When did your business launch?
May 28th, 2014, so we're still relatively new in town.
What is your business about?
Dresses, dresses and more dresses. Beautiful retro inspired fashion for all women.
What is it that you do/sell?Brookside Betty's is a retro inspired dress shop. Our goal is to provide an intimate boutique atmosphere where all women can find dresses they love. To that we offer dresses in sizes XS-3X, and occasionally 4x, whenever possible. Our price point is between $55-$165, so we do work hard to find beautiful dresses that are affordable. We also have accessories such as purses, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, stockings and more.
What gave your the inspiration or motivation for your business?
Where to begin? I've wanted to do this for years. I was a history teacher for 8 years, and have always loved the elegance and femininity found in 40s and 50s fashion. I also wanted a dress shop in my neighborhood. I'm not a petite flower, so I wanted to open a dress shop that had a lot to offer both slim and curvy girls.
Do you do this full time/part time?
This is a full time gig. I took a leap, and left teaching. I am so glad I made the change.
How has your life changed since starting your business?
Compared to teaching, I actually have more free time. More importantly I meet so many great people on a daily basis. I love my regulars.
What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered?Finances. We opened the last weekend of May, and have been steadily growing, but I still have concerns that we were underfunded, and that it's not growing as fast as it could. With the holidays coming I'd like to bring in significantly more inventory, but I have to use a little restraint, because we are new, the shop is relatively small, and having worked retail in the past I know January and February are slow. It's a tricky balance.
What is something you thought was going to be hard, but turned out to be simple, in regards to your business?Opening the store itself seemed like a huge task. We got in the space the end of April and opened May 28th. I was still working full time, and the bulk of the work was being done by myself and my husband. There was inventory to be ordered, steamed and displayed, a store to be painted, fixtures to build, choosing a pos system and so much more. I finished grading finals the week before the shop opened, but everything fell into place. It seemed like almost an impossible task, but friends and strangers stepped in and helped at just the right times.
What has been your biggest success to date?
Seeing people out and about wearing Brookside Betty's dresses.
Do you have any big plans/ideas/launches planned for 2015?
We are looking to bring cosmetics to Brookside Betty's. Right now we are looking into Besame and Bomber Betty.
What would you like to share with COAST readers about your company/business?
I'd just like to invite them to shop our store.
Lastly, what is the advice you would give to someone looking to start a company or business similar to yours?
Do it. You can spend your whole life waiting for the perfect time, but if you have the drive, you can make it happen now. A close friend once referred to me as a force, half teasing becauI will work hard, problem solve, and do whatever it takes to achieve my goals. I think when you are building a business from the bottom up you have to have that kind of drive.