Let me tell you about Summer from Fox & Gray. We’ve already established that I’m a “hey let’s be friends” kind of girl. My husband and I had finished up with a date at Hecho en Waco in downtown Waco when I noticed a cute store name that caught my attention. I looked at it and asked my husband, “Should we go in there?” I think sometimes people think it’s taboo to go into another boutique as a business owner. However, I thrive in going in and enthusiastically introducing myself to the owner. Sometimes I’m greeted with the same amount of joy and let’s be honest; sometimes I’m looked at like I got the word S-T-U-P-I-D written across my forehead. The cool thing about is that I don’t care. I continue to do it because I’m awesome (that can be argued).
Fox & Gray is such a beautiful store I was immediately ooh’ing and ahhh’ing as we walked around. Summer was standing behind the register and every time I glanced over she smiled at me. Every single time ya’ll, and yes it was a lot because I’m creepy. We finally walked over and I introduced myself and let me just say that she gave me one of the warmest welcomes I’ve ever had in downtown Waco after introducing myself as a boutique owner. We held a conversation until my husband dragged me out of there and we have stayed in touch since then. She is hands down one of my top three favorite stores downtown; I can guarantee it will be yours too. Get to know a little behind the story of Fox & Gray…
Why did you choose your boutique name and what does it mean to you?
The store is named after my two kids. I have a 3-year-old boy named Jameson Gray and a 1-year-old girl named June Fox. They are why I do it all.
What is your purpose as a business owner?
Other than the obvious purpose of making money to help support my family, there are a couple other things I love about owning a boutique. First is the amazing young women I have met who I have been able to both mentor and learn from. I have been so lucky to discover what incredible unique creative women Waco has to offer. Second, I think fashion is one of the greatest ways we can express ourselves as human beings. To be able to provide that opportunity at affordable prices and help women find clothes and accessories that make them feel good about themselves is very fulfilling.
What is the biggest misconception customers have about you as a boutique owner?
That I can read and do math. I think people assume that you have certain traditional business skill sets to be a business owner, but I have struggled with learning disabilities my whole life. In high school I was labeled as someone who wouldn’t have the ability to excel professionally because of these struggles. Despite these challenges, I was able to find a passion in the fashion world and find my tribe of creatives once I left the small town I grew up in. I surround myself with people who can help supplement some of my weaker areas and it has allowed me to thrive and enjoy having my own business.
When you hear the words “empowering women” what does that mean to you? And do you feel you play a role in it?
I was so lucky to have a mom who taught me from the beginning that I could do anything and I didn’t need a man (or anyone else) to do it. From as far bas as I remember, my mom was empowering me. I love passing on that to my staff and the other women I interact with as a business owner. I teach and pushy my staff to “go all the places and do all the things”. I have also been fortunate to become part of a couple different women business owner networks. It is inspiring and encouraging to be lifted by a community that is passionate and driven as we all navigate what can still be a tough road as a women entrepreneur.
Anything else you want people to know about you and your boutique?
We offer personal styling services. I know how important it was in my life to figure out the types of clothes and styles that worked best for my body. This knowledge made such a positive impact on my confidence as I navigated the fashion world. I have worked as a professional and celebrity stylist and have styled for the Golden Globes and Emmys among other things. I love bringing that experience to any person who wants to learn the best ways to dress themselves. We all have different body types and different things we are wanting to accomplish with our clothing choices and I love working with women to help them achieve those goals. It has had such an impact on my clients psyche and is my favorite part of what I do.
If you’re a fan (which I’m sure you will be after this) follow Fox & Gray and their happenings here:
Main photo: Christiana Bowles Photography
Summer, thank you for saying yes to my project. For not shrugging me off when I asked you to be part of this. For being willing to learn and teach those around you! You are a breathe of fresh air.