Dogwood Tree Offers Feel-Good Shopping
The Ashland Beacon
Nekeeta Stewart had always had a love for fashion and dreamed of opening her own boutique. After talking it over with her husband, he encouraged her to invest the family savings and finally do what she had been wanting to for so long.
Before opening a boutique, Stewart had to decide on a name for her new business. Her first choice was White Lily since it was her favorite flower, but after searching business names on Facebook, she found it had already been taken. Her second choice was a pink Dogwood, so she picked Dogwood Tree, and Facebook would prove that the name was available.
Operating the boutique by herself, Stewart also has business partner Kim Miller to lean on.
A typical day involves her 17-year-old son driving himself to school. After her 7-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter are dropped off at school, Stewart can then go to the boutique. In the afternoons, her husband drops the children off at the store, and they help Stewart with chores there. Even the 17-year-old stops by to help.
“When shipments come in, my daughter asks if she can have one of those, even though she’s quiet and bashful, she’s like my sales rep at her school,” Stewart said. “Teachers and children are asking her what we’ve got at the store.”
Dogwood Tree Boutique select’s its merchandise from online vendors that show only high-quality ratings from name brands.
Sometimes an item may not be available at the boutique, but that doesn’t mean Stewart can’t locate it online for the customer.
“One day a lady was shopping and wanted to know if I could order a mother-of-the-bride dress. The item was located before she finished shopping,” Stewart said.
When customers shop, they will find clothing in stock in sizes small to 3X as well as jewelry.
“It’s a joy to help other women feel good about themselves at an affordable price.”
Stewart also stocks some items in her boutique from other area small businesses.
Eventually, the boutique would like to expand into carrying children’s clothing, and hopes to provide a tanning bed sometime next year.
Besides shopping at the boutique, customers can go to Facebook and order from Dogwood Tree Boutique and have your order shipped to them. Presently, Stewart has shipped as far away as Alabama. In addition, purchases can be made with gift certificates and layaways.
Since the boutique has been open, Small Business Saturday has been the most exciting for Stewart and customers. They were able to draw tickets and save 30, 40 and 50 percent on items.
“I like to give people a really good deal and have them feel good about their purchases,” she said.
Stewart adds excitedly, “Two friends drew “50 percent off” for their purchases before they had a chance to shop.”
“We could tell how much inventory we had sold by how many velvet hangers we had left,” Stewart says.
Dogwood Tree Boutique is located at 1629 Ashland Road, Suite 9 in Greenup, in the Applegate Shopping Center next to Foodfair and Stultz Pharmacy. They are open Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Give them a call at 606.547.5195.
Stewart’s advice to those wanting to go into small business for themselves: “If you have the dream, then go for it. Try to make friends with everybody that walks through the door. I don’t feel this is a small business competition. We’re all going to carry different things. Everybody deserves to succeed.”