Hey Everyone! March has been a very busy month for our family, lots of highs and lows. We are continually thankful for all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and we are extremely excited for the new addition coming soon to our family!
One of the highs of this month is that one of my awesome friends has opened up her very own online boutique!
I am so excited to not only tell you all about my experience with it myself, but also to have Courtney tell you all about how and why it began! I love supporting small businesses and friends reaching their goals, and I feel that it is so important to get a backstory on how everything came to be!
So, let’s start off with Courtney explaining how it all began!
Abby Street Boutique: Introduction By Courtney Jensen
I don’t know how to tell this process except by telling you that my first and foremost desire after I had my baby Saraiah was to be a stay at home mother. Never, and I mean never, before having this angel did I ever see myself as a stay at home mom. I mean, sure, my mother was a stay at home mom and it was great! It was her greatest fulfillment and what she wanted to do with her life! I, however, always saw myself as being highly dedicated to my work as a high school teacher.
Well, we all use the word “never” and how many times do we end up eating our own words when we find ourselves in a completely different set of circumstances? That’s exactly what happened to me. I looked at my perfectly formed baby with her perfect delicate brown hair, soft smooth skin, and her pink ruffle- detailed onesie. She was curled up, sleeping in my lap. It was the only way I could ever manage to get her to sleep, and it was in this moment that I dreaded nothing more than the end of my maternity leave. Then, as if unstoppable, I cried my first few days returning to work. I was determined, however, to figure out a way to stay home with my baby. As much as I loved my kids at work, it was completely different when they were your own, and at this time in life, I only wanted to be with my angel.
Months went by and finally a way presented itself that we could change our circumstances as a family. Donald was offered a promotion at Dion’s, the only condition was that we had to move to Lubbock, TX, away from all the family and friends we knew. As scary as that idea was, we jumped on the opportunity; It seemed like the perfect time for change, even if it meant changing everything. I even sold my car so I could use the money to stay home with Saraiah 3 months earlier than we would have been able to afford because his promotion required 3 months of training. Life was all kinds of chaos as we packed up everything we valued, dreaming and planning out our new life in the unknown little-big city of Lubbock!
So here we are, over a year later, and I now have 2 babies! I got pregnant the week of Saraiah’s first birthday and we had another angel November 26th, 2018. We were so excited to be blessed with a boy this time because we knew how much fun it would be for Saraiah to have a baby brother! He was our very own, Anders. What could be more perfect than a girl and a boy? For us, we finally felt whole. We were complete.
Now, what do babies have to do with all this Abby Street Boutique nonsense?! Everything, believe it or not! I definitely don’t want to go back to a full-time job until the kids are in school, but like every one-income family knows, things get tight sometimes! Having babies is expensive! Besides the upkeep supplies like diapers, and formula, there are the medical expenses left-over from what the insurance didn’t cover, or only partially covered. Then, because Donald doesn’t want to be a restaurant general manager forever (and who can blame him when he’s missing so much time with his babies!) we need extra funding to send him back to school eventually.
So here I found myself contemplating ways I can make money from home. It seemed like a hopeless matter really because everything I googled was futile or undoable for our little family of 4. The online businesses like “It Works,” or “Young Living Essential Oils” were all a part of pyramid marketing, a tactic I really despised because it really only benefited the people at the top while the people at the bottom struggled to make any profit. Besides, you have to be “sold” on those products in order tosell those products and I wasn’t any more sold on them than your average occasional buyer. Both were incredibly expensive programs to push on friends and family. That was just not the right route for me.
Just when I was about to give up hope on any jobs I could do from my home, my sister Ashley and her friend Alicia came in town for a visit. My sister’s friend was one savvy shopper, no matter where she went. While I had no clue, what was in Lubbock besides the local grocery stores, Alicia had already googled and found some amazing local sales events. They stole me away one day, while Donald was able to watch the kids, and introduced me to my very first “boutique experience”.
The place was adorable! It was tiny, the clothes were unique and beautiful, and you could tell it was a personally owned small business. I fell in love! I always loved shopping, so much so that I was a clearance-rack queen at every store, including many thrift stores. If there was a good deal in-store or online, I was going to find it! I felt like God put a special touch on every one of my shopping sprees because I could always find incredible deals without breaking the budget.
I left that shop with one clearance item that I had bought, but what I had really left with, was the perfect inspiration on how to be a stay at home mom and still be a breadwinner. If there was something I believed in, something I had tons of experience in, and something I loved, it was clothing! I was going to start an online boutique!
So, months later, after delving into an insane amount of research, I applied for my EIN! Which officially made me an owner, then applied for my Texas Sales Permit, which allowed me to buy clothing wholesale, and lastly crafted my store, Abby Street Boutique. Why Abby? Because my favorite character in the bible is Abigail, who was “wise and determined” to protect her household. Besides all that, she was beautiful, like the clothing I wanted to sell. The verse that ties into my store is Proverbs 31:25 which states, “She was clothed in strength and dignity” it also continues, “and she laughs without fear of the future”. This verse talks about the Proverbs 31 Woman, a woman who like Abigail, is wise in how she both provides and protects her family.
Other verses of this ideal God-fearing woman also inspire me regarding my business. Proverbs 31: 16-18 state “Sheconsiders a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” In starting this boutique, I have to explore wholesale clothing, and purchase what I think will sell and try to turn around and sell it for profit. This is my “purchase of a vineyard”, while my advertising is the “planting of seeds” and I certainly hope my trading will become profitable! Proverbs 31: 24 says “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” You see, this Godly woman is not only smart and profitable, she leaves a lasting impression with her gifts. It is through all of this I have been inspired and I hope to encompass all of these biblical principles into my boutique. My prayer is that my business represents the God that I serve, provides for my family, and blesses those who come by it.
So far, my experience with Abby Street Boutique has been amazing! I am so in love with this adorable top that it that I wore it for Josh and I’s date night. What I particularly loved about it was the fact that besides being stylish, it fits my growing belly! I cannot wait to see what it looks like on after I have our little one, but I am loving it for this stage as well!
The packaging was absolutely beautiful! I am a sucker for all of the sweet details, and this was no exception! Everything arrived sooner than planned, and was not only packaged adorably, but also in a way to make sure that everything arrived at its destination SAFELY! Nothing is worse than getting a package you are so excited to receive and finding that the products inside are damaged. I love how evident it is how much attention and care goes into everything Courtney does for her new business!
I am so excited to see and support her journey as she takes on the world as well as spreading the faith in such an amazing way! It takes a lot to fully trust God in the decisions we make, but I have so much faith that Courtney’s leap will grow into an abundance of blessings!
Don’t forget to click the link down below to go and visit Abby Street Boutique and enter in the code VERON45 to get 45% off of your purchase!
Congratulations Courtney and I hope you all love her boutique as much as I do!