The Black Daisy Boutique

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Now that our boutique series has come to an end I really wanted to think about how I wanted to close it out.  I couldn’t think of a better way than to tell you my why.  I remember going to the fashion district with my grandmother as a really young child and being mesmerized by the oceans of colorful fabric we floated through.  I would run my fingers through as much of the clothing as I possibly could.  I felt in my soul that I wanted to grow up to do what she did.  She wasn’t just a boutique owner but she was a seamstress who delicately and beautifully created some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen.  She owned a “pop up” boutique more than 30 years ago before owning a boutique was a thing.  People would come from all over the city to peruse through my grandmother’s distinct taste; she was the definition of a hustler.  Not in the let me take your money sense but in a how can I serve my community to make money sense.  I mean we lived in the hood and my grandmother made a name for herself.

As I became an adult I had lost that passion of mine; the dream had died.  Somehow, I came full circle and there isn’t a moment that I don’t feel like my grandmother is smiling down at me as I follow in her entrepreneurial footsteps.  I have held jobs as a paralegal, accounting assistant, retail management, office management, and almost every other position other than the food industry.  I never felt fulfilled until I started my journey as a boutique owner.  Let me be honest, I got fired from quite a bit of my previous positions and I’m not mad at it.  Serving women has become a wild fire in my life.  My love for Jesus burns madly in the way I run my business.  I literally scream love yourself, don’t put yourself down, you are beautiful, you are worthy, and YOU CAN at The Black Daisy.  As a woman that has overcome homelessness, drug addiction, trafficking, and abuse I want you to know that YOU CAN.  The Black Daisy is much more than just a place that sells you clothes; it is a place where you gain friendship.

Why did you choose your boutique name and what does it mean to you?

The color black is seen as something so dark but also so beautiful.  A daisy is often a wildflower that is seen as a weed.  People usually pull them from their roots and throw them away.  When I see a daisy I see a wildflower that bloomed without being planted.  No human intervention; just a flower that freely bloomed.  Beautiful, independent, and able to bloom wherever the wind takes it. And so The Black Daisy literally means beauty coming out of darkness.  Something beautiful coming out of something dark.  That is how I often view my life and how I see the girl looking back at me through my reflection.

What is your purpose as a business owner?

I feel completely ridiculous sometimes when I say that my purpose is not the money that the business makes.  I believe that God has made The Black Daisy my ministry.  As a business owner I’m able to reach so many women that come from many different walks in life.  I don’t live quietly in shame.  I live loudly in my testimony and my love for Him.  I want others to see what is possible and that your circumstances do not define your future.

What is the biggest misconception customers have about you as a boutique owner?

That it’s easy!  I have watched so many women start boutiques who have shut down almost as quickly as they started.  There’s so much behind the scenes work that goes into this.  I work 7 days a week from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I go to bed.  And sometimes my part time girls make more money than I do.  THAT is the loudest testimony that I’m not in this for the money.  I don’t focus on the monetary aspect but on the how can I help my community aspect.  Through that mindset I have been blessed!

When you hear the words “empowering women” what does that mean to you?  And do you feel you play a role in it?

I used to be the girl that would so quickly judge you or dislike you just because I felt like it.  I was constantly trying to be the best and I was so focused on coming out on top that I never stopped to pick up the ones that were falling behind me.  Becoming an owner of a woman focused business has completely changed me.  God has completely changed me.  I much rather help someone that is coming in last finish the race than I am about being first.  It literally tears me apart when a woman walks in the store and puts herself down.  I can’t stand women tearing other women down.  I will wash your feet and lay out my best clothes for you to not get your feet dirty.  I live to cheer women on, to embrace their flaws, and to rebuild their pedastals when society has torn them down.  I am women’s biggest cheerleader in my mind!

Anything else you want people to know about you and your boutique?

I am not like a lot of boutiques when it comes to my mission; and that’s okay!  I never want anyone to feel like they have to out me.  Yes I was a drug addict, yes I slept behind dumpsters, yes I was trafficked, and yes to probably anything you’ve heard about me.  I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they know secrets about me.  My loud testimony was given to me by God so that others may find hope in times that hope feels dead.  Hope is never dead friends.  There is NO situation that can keep you from living your dreams. Your future is bright!  Hold on to that!

I was really excited to do this series and want to thank these ladies one last time!  I have no idea what I’m doing in this blog world but I love life that way!  I just dive in feet first and swim against the current.  It’s how I roll!
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– If you’ve read this far; THANK YOU.  I am doing this blogging thing my way because the rebel in me doesn’t live in a box.  I hope you continue to walk on the edge with me!

Check out The Black Daisy Boutique here:
Storefront:
10412 China Spring Road Suite G
Waco, Texas 76708

Also find us at:
The Vibe in McGregor, Texas.
Junque Queens in Uptown Waco, Texas
The Hub in Temple, Texas

Website: The Black Daisy
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blackdaisyboutique
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/blackdaisyboutique

Thank you Christiana for your photography skills!  Check her out here: Christiana Vega Photography

Fox & Gray

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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:

Website: http://www.foxandgraywaco.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foxandgraywaco
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/foxandgraywaco

Main photo: Christiana Bowles Photography

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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.

The Whistlin’ Willow

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Do you know that girl you see from a distance and you’re instantly catching yourself admiring how radiant she is? And then at the same time you automatically don’t even like her because of how beautiful she is? Yeah me neither; never felt that way in my life.

