In between the bustle of a picking up t-shirt orders, organizing new spring inventory, and preparing to open in a few short hours, boutique owner, Tia Whittington, sat down “Indian style” in the middle of the floor to discuss how she went from teacher to mompreneur practically overnight. With baby Whit cooing in her lap, she gave me the scoop on the secret to her success.
It Was All A Dream
A little more than two years ago, Tia walked into work as usual when she bumped into a new side hustle.
Teachers and parents were in love with a festive design she’d placed on a shirt for the holidays. By the end of the week, she was headed home with an extra $500.00 to create custom t-shirts for lots of excited customers.
Although Tia initially thought her designs would only be a hit through the holiday season, the orders kept rolling in. And in a few months, word of mouth had spread so much that Tia launched her own Etsy shop featuring clothing and accessories.
To her surprise, the shop began grossing revenue that matched her salary as a preschool teacher. And with a little nudge from family, Tia took a leap, opening H Kyle Boutique less than two months after finding a property.
Tia recalls Saturday shopping traditions with her mom and dreams of one day opening a boutique together. They shared a common love for fashion and thought a store would be the perfect way to spread that love.
Although Tia’s mom passed away, H Kyle became their dream come true.
Two and a half years later, Tia admits that there is a learning curve that comes with jumping into a new venture. She explains that being resourceful and developing relationships helps make it work.
Although she has never paid for an ad or billboard, the store continues to thrive by word of mouth and networking.
Mommy on the Move
These days, the mom of two is as resourceful as it gets – running a full-time business while also juggling full time mommy duty.
In a corner of the store, she shows me Whit’s play area – a nook she uses to occupy the baby while she tends to customers and the day to day operations of the store.
For 6 days a week, Tia and Whit make it happen- snuffing out excuses that motherhood impedes on the ability to accomplish any goal imaginable.
The secret? Tia says, “Starting, figuring it out, and trying to make it work. It’s never a perfect time. It’s easy looking at people and thinking ‘oh she has it all figured out,’ but you really don’t know what’s going on in the background. My advice: fake it until you make it.”
Spring trend to get into? Paper Bag Shorts
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion for erasing acne and blemishes
Egyptian Magic, an all-purpose skin cream for nightly moisturizing
You can shop Hkyle boutique online or in store at:
17188 Airline Hwy Suite C
Prairieville, LA 70769