Located at Carmel City Center, Endeavor Boutique offers “reasonably priced casual chic everyday clothing for women of all sizes.” Owner Melissa Butrum’s dream of opening a boutique came true in 2016 after realizing life is too short from the passing of close friend due to cancer. Their business continues to succeed due to their wonderful customers. Continue reading to get to know Melissa and her business more!
Name: Melissa Butrum
Store: Endeavor Boutique
What do you sell in your store: Women’s clothing sizes XS-3X, accessories and gift items.
Previous jobs/ventures: Midwest Sales Representative for Men’s Clothing Company over the last 13 years. Currently I am working with two brands and handle the Midwest.
Why did you decide to open your own storefront? My dream has always been to own a boutique. Back when I was high school, I would tell everyone my dream was to own my own clothing boutique. About three years ago I lost my best friend to breast cancer, which changed my outlook on life. My husband is a huge support and encouraged me to follow my dreams.
Do you have an online store as well? Yes it’s endeavorboutique.com
List five skills/qualifications that you think are important to have before launching a storefront?
Accounting, marketing, customer service, buying and retail experiences are all important skills when launching a storefront. Being in the industry as a sales representative was very helpful for me as well as working retail when I was in college. Marketing is HUGE and always changing.
What’s the most effective marketing tool that you’ve been using recently? Our most effective marketing tool has been social media such as Instagram and Facebook. We post about sales, new arrivals and events in store. Many accounts contact us to hold or buy items through social media. We also allow customers to check in on Facebook and receive 10% off regular price items. Word-of-mouth has been huge for our business also.
What’s more important when opening a storefront: location, having a nice cash cushion or having a lot of retail experience? I think location is most important. If customers can’t find your storefront or get to it easy, then your business will fail.
How do you decide what vendors/products/brands you want to carry in your store? We love to support local businesses and have had success with some in the past. When choosing vendors for the store we look at price, sizing and quality. We have been in business for almost three years and have a loyal customer base. My employees are a huge help with buying for the store. They have developed a relationship with the customers and have learned their style.
Do you carry any local vendors/brands? Yes Penn and Beach Candles, Autumn Rose Designs, The Shop t-shirts and Hamilton Hobbs jewelry. One of my amazing sales associates, Julie, makes Hamilton Hobbs jewelry.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in running your business? One of our biggest challenges has been construction. People tend to avoid construction and that has a huge effect on small businesses.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of opening up their own storefront? Make sure you have a good location with parking. Rent is the biggest overhead you have and you need to negotiate a rate your are comfortable with. Good employees are hard to find and when you find them make sure you take care of them!
What advice would you give to an up-and-coming brand looking to build a strong relationship with a retailer? With my history of being a sales representative, I always treat my customers the way I want to be treated. Always have an open mind and give everyone a chance.