Retail 101: Wild Bohemian Boutique

Photos by Allison Behr, Laudig Creations Photography and LBell Photography

Name: Allison Behr
Store name: The Wild Bohemian Boutique
Store address: 84 S 9th Street, Noblesville IN
Store website: wildbohemian.com
Store Instagram: @thewildbohemianbtq

When did you open the store:
We started the store as an opened travel pop-up. We started our brick boutique four and a half local festivals ago!

Number of full-time employees: 
We have three full-time employees.

What do you sell in your store:
We sell bohemian inspired clothing and tons of unique, handcrafted jewelry and accessories. Think fun turban headbands, crystal and natural stone jewelry and the perfect gift items too. Maxi dresses, kimonos, and graphic tees are just a few of our everyday go-to looks. We love carrying unique brands that most people have never heard of. We also carry well known and recognizable brands like Free People and Billabong. Most of all, we curate all our clothing with all women in mind because every shape & size should be celebrated!

Previous jobs/ventures:
I knew owning my own shop was my destiny since I was a young teenager, but I started my career path in a cooperate sales job, working my way through college. I definitely was on track to make more money than I could ever imagine, but you know, that wasn’t as important as taking a chance on a dream, so that’s whats I did!

Why did you decide to open your own storefront?
Traveling around the state and setting up shop every weekend started to feel more like “work.” I knew it was time to open my own storefront when I stopped looking forward to traveling every weekend. I enjoy pouring all my time, energy, and love into this business and not have to pack up and move every 48 hours.

Do you have an online store as well?
Yes! In fact, that’s been a huge focus for us this year. We’ve dedicated our time and resources to giving our online babes the same experience they would get in-store. We just launched our new website in February and you can find us at wildbohemian.com.

List five skills/qualifications that you think are important to have before launching a storefront?
It’s important to learn, outsource, and consistently improve yourself as a person and a leader. Learning and understanding new aspects of your business are crucial. For example, sure, I’m not an accountant, but I need to learn those skills so I can make the best financial decisions for my business. I’m not a marketing expert either, but better believe it’s important for me to keep up with marketing trends. Sometimes you just have to be okay with outsourcing and turning over a part of your business to an expert. Next, being relatable. If you can’t relate to your audience, you might struggle to find your place.

What’s the most effective marketing tool that you’ve been using recently?
Instagram and Pinterest actually, but we’re currently learning more about how Facebook ads work. I think that being a good human, being relatable and treating your audience as though they are friends helps too!

What’s more important when opening a storefront: Location, having a nice cash cushion, or having a lot of retail experience? Why?
Hmmm, all the above haha. Honestly, I started with nothing. I spent 100 dollars making inventory to sell at the farmers market and with my earrings, I went and bought more materials. I repeated that week after week and year after year until I was ready to open my own shop, so I say it’s about starting with what you have and building on that.

How do you decide which vendors/products/brands you want to carry in your store?
We shop for quality, uniqueness, size inclusiveness and obviously items that fit our look and style. Knowing if something will sell and knowing your brand are two very different things. We shop for what is true to us as a company and brand.

Do you work with vendors on a consignment basis?
We love to carry small shop items and handmade items. We try to really find a fair wholesale price from those shop owners; in fact, some of our favorite items in the shop are handcrafted candles, dream catchers, macrame, and jewelry.

Do you carry any local vendors/brands? Why/Why not?
Yes! That’s our favorite. We love working with local brands to create something exclusively for our store that customers won’t find anywhere else.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in running your business?
I’m definitely working all the time. My brain is in constant work mode. I’m always thinking of ways to better serve my customers and grow my business. That’s definitely a struggle sometimes. I’d also say it’s letting go and letting God do the rest. Sometimes I can do everything “right,” but just don’t get the results for my business that I was looking for. Usually, that’s when something greater is going on.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of opening their own storefront?
Don’t compare your own journey to others around you. Stay true to your and you’re brand. I say test, test test! Test your market and your audience. Start small while you’re learning early and gradually build your brand. Slow and steady is okay. In fact, I think it’s the way to go. Be willing to be okay with falling down. Just make a promise to yourself to get back up, time and time again.

What advice would you give to an up-and-coming brand looking to build a strong relationship with a retailer?
Start by getting to know the retailer you want to pitch to. Follow them. Learn who they are and who they serve. Then if you think that retailer is someone you think you want to work with, know how you can add value to their business and lead with that.

Get with the flow and shop with Wild Bohemian Boutique! Check out their website and follow them on Instagram for the latest fashion finds!

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