Wow, What a Year! I want to start out by thanking you so much for all of your support! This is going to be a long one because I am wordy as many of you know and because I have a lot to touch on as I reflect on the last year.
I can't believe Luxe Boutique is turning a year old this week, time has definitely flown by as I reflect on the last year. As I think back to what I was thinking this time last year- I was excited, nervous, stressed out and hopeful....guess what I still feel all of the same things as I sit here and write this a year later! I was excited that I was opening the store in addition to the Fashion Truck, nervous that no one would show up, stressed out that I was undertaking such a bigger risk (the store requires so much more time, money and effort than the truck; although I tell you all and make the joke that Trucker Life is Hard Life. (And let's be real it's not a joke) Running your own business is a total rollercoaster, it isn't easy and anybody that says it is completely full of shit! It is lots of hard work! Many of you come in and say oh this must be so fun and you must love going to market. It is exhausting and I come home and crash many nights!
When I started this I always wanted to have fun, bring home some money and keep myself out of trouble. You see, I was a lady of leisure before I opened the truck and store and was enjoying myself, but wanted something more. I didn't have to work, I wanted to work. The truck was more of a part time gig and I was happy doing that. I would park the fashion truck at Cydney's Antiques on Thursdays and as I got to know Cydney and Chance (who are my landlords, friends and now part of my extended family), they encouraged me to rent the space and said they thought I would be successful at opening an actual store. I talked it over with my husband, my Mom and a few friends who were all encouraging, but wanted me to think of the risk. As more and more stores starting closing at the mall, I realized that it was not necessarily just about me wanting to do this, it was about our town needing more places to shop. Boy I totally underestimated what else I would get out of opening Luxe Boutique.
I cannot tell you all how much I love when I see your faces walk through the door! And as the year has gone by I have gotten to know many of you! We have talked about jobs, marriage, infidelity, divorce, dating, kids, fertility, miscarriages, death, cancer and other health ailments, travel, tv shows, sex, friendships, family, wine, weight-loss, weight-gain, menopause, body image, aging, cosmetic procedures, skincare/makeup and Lord only knows what else under the sun I have left out! And this I have to tell you, this part of having the store has been so much more rewarding than selling out of this top as soon as it comes in or making X amount of money this week. You may think that is total BS, but it is the honest to goodness truth! Obviously paying the bills and attaining some goals I have set for the store and myself are important, but as many of you know a happy and fulfilled life is not always about money. I have always personally felt that making strong bonds and building relationships is the key to happiness. Some of us have gotten to know each other very well and have become friends. Michaela (who works in the store and who I will touch upon more later) says "Oh my gosh, Erin, people tell you everything!" And you know what, some of you do and I want you to feel comfortable doing so! I am so honored that you do feel so comfortable with me, Amanda and Michaela that "we go there". This is the absolutely 100% best thing about opening Luxe Boutique! I want you to feel like you are just coming in to hang out and are shopping in your girlfriend's closet. Some of you stop in to say hi, chat and say I can't afford to buy anything this week, but I just wanted to stop in-guess what, I LOVE IT! In such a busy, crazy world we all live in it's so nice to bond with other women and feel at ease no matter what with no judgement. I always say, "You know what we're not curing cancer here, we are in the business of fashion and selling clothes-it should be fun, light and easy for you and make you feel good!" I don't always get it right and don't have what you want, but you can always feel free to give me feedback and tell me what you want! Again ladies, my most sincere thank you for all of it, I truly value all of you and your business.
I want to especially thank some people in my life for all of the support they have given me this last year.
To my husband Chris-I know I am a giant pain in the ass sometimes, I put you through it and you are always there for me no matter what. You are my errand boy, my muscle, you are my stop and think about this and let's not jump into this voice, the shoulder I cry on and the encouragement I am always looking for. You are my best friend and I can't put into words how much you mean to me. (You will be highly annoyed by this because you hate attention and especially because you know co-workers will read my sappiness) You work your butt off at your job and have picked up all the slack at home and I am so grateful to you for everything you do! You are the Ying to my nutty Gemini Yang and I love you so much for all you do for me. Thank you and I love you!
To my Mom-You are always supportive and offer me words of encouragement and advice. You are the perfect Mom to me and the caretaker to our whole entire family! You are selfless, a hard worker and always there no matter what to every single person in your life, and I joke that you deserve Sainthood for all that you are and do. To my Dad-Thank you for your encouragement and for trying to understand that I can't just answer the phone whenever you call, even though you don't really get it. And thank you for loaning Mom out whenever I need her for a week or 2 at a time!
