiques started small. The possibilities are endless.
Owning a business is hectic, how do you unwind?
We try to spend every weekend possible at our tiny little lakehouse on our boat. I have terrible reception out there, so it's my time to remove myself from Jane Divine Boutique and enjoy my kids and family.
Are there any big goals for you as a boutique owner that you are excited about reaching?
Numbers...I'm all about numbers. This Fall I'm pushing to break our monthly record and finish off the year hopefully doubling what we did last year.
What year was Jane Divine founded?
Your brand in three words...go!
On-Trend. Affordable. Head-to-Toe (we try to create complete outfits on the site, which helps customers envision 'the look' and buy more!)
Any fun stories behind your name?
Oh yes! There's a whole story where the name Jane Divine came from on the website. In a nutshell, my Grandmother and my Daughter both carry the name, but you should really read the story...it's a tear-jerker!
When I walk into your work space, what is the atmosphere like?
Oh, we're having fun! Most days we're rockin' to the 80s Classics Station and we take 'dance-party' breaks OFTEN!
If your boutique dressed a celebrity daily - who would it be?
Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner
In your store now - what’s one steal and one splurge?
Splurge - Our Boots. A girl can never have too many SHOES!
Which brands that you carry are your personal go-to’s or customer favorites?
Olive & Pique, UmGee, Entro, Flying Tomato, Southern Darlin'
What are some of the things you're looking for when choosing a brand to carry?
Quality and shipping time. If It takes forever to get something or damages are high, I don't order from them anymore.
What’s been the best marketing decision you’ve made?
We love seeing best sellers, would you share links to some current favorites?
- Trophy Wife Necklace
- Multi Color Cozy Plaid Scarf
- Floral Bling Baseball Hat
- Cello Signature Skinny Jeans in Faded Indigo
- Henna Kimono Scarf
Thanks for taking the time to visit with us Richelle, we adore Jane Divine and know that you will be an inspiration to many boutique owners striving every day to grow big online just like you have! Cheers to a fabulous year of numbers as you mentioned!
See more of Jane Divine at JaneDivine.com.
Do you have a boutique you'd love to see featured on Boutiques Daily? Let us know about them and why they should be featured! Or if you are a boutique interested in collaborating with the boutique community, Request an Invite to Boutiques Daily.
Stay up to date on latest issues!
*Daily Newsletters are sent daily.