Except this one time I was doing an event with The Black Daisy and I see this tiny and gorgeous girl walk by. She was wearing bell bottoms and a big floppy hat with free-spirited boho jewelry and I thought to myself; yassss girl! It’s not every day you find someone who has a wild spirit fashion sense in this town so I was immediately drawn to her.

I walked over to her booth and it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. She was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And then for half a second I almost got intimidated but I remembered I’m a G and G’s are thugs. And thugs don’t get intimidated. Throughout the last couple of years I can confidently say that Becca is one of the most beautiful women I know inside and out. Here’s some of her beautiful mind at work.

Why did you choose your boutique name and what does it mean to you?

The Willow tree is a very strong, fast-growing tree. It can withstand many conditions. Within a matter of time, it is fully grown and beautiful standing tall in the world. It goes with the flow of the wind. I like to think of our mission as a brand is to empower each other and build each other up to withstand any obstacle thrown our way. Standing tall, growing quickly and being confident in who we are.

What is your purpose as a business owner?

I love seeing ladies stepping out of their comfort zones and being confident while doing it. I have so many ladies who are “too old,” “too fat,” “too pale,” (the list could go on forever) to wear what they want. Scared to even try something on because someone may see an imperfection in them. I’m here to build your confidence in trying something new. Even if you don’t like, you at least tried.

What is the biggest misconception customers have about you as a boutique owner?

Customers forget that I work with all shapes and sizes. They think that because I am a 25-year-old size 2 that I can’t help. I’ve heard all the excuses as to why they can’t shop with me without them actually trying. This makes ladies trusting me to dress them all the more special to me.

When you hear the words “empowering women” what does that mean to you? And do you feel you play a role in it? 

Empowering women means showing them that they are more than the thoughts they may have about themselves. They are not their imperfections. They are not their stretch marks, big hips, or even their “flabby” arms. Letting those thoughts consume you is exhausting, and not everyone is going to see you the way you do. I’m here to remind them of that. I’m here to remind them that they are not their thoughts. Shopping should be fun.

Become part of The Whistlin’ Willow’s Clique:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thewhistlinwillow

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/thewhistlinwillow

Website: http://www.thewhistlinwillow.com

You can visit them at:

222 North Main

West, Texas 76691

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Becca; thank you for being my go to vent sister and saying yes to this crazy blogging adventure. I admire you more than you know!

Main picture: http://www.instagram.com/christianabowlesphotography

 

 

Lemon Grove Boutique

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When I first started The Black Daisy Boutique I worked tons of vendor events where I would set up a booth with clothing to try to grow my business.  A lot of times I spent a lot more time googling things like, “Does la llorona steal children over the age of 15″ and “How do I lighten my armpits with a home remedy” than I did actually selling clothes.  One of my favorite things about doing events was getting to meet other entrepreneurs.  Most of the time the other entrepreneurs at these events were women and there was never a day that I didn’t feel in my element.

That’s how I met my very first boutique sister; Ragen Polansky.  From my booth I saw a spunky redhead with gorgeous blue eyes and her laughter literally was the first thing that made me notice her.  Being the girl that I am I walked over to her and the rest is history!  We have done many events together, shared some wine, butted heads, tried failed business ventures, and most importantly we have created a boutique sisterhood where we do the dang thing together.  We have watched each other’s boutiques grow and I would love for you to love her the way I love chips and queso.  A lot; that means a lot. Here’s a little about the woman behind The Lemon Grove Boutique!

Why did you choose your boutique name and what does it mean to you?

I chose my name based on the lemon groves in Sorrento, Italy.  My husband and I honeymooned there, and inside of those huge lemon groves, it is like a different world where everything seems a little more beautiful. It really was paradise to me!

What is your purpose as a business owner?
My goal as a business owner is to design my own life and live by my own rules. I also want to focus on supporting the community that supports me.

What is the most common misconception people have of you as a boutique owner? That it’s easy! Building a boutique is like an iceberg. People only see that you post cute clothes on Facebook, but they don’t see all the behind the scenes work that goes along with it.

When you hear the words “empowering women” what does that mean to you? And do you feel you play a role in that?
Empowering women means to lift them up instead of putting them down like so many women do. Women have enough ground to make up in life without other women knocking them down too. At the end of the day, it’s all about just being kind. While I always make an effort to be kind to people, I sometimes forget that what I do empowers women. That seems like such a bold statement to make about myself. But then a woman will tell me just how much they needed that good outfit to help them get over a break up, or to raise their self-esteem, or make them feel like themselves after having a baby… and I realize that in my own small way, I am empowering women.

Anything else you want people to know about you and your boutique?
Lemon Grove Boutique is all about the hard-working, girl bossing, wine drinking woman. We work hard, have fun, and try to do our part to make the world a little brighter.

Become part of Lemon Grove’s Possee!
You can also find her at The Vibe in Mcgregor, Texas!
Website: www.lemongroveboutique.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lemongroveboutique
Facebook VIP: www.facebook.com/groups/lemongrovevip
Instagram: www.instagram.com/lemongroveboutique

41741978_223808638493631_6697804225969127424_nRagen; thank you for being part of this series!  You are my favorite red head and I hope the world can gain something good from your words!

Main photo of Ragen:

Christiana Bowles Photography