Boomerang Boutique, a colorful little clothing and accessories shop on Mass Ave, is turning five this month! For owner Felicia Kiesel, five years of running her own boutique has been a big accomplishment. PATTERN visited her store to talk to her about what she’s learned in the past five years, and what she’s planning next.
Julia Bluhm: What are you most proud of in your five years?
Felicia Kiesel: The time has flown by and I can’t believe it’s been five years! And I’m actually going into my sixth holiday season here on the avenue. My t-shirt line is one thing I’m proud of. I was looking for fun t-shirts to carry in store and couldn’t find much that I really loved. So I just started making my own. So I’ve done that, and I wholesale out to other stores across the Midwest as well as have them here. And in addition to t-shirts, I have buttons and hats and pillows as well. And a couple years ago, maybe three years ago, I got an old camper trailer and gutted it out so now I have a boutique on wheels. I do events and home parties. Those are the biggest things.
JB: How would you describe your brand and the products you sell? Has it changed at all over the five years?
FK: It has. When I first started I had a lot of vintage items and I kind of got away from that and went more local. So I have more than 60 handmade and local artists in store now. And I’m continually bringing more local people in. But I would say the look and feel is trendy. I always have what’s going on in fashion, like right now 90s are big, and I also try to be fun and happy. Lots of colors. I try to be a little different, because there are a lot of boutiques.
JB: What are some challenges of being a business owner lately?
FK: There are always challenges. Right now I’m just tired. I’ve had lots of great help over the years, but my help is just part time so it’s hard to find somebody who is able to work part time a lot. But the girls I have and have had over the years have always been great.
Also, with Mass Ave changing, rent and stuff is getting more expensive. Being a smaller boutique, I can’t compete with some of the bigger restaurants and stuff. It’s harder for us little guys.
JB: What’s coming next, and what are your goals for the future?
FK: For the past couple years I’ve been trying to grow the online shop. I have an online shop and I try to put all the clothes that I have a lot of online. If I buy something in bulk I’ll put it online. But I’d love to work on growing the online sales. I’ve always only wanted one store, I don’t personally want another one. Just the one is fine, but a bigger online presence would be really great.
JB: Tell us about your five year celebration party.
FK: So our official anniversary is November 1st, which is a Thursday. So that Saturday, November 3rd during regular business hours (11am-7pm) we’re going to have stuff outside, a DJ, some fun food and drinks, and I’m looking into a cotton candy machine. We’ll do some giveaways and some special sales, but it will go on all day. I hope people will come celebrate with us!