Joni Kilgus and Amber Barsema share trends from The Spotted Owl and how they got into retail
We are two sisters who own and operate a boutique in the small central Illinois town of Fairbury, IL. It is located in an old home that has been turned into a retail store, which makes the location unique. After a year in business, due to a high demand we started offering all of our clothing online. We maintain a private Facebook group with over 11,000 members that helps promote our clothing, give style ideas, and create a community with the women who purchase our clothing. We use all “real life ” models from our home town and strive to provide high quality, fashionable yet functional clothing for women of all ages and sizes. Our l storefront also carries baby and kids items and home decor.
One question we get asked frequently was if we had experience in retail. Joni was a teacher turned stay at home mom and Amber was a social worker and a stay at home mom. Joni’s kids had grown and were in school and the dream of owning a boutique started forming. We saw an opportunity when a former store was closing, and took a risk. Amber came on board to run the online store. Our original dream was create a unique shopping experience in our hometown. We were both raised in this town and saw a need for small businesses to keep our community thriving and have a reason for people to visit our town. When we started selling our clothing online, we were able to extend our reach which not only helped us to sell online but to introduce people to our shop and our hometown. We offer in store pickups for the busy mom or professional that doesn’t have the time to shop in store. We personally try on all the clothing and give one on one advice to our customers, especially those shopping online that are nervous about the fit. We work with a local photographer and a variety of local girls to showcase all of our clothing on real models. We offer sizes small through 3x and we love helping all women find something that makes them feel confident and special.
We offer fast shipping (usually a turn around of 24 hours) and affordable prices on unique pieces. We also have a generous return policy. We want our customers to have the convenience of modern day shopping, but the personal small town customer service.
This next weekend is a huge event in our town. Our local dirt track will hold the Prairie Dirt Classic which almost doubles our population. The local businesses team up to provide sales and incentives for our local customers and the visitors. The Spotted Owl is within walking distance from the track and holds an annual Side Walk Clearance Event. For those who can’t come to town, we will be having additional sales online and we are offering free shipping the whole month of July. We are also going to offer an online coupon/promo for anyone viewing tonight.
Use code ciLiving and receive 15% off any online order in the next 24 hours.