Cheers to 1 YEAR!
The KimmieJean Boutique officially launched 1 year ago today!
A little back story on me…I’ve always been a boutique shopper. ALWAYS! I would rather travel to a small town and shop their main street’s boutique stores than head to a mall. So being a boutique owner was always an internal dream of mine, but I would always make up excuses to myself that prevented me from doing this sooner. I honestly lacked the confidence too. My college degree is not in business so I felt maybe I wouldn’t do a good job. Not to mention, I made up hundreds of scenarios in my head of what could go wrong instead of just following my dreams and pursuing something that would honestly make me happy - YIKES (anyone else relate to this? haha) BUT I tell you what, if you pray to God and ask him to make you the best version of yourself and ask that He give you the courage to live out the life He wants for you….be ready for things to level up, people to disappear, and new people to come barreling through! It was the biggest blessing I could have ever imagined. Through the trials came perseverance and through perseverance came growth, a new mindset, and KimmieJean Boutique 😊
Fast forward in time and here I am 1 year after launching my boutique and OMG it’s the best feeling ever. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and I can truly say that cliché saying is 10000% accurate!
Throughout this past year, I’ve learned a lot as a small business owner and have been asked often how I did certain things, what to do to get started (if they themselves want to start their own business), and lots of other questions around my experience so far.
Soooo, I figured I’d put them all down in writing in hopes that this will help someone who may be in a similar situation! Also, a blog post is more appropriate than a full video because I could sit and talk for hours about this kind of stuff haha
A few things I learned (some easier than others haha) over this past year...
*Start before you’re ready!*
The hardest part for me was just taking the 1st step to starting! Once I did, drive and tunnel vision kicked in and before I knew it I was setting goals, making to-do lists, ordering inventory, setting a launch date, and was crossing things off left and right. I am by no means an expert and I learn something new EVERY DANG DAY, but one thing I do know is to create a vision & go for it! Fun fact: My original launch date was going to be in April 2021 and I ended up moving it up a few weeks because I was just ready to get it going (and also I'm impatient lol).
*Have thick skin!*
This was something I had to learn for sure! Not everyone will be your cheerleader and not everyone will vocalize their support for you (and that’s okay!) Stay close to those who do and be prepared to meet amazing people along the way who join your support system. I cannot believe all the sweet people I have met so far this 1st year from all areas of life and cities. It’s truly amazing and a huge blessing!
*Stay true to yourself! (& stay in your lane)*
Having a mission for your business is a must and always revert to it when in doubt! Really know what you want your business to become and don’t stray away from it. If someone else in a similar business is doing something completely different, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should change your dynamic to follow their path. That’s THEIR path. So, knowing what you truly want for yourself and your business is key in my opinion. Also, ROOT FOR OTHERS!! I can’t express this enough. There’s room for everyone to accomplish their goals. I’m always willing to help someone else, and I encourage everyone to live out their dreams. I know how it is to have the opposite of that and it’s just not fun lol So be helpful, be kind, be supportive, and be YOU.
*Be willing to wear multiple hats!*
Want to know who does my social media, marketing, purchasing, all things money related, website, customer service, “modeling” (lol), photo editing, and all the other things? Oh hi, it’s me! haha Obviously this is not the long-term goal, but to help cut costs at the beginning I taught myself LOTS of things. My website was a grey and white blank template when I got it. Honestly, I’m most proud of conquering the website over anything because that is not my area of expertise haha (shopping I know, technology not so much). LOTS of growth along the way which makes the process and journey even more sweet and humbling. Thankfully I have close people in my support system who have helped with taking pictures (one of my sisters and a sweet friend), and I can’t forget about my personal trailer hauler and pop-up event crew! (aka my BF and 2 dogs lol) Without them, I’d be stranded somewhere in Texas.
*Love your support system!*
LOVE the people who believe in you and support you! This is a no brainer, but seriously, love and appreciate those people who wish you good luck going into a pop-up shop event, those who like and comment on posts, those who cheer you on from behind the scenes, the people who feel great wearing outfits they’ve purchased from you, those who truly support you and your dream, and all the people who give you good and happy vibes! Never take it for granite and always stay humble.
*Write everything down & set goals!*
This is my favorite. Something I do EVERYDAY. I am a huge advocate for setting goals and writing them down. Anything from daily goals, weekly goals, quarterly and yearly goals. I write down anything and everything regarding sales, to-do tasks, new collection launches, ideas for pop-up shops, to pretty much anything in between. I also like to write down significant and meaningful days and memories. Could be a fun acquaintance or conversation I had at a pop-up shop, a sweet message from a customer, or a day where God was literally talking to me and giving me signs (seriously, I have 3 very specific days that are WILD). It’s truly the little things that matter most 😊 It's also fun to look back at the end of a year and see all the things that had happened! Another fun fact: my goal was to launch my boutique in 2021 and start doing pop-up shop events in 2022. Ended the year doing multiple pop-up shop events! I'm so glad I set that goal for myself because it gave me that much more push to beat it and cross it off early. (also, I told y'all that I am impatient haha)
*The no-so-fun stuff should be a priority!*
You know, things like taxes. Lol Stay on top of your quarterly taxes and have all the due dates on the calendar. Have a budget and review expenses. Cut costs where you can to save money in the beginning. Have a business plan going into it and get all the proper licensing required first and foremost. Once ALL these things are taken care of and remain at the top of the priority list, then it’s time for the fun stuff!
Last but not least…
*Work hard & celebrate along the way!*
Motivation, discipline, and champagne celebrations! I wrote boutique goals on a couple of champagne bottles before I launched my website and when I reached each goal I would celebrate and open the bottle. The champagne was a personal preference but having fun incentives when achieving goals – big or teeny tiny – makes the adventure fun and the hard work worth it! What I think most people don't realize is how much work goes into every little detail and task to keep this train moving. A lot of planning, late nights, early mornings, ensuring customer service is top notch, and traveling to just name a few. This is not me complaining at all! This is just the reality of it lol but at the end of the day, I truly love what I do and it doesn't really feel like "work"....oh, and the champagne is a nice perk lol
Whew! What a fun year full of learning new things, meeting new people, trial and error (basically on repeat lol), prayers, excitement, fear, courage, discipline, multitasking, and goals! Whether you want to start a small business or just needed to hear some words of encouragement, I hope this in some way helps and shows you that you can literally do anything you set your mind to! 😊 Have a vision, make a plan, and pray to God.
To my KJB customers & support system, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!
Cheers to 1 year down and A LOT more to go!