Our boutique started as “Posh N Pucks Boutique.”
3 years ago, I made the difficult decision to walk away from my 17-year teaching gig as a high school Spanish teacher with leadership roles to sell stuff online.
Worth it? 100%.
So why was “Posh N Pucks” the original name?
When I was teaching with a leadership role + 4 kids and a husband, I would miss a lot of important family events. My boys play travel hockey and after teaching all day then running to hockey/dance/cheer/soccer/lacrosse/football every night with games on weekends... I was spent and had no time left for “me time.”
I needed to do something I loved that would give me flexibility, or it was becoming obvious I was going to fizzle out into a robot of “mom and teacher” and lose my self. I took a leap of faith and taught online while dreaming of growing my retail hobby to be a full-time business so I could LOVE what I do and have flexibility for my family.
I would “Posh” (sell clothing on Poshmark) while I “Pucked”(work on my laptop while at the ice rinks while the boys were at practice or shop at local stores in the hour after I dropped the boys off to a game while I waited for the puck to drop). My online-reseller-presence became “Posh N Pucks”. We kept that name on our boutique (even though it was completely different inventory and not the best “boutique” name) because it represented an underlying meaning of utmost importance:
Do what you love (Posh) + always make time for yourself, family and community (be there for the “Pucks”)
“Posh N Pucks” enabled me to do both. My inventory was overtaking our house and bad things were starting to happen – like losing items and everyone being stressed out with an inventory of 1,800 items stashed around the house. We found a space 3 miles from our home in Dorr, MI (our hometown) that was perfect for my online inventory! It also had a storefront...
I love shopping little boutiques and finding interesting, unique items. I dreamed of opening a place that was a mix of what I loved about my experiences as a shopper through-out the years. A place where dance moms could come sit and have a cup of coffee (maybe buy something, maybe not) and where locals who realized they needed a last-minute gift or nice outfit would be able to save time, money and still be able to purchase quality items without leaving our little town of Dorr. As a member of our small community, I was sick of having to choose between gifting a “dollar store bought gift card and box of candy” or taking an hour and a half (or more!) out of my day to drive north or south to the nearest big city. So I dreamed up “a thing” and I did it.
On September 1, 2020 “Posh N Pucks Boutique” opened with:
-A supportive husband who was looking at me sideways asking if I “could make $28/day in the boutique to pay the rent?” while he sighed and said “Ok – let’s do it.”
Hesitant, but ready to get his hands dirty and support my latest ‘big idea.’
-A lame online experience - because online sales weren’t the goal. Our goal was to serve our community, but I did open in the middle of a pandemic with a lofty “make $28 a day” goal so I figured I might as well throw stuff up there in Michigan had another shut-down.
-A few items I thought others would like – including zip code throw pillows of our small towns in the area (purchased really because I wanted one) and boutique clothing I purchased (in true reseller fashion!) from a boutique in Plainwell that had closed as a result of the pandemic.
The most important thing I opened with?
-A $0 marketing plan with a simple open-door to the community.
That’s it - just an “open door.” I did not do ONE OUNCE of marketing when I opened. I thought it would be awful if I drew a crowd in the middle of a pandemic and the boutique’s success was not my goal (well…above the $28/day goal).
Somewhere along the line in the last 7 months,our little boutique that we didn’t think anyone would come to besides the locals sporadically at best (that’s who we opened for!) became something bigger. Something that gave me more joy than I thought would be possible at “work.” When members of our community would wander in and find something they loved, they started sharing with others.
The few that stopped in told others in the community that they loved our store. They snapped pics of zip code throw pillows and showed people their outfits and sent in friends. My gosh, I’m getting tears in my eyes as I type just thinking of all of our supporters in the community: some who show up WEEKLY with new friends, some who share pics of their purchase EVERY time they come in, friends who share almost EVERY post of the boutique. (I have one friend that shares so much that others think I either pay her or she’s a part owner! Thanks April - you’re a true friend!)
The organic growth I was “OK” with and desired happened way quicker than I could have imagined. This growth came from our hometown showing love for a place that’s “their jam” and telling their friends the old fashioned way that businesses grow. Not growthbecause they are paid to tell others, but because they recognized that we have high-quality, unique items that they love and they feel welcome and at home while shopping in our store.
We have been open for 7 months. In that short period of time, we grew our inventory by over 200%. We have over 1,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, and we continue to grow so fast that our lame little website was quite embarrassing. We grew so quick that the boutique fostered its’ own identity. The identity of the boutique wasn’t “mine” but really "ours" - the boutique of the small hometowns in our area. It seemed natural to rebrand so our sweet-boutique’s name could accurately describe the vibe and atmosphere the community had gifted us through experience.
Hometown Haven Boutique was born. Hometowns are special from the memories we form there and the people we gather with. We invite you to shop our boutique that embodies the familiar feeling of shared memories, friendship & home.