Please welcome our Feature Boutique-Owner Angie of The Picture Perfect Boutique! If the words “holiday shopping” have started to creep into your head lately, The Picture Perfect Boutique should definitely be on your list of places to shop.
1. Angie, please tell us about your boutique and how you got started selling online.
My boutique is called “The Picture Perfect Boutique.” It actually stemmed from my photography business. I always carry a photo purse or wear some of my photo jewelry. I had so many people asking me about it wherever I went, that I decided it was time to list it all on a website. Things really just progressed from there. After my youngest daughter was born, I became obsessed with hairbows and all things girly – even though she is quite the tomboy! I’m always trying to come up with new ideas and adding them to the site.
2. Tell us which one item from your boutique is your favorite and which one item is the customer favorite.
My absolute favorite items are the Portrait Tile Pendants - part of the Heart to Heart Jewelry Collection. I kid you not, I own about 12 of these. Each one has a different photo on the opposite side, so it’s like owning 24 different necklaces! They’re great because they can be casual or dressy, and they come in several different tile color options. They can be completely customized and you’re sure to get exactly what you want!
The favorite customer item right now are the Bow Bouquets. They’re a brand new item, and they have been the biggest hit! I had designed one for a friend who had a baby, and the nurses at the hospital went crazy over them. I decided it was time to list them on the website. People love that they are completely custom… they tell me the color scheme they want, and I design the perfect “bouquet” for them. I always send a photo before I ship them off to ensure the customer is getting exactly what they paid for.
3. What types of advertising methods do you use (both paid and unpaid)? Which particular ones do you find to be the most effective?
Word of mouth is actually my biggest money-maker. When a client is satisfied, they tell someone else, they shop in the boutique, and the cycle continues. I also advertise a lot with Moms United in Business. Joining MUIB is the absolute best thing I have ever done for my business through the internet. The advertising rates are affordable and they reach tons of people. I’ve tried some “Top 100″ sites, but those never seem to get me anywhere.
4. What is your biggest challenge being a WAHM to 4 children?
Lack of sleep. Honestly. Because I homeschool, the kids are with me 24/7. I will fill orders while the older kids are working and the younger ones are resting, and I do a majority of my work at night after they go to bed. If that means I’m up until 2 or 3 am working, then so be it. I also have to be VERY organized… and will be even more so once the new baby (#5!!) gets here in October. I really won’t be getting any sleep then, I’m sure!
5. What advice would you give to other moms with a passion for photography and blog design who would like to start a home business?
If you have a passion for something, go for it! Don’t let your fears or “what if’s” stand in your way. Also, find someone to mentor you. Someone you look up to. There are many people out there that are willing to mentor, but because people are afraid to ask, they never get the chance to. You can learn what worked – and what didn’t work! – for them, and you may be able to move up in the business world faster because of their help.
Angie, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences as a boutique-owner with our MomDot readers. Perhaps you have inspired a few to venture into starting a business of their own.
Interviewed by Contributing Writer Karen