Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Boone, Owner of By A Thread, located in Bellefonte, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
By A Thread is a women’s clothing boutique specializing in pieces for what we like to call the “everyday girl.” By that, we mean styles that are fashionable but approachable. Pieces that are unique and feminine but don’t leave you asking yourself, “how would I even wear this?” Our second business, Thread Baby, is a clothing and gift boutique for toddlers and babies with a complimentary modern style to By A Thread.
Tell us about yourself
I first started my business as a creative outlet when my previous career wasn’t fulfilling in that way. At the time, working in a corporate position, I was struggling to find places locally to shop that provided clothing that was both fashion-forward and trendy but also work-appropriate. I started my business as an online boutique with $500 and a single rack of clothing doing local pop-up events when I had free time. Fast forward to 2022, and we’ve recently moved into a larger brick-and-mortar space with a second business in our original location.
What motivates me each day is the gratitude for the opportunity to do what I’m doing full-time and also the commitment to our customers and community. It’s an honor to be a part of such an inviting community and be a small part of our customers' lives. Having customers choose our products for events like engagement photos, showers, or even just as their go-to piece for a day or night out when there are countless other options is not something I take for granted. My goal is to continue being that go-to place for our current customers and a great find for those that haven’t shopped with us yet.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being awarded Business of the Year in Bellefonte has been my biggest accomplishment as a business owner. It was certainly not something I was expecting as somebody that is relatively new to the community. I am so grateful for the way the community has supported my business and accepted me as part of it so quickly.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for me is managing time and stress. As a business owner, you don’t punch out at the end of the day, and the problems are always yours. I’m slowly learning to create boundaries and prioritize my physical and mental health. It’s ok to “clock out” at the end of the day, and being available 24/7 just isn’t sustainable or realistic long term.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Being clear in your vision and messaging. For example, who is your audience, and what makes you unique or the expert in your area? You can’t be everything to everyone, and that’s okay.
- Stay in your own lane. Don’t get lost in the noise or comparison. There’s always going to be somebody who seems bigger, better, and more successful than you. It’s easy to get caught up in that instead of focusing on what you can do to be the best version of yourself and your business.
- Be patient and put in the work. I believe it’s true that nothing worth having is easy, and nothing easy is worth having. If I started my business from day one in the capacity it is today; I don’t think I would have near the appreciation for what makes it special to my customers and how to be the best business for them that we can.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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