First, I suppose I should introduce myself. I am Barbie Turner, owner, creator, buyer, merchandiser and sales girl at Be The Boutique…otherwise known as…The Be Girl. I am writing this blog for many reasons. First and foremost, we want you all to find and enjoy our store. As a life long shopper, I grew weary of the same ole stores with shiny brass fixtures, carrying the same mass produced items that every other store carried. So, when we decided to open Be, we knew we wanted it to be a unique shopping experience, where no matter who you were, male or female, adult or child, shopper or a hater of shopping…you, would appreciate the experience that Be gives you.
About 10 years ago, my daughter Evan and I were driving in the car and decided to make a bucket list. We shared many ideas and Evan, who was 6 at the time, diligently wrote them on the back of a paper grocery bag. The first adventure on the list was to open our own store. We talked a lot about it for the next 3 years, where it would be, what it would look like, items we would carry, etc. Low and behold in January of 2008, we looked out our back window to see a closing sign in front of the Piano Merchant at 54th and College…right across the street from our house…what could be better.
The plan was to open by Spring, but even more important or so we thought, was to come up with a name. Both Evan and I collect the first letter of our first name and hang them in our bedrooms, but recently we had found very large letters and decided to hang them in our living room. It was then we realized our initials spelled BE and sure enough, the meaning of BE is To Live and on May 1, 2008, we checked off the very first item on our bucket list!
We stayed at the same location for 5 years, until one freezing cold day in February my best friend Holly and I were having coffee at the Illinois Street Food Emporium and noticed a For Rent sign in the window of the old Oxford Shop. Both of our eyes widened and we immediately ran across the street to accost Gary Thrapp. In keeping with our mission of being a neighborhood boutique, on May 1st, 2013, we celebrated our 5th anniversary in our new location at 56th and Illinois Street!
Be The Boutique carries a wide range of items! Our gifts range from home goods and décor, kitchen and barware, greeting cards and paper products to fashion, including apparel, handbags, jewelry and more. In my opinion, you can almost find anything you are looking for!
Now that you know our history, please stay tuned to future posts which will include tons and tons of information about going to market, our products, how we pick them, interviews with the artists/creators and just a whole lot of great information about owning a small business, fashion, décor and great gift giving!