Apex-based online children's boutique features high-end clothes for girls
Posted May 22
Updated May 23
A decade ago, Kim Boyle was a new mom who was eager to outfit her baby girl in unique and adorable clothes.
She teamed up with another Triangle mom and friend, who had started Adorables Children's Boutique, an online boutique for higher-end children's clothing. As a business partner, Boyle could work part-time at her day job in finance at what was then Progress Energy and support her love of cute clothing for her little girl.
By 2008, the business had taken over Boyle's newly finished basement, now designed like the back of a retail shop with shelves and racks. In 2012, she left her part-time job at Progress Energy and bought out her partner. Adorables became Boyle's full-time job.
Today, along with a staff of three part-time employees, Boyle runs the bustling business from her basement, selling colorful clothing to customers around the country and the world. She specializes in girls clothing and accessories, sizes newborn to 16.
She's on the lookout for modern, trendy clothes. These days, that means ruffles, a mix of colorful patterns and layered outfits. While she sells to some customers in the Triangle, her offerings are more popular with customers in the Midwest, for instance.
Twice a year, she travels to the Atlanta Apparel Mart to pick out items for the coming season. She carries between about 20 to 30 brands at any given time. Lines such as Mustard Pie, Giggle Moon, Biscotti and Persnickety are among her more popular ones. Some are found only at high-end boutiques and department stores such as Nordstrom.
Prices are higher than what you'll find at Target or in most stores at the mall. A shirt, for instance, could be $25. A full outfit could run about $150. Boyle's offerings are especially popular for moms looking for outfits for holiday parties, family pictures and, even pageants. She also gets a lot of calls from grandmas.
"I love that it gives me the opportunity to work and to still be a full-time mom," said Boyle, now a mom of two. "It keeps my accounting skills fresh and it's just fun. It's fun playing with the clothes."
It's not always easy. Boyle must always keep a note of her inventory, how well certain lines are selling and what other online boutiques are offering.
"It's more challenging than people think," she said. "You're taking risk everyday."
She's also facing the ups-and-downs of the modern online marketplace where new trends and social media can quickly change the direction of just about any business.
But, she's making changes too. Now that her daughter is 10, she's adding more lines such as Vintage Havana and PPLA that carry the styles her daughter and other tweens are looking for.
And, she always loves to help her customers - by email or phone call - with questions and more. When she gets a call at 8 p.m. about the sizing of a dress, for instance, she can just head down to the basement and check it out. It's a set up that's working perfectly for Boyle. She has no plans to open a brick-and-mortar location, grow to be the biggest online boutique or work long hours.
Said Boyle: "The way we're set up, we can help customers and they really don't know we're in our pajamas."
Adorables Children's Boutique's website has more information about her offerings. And, just for Go Ask Mom readers, key in code "goaskmom" and get 15 percent off your total purchase!
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