Retail 101: Lola Blu Boutique

Photography by Reagan Allen

Pamela Moosey saw something missing in Broad Ripple retail landscape: an affordable women’s boutique. So she opened Lola Blu Boutique. She wanted to give back to the community in a positive and beneficial way and opening the boutique was the perfect opportunity. Attracting customers with her positive energy and beautiful selection of womenswear, Moosey continues to build her clientele every day.

Name: Pamela Moosey
Store name: Lola Blu Boutique
Store address: 6350 Cornell Ave, Indianapolis IN 46220
Store website: lolabluboutique.com
Store insta and facebook: @lolabluboutique
When did you open the store: May 2017
Number of full-time employees: Just me!

What do you sell in your store: Affordable women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, gift items and beauty products.

Previous jobs/ventures: I was in Real Estate, was the owner of Future Shock Broad Ripple alternative store. I owned a retail store for 25 years in Broad Ripple and opened a second location in Bloomington and ran it for 5 years. I also launched and co-owned a live music venue in Fountain Square for 8 years. Lastly, just prior to opening Lola Blu, I ventured into real estate and worked as a leasing consultant in a luxury downtown apartment community.

Why did you decide to open your own storefront? A need for affordable women’s clothing,
wanting to work for myself again plus I missed Broad Ripple. I felt that the village was missing a feminine and affordable boutique that truly offers excellent and personalized customer service. Also, I wanted to have an avenue where I could give back to my community. Hence, LOLA Lots Of Love Around.

List five skills/qualifications that you think are important to have before launching a storefront?
Good location, strong work ethic, marketing strategies, excellent people skills, personality and uniqueness (something that may be missing in the neighborhood). Attention to detail is key with regards to boutique design, merchandise, how it’s merchandised, having a beautiful setting that entices customers to keep coming back.

What’s the most effective marketing tool that you’ve been using recently?
Social media platforms and local partnerships (eg: getting involved in local events via the Broad Ripple Association)

What’s more important when opening a storefront: Location, having a nice cash cushion or having a lot of retail experience? Why? All very important but I feel retail experience is key. There are many tricks to the trade. I believe that all money goes back into the business for at least the first three years. This ties in with having a great location. I am fortunate in that I own my property so my overhead is very low.

How do you decide which vendors/products/brands you want to carry in your store? I always knew that I wanted to have a one-stop shop that caters to women and offers affordable, feminine merchandise. It took a great deal of research to find out what lines I wanted to carry. I sell bohemian type clothing but I also throw in soft basics that work for all age groups. I also sell a lot of jewelry and gift items.

Do you work with vendors on a consignment basis? Yes.

Do you carry any local vendors/brands? Why/Why not? I do support local artisans. There is a lot of great talent in our neighborhood and I want to support them when I can as they support me. There are some very unique items from local vendors. Normally, I start local artisans on a consignment basis.  If I see the merchandise is well received, I will then purchase it outright and add to my stock.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in running your business? The biggest challenge is maintaining a good work/life balance. I do not have any employees so I literally do everything for the shop. Trying to keep up with both personal and professional responsibilities is not always easy!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of opening their own storefront? Do your market research and make sure you have a good location. Owning your property is a good idea. Branding is key and must be at the core of everything you do. Customer service and honesty are so important.

Shop Lola Blu Boutique in-store.
Follow Lola Blu Boutique on Instagram and Facebook.

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