There is a new Boutique on the block
Chrisie Styles BoutiQue
Written by Tawana Blassingame
Chrisie Styles BoutiQue went from taking her show on the road to setting up a permanent residence in New Jersey. She is new to their block but not new to the fashion world.
We first met Chrisie about five years ago at a fashion event when she first got started as an online boutique. She talked to us about her dreams of owning a mobile boutique. One year later in September of 2016 Chrisie purchased the truck that was to become her boutique on wheels. With the help of family and friends, she fixed it up herself and opened her french doors in the summer of 2017. She drove her boutique around vending at festivals and anywhere else she saw fit to sell her merchandise. The boutique found it's home one year later (parked) at 125 Route 130 in Burlington, NJ.
After having to repairs on the truck several times, Chrisie decided it was time to look for a permanent location for Chrisie Styles BoutiQue. So she sold her tuck and invested in a storefront. It was exciting getting to watch Chrisie and her team do all the renovations and decorating firsthand via social media.
We are proud of what Chrisie was able to accomplish even during a pandemic. While most businesses were closing their doors (temporarily or permanently), she was building hers. That takes a special someone.
Check out and support Chrisie Styles BoutiQue located at 23 E. Broad Street
Burlington, New Jersey
QSM: You went from and e-commerce, to a mobile boutique to now having a brick and mortar. That deserves some major congrats! Before we talk about the boutique let’s start from the beginning. I remember when we met some years ago, you mentioned that you were looking into buying a truck and opening up a mobile boutique (which you did). Can you tell us a little bit about the pros and cons of the mobile boutique?
Chrisie: Having a Fashion Truck was fun, innovative, and also harder than most would think. I will talk about the pros & cons from my last year with her. I will start with the cons, festivals were a bust most times! The weather was my biggest challenge. If it was too windy or raining, I couldn't set up a welcoming outdoor display. Which wouldn't attract new customers that were just driving by. To people passing by it was just a truck parked on the sidewalk. If there was thunder & lightening, I would have to worry about lightening striking the generator. Which meant, I just wouldn't open on those days. The pros were being able to finally get a regular location and be able set up daily. This helped with customer retention. I had lots of repeat customers. My clientele diversified tremendously during that year.
QSM: There are so many boutiques popping up. What made you want to open one as well? And what sets you apart from your competitors?
Chrisie: Yes, there are lots of boutiques opening everywhere. Opening a shop kind of just happened. It happened so fast, I couldn't stop it.
I feel CSB stands out because I cater to mature women. Women who have careers, are in active relationship, active lives after retirement, and worship. So they want to look good. When I buy, I keep this woman in mind. I ask myself, who's wearing this? Where is she going? I don't always get what just arrived from my suppliers. I started from their older collections and work forward.
QSM: What was the ultimate decision behind you selling the truck? And why go from the truck to an actual store?
Chrisie: Beyoncé broke down the down the year before and my mechanic put a Band-Aid on it, which bought me a year without any problems. When my year was up, the steering column broke, which was very expensive. During the time she was in the shop, there wasn't any revenue because my customers like to come to the truck. After six weeks I got her back and she broke down two more times back to back. So I cried then threw in the towel. Having a store was always on my list of goals without any time frame. I walked into a hair salon one day and one of the stylist recognized me and asked about the truck. I told her it broke down and I was trying to figure out my next move. She connected me to her friend that was a realtor. And within two days I was looking for a space.
QSM: The moment you signed the lease for your store we all got to witness it come to life. You and your team did the hard labor right before our eyes. Do you think it created a more personal connection between you and your potential customers? Or were you just showing off your skills? lol
Chrisie: I kind of vanished for a few months and my followers were wondering what was going on and where was I? Once I went under contract, I began to tease them with social media posts of beautifully designed retail spaces and windows. Allowing my followers to see the whole process helped with The Comeback! I do believe sharing created a deeper connection to my customers. And yes I wanted to show off too. Because people don't really know me, so I wanted to share that side of myself. People come in and walk right over to a certain project that they were admiring while getting built to commend me on a job well done.
QSM: You are still operating your online store as well correct?
Chrisie: Yes I do still have my online store. A web presence is critical these days. The link is www.chrisiestyles.com
QSM: In terms of managing inventory, is it difficult having both and online and an actual store?
Chrisie: Managing inventory could possibly be difficult for some. But not for me, I use an ecommerce platform that keeps track of inventory and sales. Which makes this whole process very easy.
QSM: What can people expect when they walk into your store?
Chrisie: When a women walks into CSB, she can expect to feel as if the red carpet was rolled out for her. She will get one on one attention from myself and or a member of the team. Even when the store has more than one patron, each of them are treated as if they're the only one in the room. The experience is personal. I make it my business to remember their name, what they like to wear, and what parts of their bodies, they're uncomfortable with. This helps me buy for them and I can point that out when selecting pieces for them to sample.
QSM: You are running your own business while still working a 9-5 correct?
Chrisie: Yes I do still work a fulltime job. I am a Railroad employee.
QSM: I am so proud of you. I promise you as soon as the air clears (literally) I will be there to support you. Until then I pray for nothing but success. Tell everyone where they can come and support you.
Chrisie: Thank you so much. And thank you very much for your interest in featuring Chrisie Styles Boutique once again. The Chrisie Styles Boutique storefront is a collaboration between my daughter Caprice who owns Pretty Couture, catering to sizes small to large and my friend Cynthia Pidgeon of Cindilou Bags. She sells handbags and fashion jewelry. We are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10-7. We're located at 23 E Broad Street, Burlington, NJ 08016