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From Fashion Degree to Boutique Owner

Jennifer Holmes


Here to share new trends, outfit ideas and details, beauty buzz and what its like to live life in the shoes of a small business owner - here's how we go to where we are now!

Two month ago, my husband and I took the first and biggest leap of faith together and started up our own business.  As a 20 something year old living in Missouri with a degree in fashion and minor in event planning, I learned quickly that all the glamorous fashion jobs are primarily on the coasts.  The good ole ball and chain (hubby) wasn't interested in relocating at the time so I started the grind in good old retail.  

I started fresh out of college at Nordstrom, yay!  What a wonderful company to work for and I had learned oh so very much!  The only downfall was, they assigned me to the children's shoe section; again, not so glamorous.  This was due to my previous experience in high school as a camp counselor - lame.  I put my time in (months and months) in Children's shoes which consisted of screaming toddlers and frustrated first time parents.  It was a great experience but I needed more, my true passion is clothes, not kids and shoes.  Eventually I was moved to BP Shoes which was much more interesting and more at my speed.  There I worked some additional months until I decided I wanted more responsibilities at my job and was offered a position as a manager at an Ann Taylor Factory Store aka Ann Taylor outlet.

My time at Ann Taylor was just short of a year and that was even a bigger learning experience.  Managing employees, sales goals, customer service, and district managers.  It was a whirlwind but I learned a lot.  After working every single Friday, Saturday and Sunday I realized I had no social life and settled for a desk job.

The desk job was alright, but I still struggled to let my inner creative, fashion girl out.  I found myself back at the job search and instantly got the job as a manager at a boutique down the road for me.  This is when I got the "ah-ha" moment, that this is right for me.  This is my happy place.  The owner had a lot on her plate in her personal life so the store felt like mine and it was amazing.  After working there for a year and a half I knew I was ready, along with all of my other experiences to do something on my own - a boutique owner myself.

We looked into a brick and mortar store and actually found a location we strongly considered.  We had a hard time pulling the trigger; Now living in Kansas City with my husband and family in St Louis, I knew I needed something more flexible.  Research kept pointing us in the same direction and that's when it dawned on us - the mobile boutique business was perfect.  Finally, a puzzle piece that fits!  Mobile boutiques are huge on the coasts and even in St Louis but there was only one here in KC and its strictly jewelry and accessories.  We had the opportunity to bring something unique to Kansas City - it was go time and from there on out we never turned back!

Our business, Roadside Runway Boutique has been up and running for about two months  along with an online website, www.roadsiderunway.com.  It has been a bumpy road, yet one of the best decisions we have ever made.  Stay tuned to learn more about our journey up to this point and literally as it unfolds, I cannot wait to share our journey with our readers!  Please do not hesitate to comment below, I would love to help answer questions anyone may have!  


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