Once upon a time, boutiques were elusive creatures that were difficult to find online. That’s why Ashley Alderson first started The Boutique Hub, based on her desire to shop boutiques around the world, regardless of her rural location.
Hailing from North Dakota where her nearest shopping opportunity was over 300 miles away, she longed for a place online she could go to find and shop the boutiques she loved together in one place.
What happened next was pretty exciting.
Today, Ashley passionately leads The Boutique Hub, while coaching and mentoring many boutique owners, and being an advocate for small businesses in fashion.
Read more about Ashley Alderson's entrepreneurial journey in this month's Tenacity Tales.
Ashley Alderson, owner & founder of The Boutique Hub
What’s the obstacle that you’ve overcome that you’re most proud of?
Starting as a small business, it’s easy to think that someone else must have the answers since you are trying to figure it out as you go, and to second guess your own vision. When our company was nearly brand new, and was a concept that no one had tried before, I was easily intimidated. I invited someone into the business to ‘lead’ which ended up in this person draining our bank accounts in the process and blocking me from my own customer lists.
I thought we were finished.... Out of necessity, I figured out that I had what I needed all along, but I needed to be brave enough to go for it. I started to lead in the direction I deep down knew was there, but felt like someone must have known better. I was wrong - when you have a vision, you have to pursue it, even if it intimidates you. A failure forced us to figure it out.
Ashley, consulting with an independent boutique owner, just one of the 3,000 independent retailers
The Boutique Hub helps out on a daily basis.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known then?
I wish that I would have known that every day is an opportunity to learn, and as much as we think that everyone around us has it all figured out, they often don’t. We have to be confident in our vision, be wise enough to ask questions, and be persistent enough to not give up early. Thankfully today, it’s all come together in a beautiful way, and we now support thousands of independent retailers to give support to their daily questions. It’s not always what you know....but it’s who.
What’s your best advice to other small business owners?
Find your COMMUNITY! Our motto and mission are rooted in community over competition. Like my own story, we are often paralyzed by the fear and the anxiety of competition. When we can find a community to work WITH and know that there is more than enough to go around in this world, a new opportunity appears.
Today, thousands of boutique owners ask each other questions about business in our community daily because they know they will be stronger BECAUSE of each other, not in spite of. Like wine, consumers love choices, they love variety, and if we could just eliminate the fear of competition, we could all flourish in our own unique ways and rise with others.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I’m a busy mom of three kiddos under 9, a wife, and run a remote team of 14, so it can be pretty hectic unless I CHOOSE to see it otherwise. Time blocking is very important to me, so certain days of the week are marked for specific tasks related to marketing, team, special projects or content & coaching.
My mornings are my most creative time, so after a workout around 6 and getting the kids ready for school, I journal briefly and then work on my ‘hardest’ task or biggest rock first. After which it’s meetings, messages and keeping up. I try to shut off completely in the evenings and have family time.
Ashley being interviewed about giving business owners in the boutique industry a voice, and a community to call home.
What’s next for you and The Boutique Hub?
We are constantly on the lookout for the future of independent retail. We are driven every single day to make life easier & more profitable for small business owners, so we will continue to look for partnerships beneficial to retailers, new opportunities for omni-channel retailing & discovery through our new platform www.boutique.style and wholesaling on www.theboutiquehub.com. If a retailer has a need, we will dissect it and find a way to fill it.
Want to learn more about Ashley and The Boutique Hub?
Check out the The Boutique Hub website