If you are just visiting my site and don’t know what I’m talking about, read this first.
I’ve worked several retail jobs in my lifetime, but I really got bit by the retail bug during my time with Crate & Barrel. I loved almost every aspect of the retail business. Seeing the new seasonal merchandise for the first time. Figuring out how to display it in the store. Greeting the customers. Helping the customers. Training and coaching the sales staff. I even loved the flippin’ piped-in music. I would LOVE to own my own store or boutique. Flowers, cards and gifts, home accessories, or clothing. It makes no difference to me. So, of course, when I reconnected with Julie Miller (a friend from my Inman, Kansas days) on Facebook and found out that she owns her own boutique…INSTANT ENVY.
Julie is the owner of Tiramisu (www.e-tiramisu.net), a clothing and jewelry boutique which offers something for the cowgirl in all of us. I mean, come on, who doesn’t need a blinged out pair of flip-flops, a statement necklace, or a kick-ass pair of boots to wear with a dress? Even us citified girls like to feel a little country sometimes, right? As for me, I am saving my pennies for a pair of Ariat Square-toe Showbaby boots. (Note to my husband: My 40th birthday is coming up sweetie!)
Tiramisu was conceived six years ago while Julie was working both a full-time and part-time job. Her husband used to rodeo and as they traveled around, she said that there were always people set up with great western jewelry and clothing. The turquoise jewelry is really what sparked her interest, so she started building jewelry and sourcing things that she couldn’t make herself. And according to Julie, the rest is history. She opened the store six years ago in Buhler but has since moved it to Great Bend where in addition to running the store and working two other part-time jobs, Julie and her husband, Sean, ranch and raise longhorn cattle. And I thought I was busy!
In an effort to glean a little more information from her, I asked her some standard interview questions and here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth – bah-dum-bah. Get it? Horse’s mouth? Okay, so anyway….
Hot trends. Bling. Traditional western. Dresses (western or city style) have come on strong over the past year and remain that way.
The “must have” item. The Justin flips. They retail at a great price-point and look great. And they are comfortable, too.
On the future of her business. “I just want to make my customers happy and give them the best that is out there in our industry.”
Because I am such a music lover, I asked Julie what the “most played” songs on her iPod/mp3 player were. She admitted that she is a bit old-fashioned and still uses cd’s. On the top of her list, though? Lady Antebellum, Randy Rogers Band, and Jewel.
I would encourage you to take a look at her website (www.e-tiramisu.net) and if you’re ever in Great Bend, stop in, say “howdy”, and sit a spell. I’m sure you’ll receive a warm welcome.