So how does one go from a 'chef' to a small business boutique owner... one word... LEGGINGS.
I NEVER saw myself as a leggings person. Leggings aren't pants... are they? So I decided to buy a pair of LuLaRoe leggings from a friend's online 'pop up' and the rest is history. Buttery soft goodness on my legs. Doesn't matter if I've shaved my legs for a week or not, they were so soft and smooth! I needed them ALL! Florals, Stripes, Polka Dots, Americana, Halloween, Christmas. You have a top to match them, I need that too! Then when I had to go somewhere and couldn't wear leggings, LuLaRoe had dresses and skirts. NEED IT ALL! Pretty soon, I bought enough LuLaRoe that I could have financed my onboarding package. So guess what I did next... I signed up to be a LuLaRoe retailer. This was a few years back where LLR wasn't extremely known about, especially on the east coast of the US. But they were getting out here. So I waited about 3 months for my 'call,' worked as much OT at the hotel as I could, and when the call came for me to become a retailer, I bought ALL THE THINGS. The more I had, the more I could sell right!?!
I started booking in home and online 'pop up' parties. If there was a fair or a festival or a craft show, I was there... carting hundreds of pieces of clothing, in and out, telling people about this product and why I loved it. I was having the time of my life. I got to look good, be comfortable, and make money. OK!
Then the prints started getting a tad outrageous. And I know you know which ones I'm talking about! You have no control of what prints and colors you got in your boxes. You just order styles and sizes. You want a black Irma tunic... sorry, can't just order that for you. You want 5 pairs of tiger leggings for your teacher friends who all work at a school where the mascot is a tiger... sorry, I can't order those for you. And that kept trending. Then new styles would get released and you know what... small fish (like me) didn't get any. Those retailers on the west coast that started a year or so before me and were making money hand over fist always seemed to get into the back office first and order 100's of pieces in every size. Back office... SOLD OUT!
I had had it. It wasn't fun anymore. I knew I needed a change. But go back into the work force and work nights and weekends and holidays... God NO! I would rather be a momsicle at baseball 4 nights a week then have to decide which games and which holidays I could be home for.
I still love clothes. I still have a great online group of amazing women that love clothes as well. And I started dabbling. I became an LLC and created Stella Rose Boutique. I started shopping fashion markets in LA and NY (online of course) and found that I really liked, scratch that, LOVED picking and choosing. One company doesn't have black tees in stock, ok, I'll grab them from another vendor. FREEDOM. Freedom to CHOOSE. Freedom to change styles with the weather, the seasons, just BECAUSE.
For now, the rest will become history.