For almost three years I have been a business owner in my current home of Waxhaw, NC. I own a children’s consignment boutique with a very good friend of mine. Many people have wondered how we came up with the idea of starting a consignment business. For as long as I can remember I had always wanted to have my own retail store. In my early twenties I wanted to work in Manhattan in the fashion industry with dreams of one day opening up my own trendy boutique. But instead my young life took some twists and turns with career and life changes. I never did go to work in the city but I did complete my undergraduate degree in business and worked in the corporate world. In my early thirties I got married, returned to school to obtain my graduate degree in education and became an elementary school teacher. At that point I realized that my dream of being a business owner would have to be put on the back burner for the time being but I never forgot my dream.
During the fall of 2007 I was dining out with a close friend of mine and we started to talk about owning a business. We were both busy moms with five children between us. We had a desire to do something for ourselves, separate from being a mom. That night the idea of owning a children’s consignment boutique was born! It was an idea that I had in my head for some time but never really discussed it with anyone. As we brainstormed I mentioned the consignment industry and the potential it could have to be successful in our town. We were in agreement that we would pursue it and then toasted on the possibilities of where this venture would take us.
That is how our journey of putting together a business and following a dream was started. We planned out as much as we could while researching everything consignment related. After six months of this we took the next step and discussed it with our spouses. With the research, planning, and our families’ support behind us we took the next important steps. We secured funds to get started, found the perfect location and divided the responsibilities based on each of our strengths. Then on May 1st 2008, Here We Grow Again – Children’s Consignment Boutique opened its doors in Waxhaw, NC.
It was essential to us that we open up our business in the town we lived in so that we could be close to our children’s school in case there were any emergencies. We also liked the added benefit of getting to know more people in this incredible community. We are currently in our 3rd year of business and I still continue to love what I do. I truly enjoy the time spent getting to know our customers and consignors – they are such a joy to connect with! With this troubling economy it is understandable that people need to save as much money as possible so we try to accommodate that by running great sales and promotions. We also make sure to give back by making donations to local organizations for families in need because it is all about the community for us.
If you are thinking about starting a business and are not sure whether you’re ready to take that leap of faith make sure you do your homework for that specific industry and talk to other like-minded individuals. But be realistic and realize any dream worth having is not without sacrifices. If you feel that you can’t go at it alone find a partner that you trust. I have been very fortunate to have a close friend as my partner. We’ve grown together as business owners, friends and moms. Like any relationship/partnership you may experience your ups and downs – a “roller coaster ride of emotions”-and when owning your own business it comes with the territory. But as long as you can wake up each morning still loving what you do those down moments will quickly pass. I know wherever the future takes me with my business I can proudly say that I have at least accomplished something I dreamed about so long ago. And my kids can be proud of their mom for opening and running a business. And who knows? They may follow their mom in taking ownership of a business and dream, too.
Have you ever had a dream of starting a business that you didn’t pursue? What stopped you? Do you need some advice or just some plain old encouragement? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here. I’ll be sure to get back to you soon!