Meet Down To Earth Boutique, a brand new consignment store that features handmade products from local makers (including owner, Danielle McClure). This store is our very first Boutique Showcase, and we can’t wait to introduce you to the gem of a local shop. We caught up with Danielle just one day after she officially opened for business!
Boutique Name: Down To Earth Boutique
Date Opened: Dec. 4, 2014 (the day before we interviewed them!)
Location: 145 S. Main Ave., Tea, South Dakota
Square Footage: 1300
Type: Consignment / Handmade
Store Owner Personal Bio:
Danielle McClure is a long-time entrepreneur, she started selling scented iron bead designs when she was just 7! She shared with me that they were sold as “jewelry box scenters”…what a clever marketer! Danielle is married and has three boys, two in elementary school and one at home. She’s sold various network marketing products since she was 18 (over 10 years) and has also run an in-home daycare. This is her first venture in having her own storefront.
The Boutique Interview: Down to Earth Boutique
Q: How did Down To Earth Boutique get started?
A: It all started five and a half years ago, when my second son was a baby; I was having a really hard time finding cute crocheted accessories for him, so I decided to start making owl hats. Friends and family loved them, and the orders started rolling in! It naturally evolved into a little business that I grew to support the cost of my pageant entries (she’s ran for Mrs. South Dakota!).
Then I started getting into lip balms, salves and bath & body products. At that point I realized I needed a business name to capture my personality and the variety of products I was creating, and that’s the name Down To Earth Boutique was born.
For a few years I crocheted hats over the winter season for friends, family, and anyone who was referred to me. It was a great way to cover the extra costs for Christmas. Last year (2013) I got more serious about my crocheting business, and I started selling almost every weekend at craft fairs (along with her networking marketing company, a health and wellness line). Then two things happened that ignited the idea for a retail location: 1) I got an email from a friend asking if I had a store that he could come to to buy presents for his wife, and 2) A friend who sells jewelry asked me if I had opened a boutique and if I needed a jewelry vendor (because at that time I was already using the name Down To Earth Boutique for my creations). These two signs prompted me to start looking into opening a physical space!
Q. How did you find your current location?
A. After the two signs from friends (mentioned above), I started looking for a space that would be reasonably priced and have good structure for our products. That was around December 2013, but after searching for a few months, it just didn’t come together. At that time we quit looking and put the store dreams on hold. For a brief period of time I started an online clothing boutique, selling wholesale inventory, but my heart wasn’t in it, so after the spring/summer season we closed. I just didn’t have the heart to sell things that didn’t have a story.
“I just didn’t have the heart to sell things that didn’t have a story.”
That’s when I got serious and started talking about my store dreams with friends. These connections are what helped me find my space…I got in here before they even put a “for rent” sign on the building! We signed a one-year lease that fit our budget and our business plan.
Q. How is your vendor relationship structured?
A. Our vendors are our business partners – they’re partnered with me because they know and trust me to sell their products (through my years of craft shows and/or networking marketing). All vendors pay a small monthly fee for stocking and advertising and we keep a small percentage from what sells. We did the math to know how many vendors we’d need to break even on our rent. We currently have about a dozen, with several more coming on board over the next three to four weeks!
Q. What are your hours?
A. We’re still establishing our hours, but through the holiday season we’ll be open Wednesday through Friday 11:00-7:00 and Saturdays 10:00 to 3:00. My husband works long hours Saturday through Wednesday, so this structure works great for us so we don’t have to pay for daycare!
- Point of Sale (POS) System: iPad mini and Square card reader (next month she is getting an iPad and a Square register
- Online presence: Currently using Facebook business page as primary online presence; also using Square’s free e-commerce platform for website
- Book keeping: Binder method for vendor sales (she also keeps track using Square), and paper method for books
- Cash register: cash box
- Other: no receipt printer at this time (Square emails or texts receipts)
- Email: Danielle is using paper sign up sheet and MailChimp
Catch up with Down To Earth Boutique and Danielle McClure online at:
Congrats to Danielle for taking the leap into opening her own boutique! We’ll check in with her again in a few months for an update. Please show your support by commenting below!