To my Sister, Gail-Thank you for doing all of my awesome graphic design! I know you don't do it for a living, but I think you should take it back up as your side hustle! You are so talented, and I think you could do anything you put your mind to! Sometimes you forget my panicked, last minute demands, but I appreciate and love you! The possibilities are endless because you are very talented! XO
To the Hogan's, aka my IL parents- I appreciate all of your support and encouragement! Mike- I know you are missing that $50 a month from my credit card residuals since I left you, but I appreciate the good deal you gave me, I will just pay you back in beer every month! Thanks for helping with the dogs and spreading the word around about the store. Barb-Thank you for helping me set up the store a year ago! Thank you for being my sidekick in the fashion truck at times! Thank you for helping me when I need something and thank you for telling all of your friends and patients about my store. You are great friends and 2nd parents, whether you wanted me as a sort of adopted daughter or not, your stuck with me!
To Cyndey and Chance-You have been so wonderful to me, I know I am lucky and I am so grateful. You welcomed me in to your lives and have helped me immensely, above and beyond what a landlord would normally do. You let me borrow furniture and fixtures and anything I ask for and I appreciate it all. Cydney, you have given me advice, encouragement and friendship and I am so grateful to you for everything! Chance, you come up and help do this or that and tell me what a pain in the ass I am all the time (I think you secretly enjoy it...most of the time). We are like brother and sister at this point and I am thankful to have you in my life, even when we bicker. Thank you for everything, my friends!
To Amanda-My dear friend, who has been a good friend for gosh what 10 years now, we talked about always doing something together and here we are! You have been so indispensable to the Luxe Team and I hope you know how much you are loved and appreciated by me and so many more! You are such a hard worker and are so fun to be on this journey with! You come in dead tired from taking care of your kids and others to do videos, work in the store, help with merchandising and whatever I need of you-and you always do it with a smile and energy. Your friendship obviously means the most to me, but you're working with me means so much too! Even though you are taking the summer off from working in the store to be Mommy, I can't wait for everything we are going to do together in the future! You are such a wonderful and selfless Mother, Wife and Friend, I just want you to know how great you are!
To Michaela-I am so glad you kept coming in the store to see if I was hiring! You're persistence I the number one reason why I actually hired you. It takes a lot to be told no I am not hiring and to keep coming in, rejection isn't easy and I am so glad you kept checking! I cannot imaging life without you, you are so much more beautiful on the inside than you are on the outside and I want everyone to know you aren't just a pretty face! You're kind, loving, honest, trustworthy Christian values are indispensable and I know you won't be here as part of the Luxe Team for long, but as you told me about 4 weeks into working "you'll always be in my life"! You bring a fun, young perspective to Team Luxe and your sweet southern soul is hard not to fall in love with! I am so thankful to have you in my life and cannot wait to see what the future holds for you and Brady!
To you both, Amanda & Michaela-I think we make such a great team and am so proud of the dynamic we have in our trio! We have fun, genuinely like each other, we bounce great ideas off of each other and the creativity flows when we are together. I think it's the perfect combo that we have a great 20's, 30's and 40's perspective that we bring to the table. And as I always say when I ask you for your thoughts, "It's not a dictatorship, I want it to be collaborative and to be a partnership". I definitely think our success can be attributed to this mentality and the close bonds we continue to build a team and as our sisterhood and friendship grows.
To Ellen & Cristina-Thank you for being there to talk business and bounce things off of. I am so glad to know you both and consider you friends at this point and want nothing but continued success and friendship for you both. I am so glad that we're in a bind, we can always call on each other for advice, tech help, inventory or anything else. We understand each other, respect one another and that is so valuable to me! Thank you again!
To my girlfriends-Thank you for all of your support and patience. I love each and every one of you and am so grateful to have you in my life! I have flaked on you, don't return calls or texts and plans fall through. I am sorry and will try to find the balance, because your friendship is very dear to me. I know those friends and family discounts help with my absence from those nights out, weekends away, etc. You are some of my most treasured relationships, even if I can't always be there. I also will try to not lose my phone for a week at a time, even though current status....LOST!
To all of the businesses I have partnered up with- Thank You and let's keep thinking of fun ways to continue doing more events together! I will bring the Fashion Truck to you, you can do private shopping events also in the store. We can do so many fun, new things together to help the community and I can't wait to brainstorm on more collaborations!
Again to all of you, Thank You! Thank you for shopping local and allowing us to get to know you! Cheers to you and to what Year 2 at Luxe Boutique will bring! As we head in to this 2nd year, I have lots of changes, surprises and fun in store for you! I always love seeing you and am so humbled to be welcomed into the community.
I have a couple of requests: I ask that you spread the word to your friends about Luxe Boutique and Luxe Street Boutique Fashion Truck. Shop local to all of the stores in town, because it isn't easy and you never know when that store you liked will close up and you will wish you had shopped more! There aren't a lot of small/local boutiques and we all need your support. We don't have it all, but we will bend over backwards trying to help you find what you want. Shop at us in those cold winter months after Christmas when we are slower, we will have great bargains and are happy to see you in store. Stop shopping so much online at the big chain stores, keep your small business owner in your mind. We try to give back and every time you shop with us, it makes it easy to donate our time, money, products and effort back to the community! And with that, I will end this and look forward to seeing you soon!
XO and Cheers-