We sat down and asked the girls a few questions about the evolution of Why Not Boutique.
What was your vision for starting WNB and have you always wanted to start your own boutique?Truthfully, until about early 2008, owning a boutique was never even remotely on my radar. I spent my entire childhood watching my father put on a suit and a tie every morning to go to the office, so I just assumed that corporate America was in my blood, and therefore it's where I would eventually land. And I did try it. I spent a little over 2 years wearing button downs and going to work in a grey cubicle. It was terrible. I just found it so creatively suffocating. Once I realized that there was no way I could make it in corporate for the next 40+ years of my life, I started to think about what I did want to do. And here we are three years later.
I think it's safe to say that my vision for WNB has been fairly fluid over the past three years since I opened it. I started as an all organic, eco-friendly boutique and have slowly become a mainstream woman's clothing and accessory boutique with a focus on functional comfort with a trendy twist.
How do you want your customers to feel when they come to your boutique?I've recently started referring to the shop as "the house." I tell people "the sale rack is in the back of the house," things like that. It was never really a conscious thing, but that's ultimately how I want people to feel...like they're walking into their home...only with clothing everywhere instead of furniture. I try really hard to make feel people welcome, but not pressured. Look. Touch. Try on. If you need me, I'm here. If you want an opinion, I'll offer one. If you have a question, hopefully I have an answer. But my "house" is your house...come and go as you please...unless I'm closed of course!
What are your first fashion memories?Really, really bad ones!! I had this awful pair of neon green wind pants...which actually might be considered stylish again with the neon trend this summer, but nothing about them was remotely fashionable. I was a fashionably awkward child. The neon pants were just the beginning. Leggings and over-sized shirts were my staple uniform until I was about 14. Then high school hit, and I really started to like clothing and like looking good and I became your typical teenage consumer.
How do you choose the items to sell at WNB?I wish I could say that I have this whole scientific method to buying merchandise for Why Not Boutique...but then I would be lying. For the most part, I pick items that call to me. Something about it is aesthetically pleasing - the color, the shape, an embellishment...it can be anything. I would say that I probably buy for the shop in the same way that I buy for myself...love that, love that, why would someone put a pocket there, that's great, awful color, etc. Once I have a good pile of merchandise picked out, I go back through and study it with a more critical eye. Can I see a particular customer wearing that? Is that dress lined? Is it too short? Is it well made? Have I already purchased 10 other items in that color or style. And from there, I somehow end up with a boutique full of items that I am, for the most part, incredibly pleased with and proud of.
Describe your own personal style.I'm a comfort and function over fashion and style kinda gal. If at all possible, I'll find a way to make shorts or jeans and a t-shirt look chic and put together. In the summer I wear a lot of dresses, again for comfort and function. They're a lot cooler to me than anything else, and so easy...all I have to do is find a great pair of wedges and out the door I go! But I'm not a trend setter or even really remotely fashion forward. I just like clothes and shoes a lot and try to dress myself in the best possible way that fits both my body and my lifestyle.
You can go visit this pink paradise for yourself anytime! Except Sundays, of course...
3423 Bay to Bay Blvd.
*Photos courtesy Glow Tampa Photography*
*Photos courtesy Glow Tampa Photography*