How Ciara Stockeland is using btqBOX to Create Community and Connections Between Boutique Owners & Vendors
What sets Ciara apart is the fact that she's worn the hat of every aspect of the boutique industry. If starting her own boutique from scratch and running a brick and mortar isn't hard enough, Ciara also scaled her boutique into a franchise. She also wholesaled and distributed their products. Now she's bringing together all of those aspects and experiences in a single package to help boutique owners and brands grow in their journey.
"I wanted to bring all those worlds and experiences together in a package that would then help boutique owners because I know how hard it can be to own your own boutique."
Ciara grew in many ways during her years working with franchising. "I think the biggest thing was really discovering who I was. When I went into boutique ownership running my multi-million dollar business, it was all hands on deck and full steam ahead."
"It was awesome, but I never stopped to really think about how I was made. How I thought about things and where my strengths an weaknesses were. When we really dipped into a valley within that business, I started to have the opportunity to self reflect and think about how I was wired and how I could do things differently If I really tapped into that instead of trying to be all things to everyone."
How btqBOX Helps Boutiques
What is your advice to boutique owners you work with or may work with in the future? How can btqBOX help alleviate some of those pains?
"My advice to them would be to think about who they are, what they love and why they started their business and not try to be the same boutique or business as everyone that they see."
Boutique ownership can mean we, as owners, fall into the trap of focusing on the successes of other boutiques. It's super easy to have small business envy. Ciara reminds us to all be confident in who we are and celebrate what makes us unique and focus on the journey we're on instead of focusing on trying to fit what we think our boutique should be.
"I fell into focusing on how this other person is so successful in her small business journey if I do these things I will be like her. But I was never meant to be her, I was meant to be Ciara and do my business the way that I was created."
"How we bring that into the btqBOX by helping our members is to take what they're really good at and we supplement the other things for them to help simplify their boutique life."
How btqBOX Connects Boutiques With Vendors
On the other side of things, what is something that you offer to your vendors that is unique to btqBOX?
How Technology is Affecting The Boutique World
How do you feel things are changing with the using technology and the use of the internet, and how can you use that to your advantage to help both your vendors and boutiques?
"It's changing so much! When I started my first boutique in 2006 there was no Facebook. Now I have boutique owners that are Facebook only stores. By both simplifying and bringing my story into the flavor of what btqBOX is, we can help boutique owners and vendors cut through that overwhelm."
"When it comes to social media platforms, you don't have to have them all on top of having to juggle everything else. Instead, pick one or two social media platforms that make sense to you and do a good job with them and own them! Otherwise, you end up doing a lot of a little bit and nothing is done very well."
Ciara also encourages boutiques to use this same thought process when choosing vendors to work with.
"Choose a couple of vendors in your box, order heavy into them and represent them really well. You don't have to choose all ten every single time. Find the ones that fit for you, learn their story and educate your customer. It's about dialing in, keeping things simple an organized."
"I understand the pain of small business boutique ownership. I think it's really neat to be part of a community where the founder completely gets what her customers are doing. I've walked in those shoes in both success highs and lows. It's really important for me for my customers to know that. I can empathize with them, and through that empathy try to create great systems, processes and tools to help them succeed."
How You Can Join btqBOX
Follow the journey on the btqBOX Instagram @thebtqbox
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