Have you ever looked at a solopreneur and wondered what their story is? The why and how behind their small business. Was this a lifelong dream fulfilled or a spontaneous decision to start something that they thought looked like a great idea? I personally love hearing stories of solopreneurs and it makes me feel like I really know the owner when I choose to support a small business. I don’t know about you but it just gives me warm fuzzy feelings to know that I’m a part of somebody’s dream.
Recently, I was listening to the stories of some of my favorite small business owners and it got me to thinking that some of my Buffalo Betty’s family might be curious about my story so I decided to go wayyyy back to the very beginning when a tiny little seed of boutique dreams was planted in my head. Continue reading to hear the full story straight from the horses mouth!
Owning my own boutique was a seed that was planted years ago. In 2013, my Aunt & Cousin started their own clothing boutique, Rowdy & Western. I was very much involved in their operation from being their photographer during photo shoots, babysitting my nephew during market trips to running their booth at trade shows during the day when they couldn’t be there. I even did a short stint modeling some items. The running joke was I was Employee of the Month...every month 🤣 that might have been because I was their only “employee” per say! Ha!
I loved every aspect of helping them with their store and got to visit many places with them and meet a lot of people at the different shows. Working with them I knew I either wanted to be more involved in their store or own my own someday. They both have been extremely helpful every since I started on this journey and I really credit them for showing me that you can do anything you set your mind to if you want it bad enough!
*Pictured working the Rowdy & Western booth.
In the Spring of 2016 my sister and I partnered up with Versona (a fun apparel, jewelry and accessories brand) for some customer appreciation events with our Mary Kay businesses. After making friends with the gals at the store during our event, I soon found myself working part-time doing their markdowns on the weekends. One of the coolest parts about Versona is they always have a huge section specifically for marked down items and man can you find some great deals. Starting out in this position I had zero interaction with customers because we would come in early in the morning before the store opened but I did learn a lot about how to display and group items and more of the mechanics behind the scenes. ⠀
As time rolled on I eventually started working the floor part-time whenever they needed somebody to fill in. This is where I really discovered my love for customer service and making each customer feel special. The store was organized in different sections by formal and informal and different themes. It was our job to find out the customers needs and then steer them in the correct direction without over pushing anything. ⠀
I will forever remember one day a group of women came in and as I got to talking to them and trying to help them find what they were looking for I could tell they were sort of apprehensive about me helping them. Come to find out, they were looking for a burial outfit for their mother and were a little nervous about telling me what they were looking for because they didn’t know if it was normal. I assured them I was happy to help and continued chatting with them asking questions about their mom, what she was like, what her style was, etc. I helped them select an outfit that they thought was perfect and as they were leaving they thanked me for helping them with this special and personal task.⠀
It was that day that I realized my passion truly was making people feel important and going the extra mile in customer service no matter what I was doing. I also affirmed that day that I loved being involved in the clothing industry whether it be working at my Aunt and Cousins booth or in a brick and mortar store.
So now you’ve heard my background and my past experience working in both a small boutique at trade shows and working in a brick and mortar retail store. The dream was planted and taking root as it never left my mind. I just never really knew how to get started; both what all it would take to start my own boutique and how I would be able to get inventory and then of course always the biggest fear, what if I failed?
Rewind to the fall of 2019 and I for some reason had this bright idea that I was going to embellish my niece a denim jacket with Pendleton accents. That little project turned into making 2 for my cousins as well and then I had the lightbulb 💡 moment where I said, “hey I bet other people would like these too!” So I got a few more jackets and some extra material, launched a website and created all my social media pages and boom I was in business baby! Obviously there were just a few more steps than that but hey I don’t want to bore you all. That was in January of 2020 and by April of that year I had decided this could be my ticket to actually getting to grow into the full boutique I had always dreamed of.
I took the money that I had saved up and did all the necessary steps to become an official business aka all that boring legal stuff and little by little I started adding new inventory here and there. ⠀
Fall of 2020 found me moving from Minnesota back home to Oklahoma and having to decide if I was going to be able to still pursue my dreams or if I was going to have to put my dreams on the back burner. Luckily, I had the courage to continue following my dreams and I completely rebranded the business and relaunched under the new name, Buffalo Betty’s in December 2020.
In April of 2021 I took the leap and started traveling to set up at different trade shows and events. Traveling to different events and getting to meet all sorts of new people was what I loved the most about working with my Aunt and Cousin so I was elated to finally get to make this part of my dream a reality as well.
*Working my very 1st show with Buffalo Betty’s Boutique. That check out stand was my Aunt & Cousins and my Aunt revamped it for me!
Dreaming, setting goals and making plans of action is something I enjoy doing and man do I have a big vision and plan for Buffalo Betty’s Boutique! Thank you all for riding along this journey with me whether you’re one of my top customers, an encourager, a “commenter” or “liker”, each and every one of you are as equally important and I truly appreciate you all! I feel incredibly blessed to get to be on this adventure and am so thankful I got of my own way and just bit the bullet and took action to get things rolling instead of still dreaming and planning!
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