Just like that, a year has passed since I launched Darcy Boutique. It has been an amazing year with many highlights and memorable moments.
For several months we had been working on a business plan, formulating ideas, throwing them out and coming up with new ones. There were many long walks up the beach discussing the ideas and then an opportunity presented itself to buy a shop in Merivale. We could see a lot of potential and on the 15th of October, our offer was accepted. We had already decided we would launch a new brand and had been working hard on design concepts, refining the business plan, and getting feedback on our ideas.
I received the keys to the shop on the Monday 1st November 2021 and with the help of some friends and my husband, we gave the shop a makeover, sign-writers arrived Tuesday and we removed the old branding and put up the new signage. It was exciting and exhausting! On Wednesday 3rd November I arrived at Darcy and opened the doors for business. Later that morning, I sold my first dress!
In the year since, I focused on improving these areas of the business:
- Building our brand identity and marketing style
- Finding great designer brands that our customers would love
- Launching the Darcy Boutique website to enable online sales
- Improving our knowledge of retail (I was new to retail)
- Creating systems and processes
It has been a leap of faith at times, but I’ve learnt to go with my gut as I learn to navigate my new life as a business owner. Having a great team around me has been so important. It is wonderful when you start to see your ideas turn into reality and the results start to come through.
My vision is to bring back the personalised retail experience that is often missing these days. When you walk in the door, you see beautiful things without being overwhelmed. I personally choose our stock, with the help of my team and daughters.
I love hearing customers says, “you have lovely things”. But what really makes me feel good is when some says, “do you have this at one of your other stores?” or “Is this an overseas chain?”. We usually reply with “this is our flagship boutique”.
Retail can be challenging but is rewarding in ways I didn’t expect. There is a lovely community of local retailers, designers, and café owners, that I have come to know. I now understand what it means to be a small business owner and a great appreciation for the support the local community gives me and my business. Pop down to Merivale for a lunch, coffee, a massage, bunch of flowers and a new dress. We would all love to see you!
I would like to thank all my wonderful customers, my amazing team, understanding stockists, and the talented designers who help make Darcy Boutique a place I am so proud to call my own.
Owner of Darcy Boutique!