You know, over the past seven days I have had a lot of thoughts in my head about a lot of different things going on in my life, and just from observing other people as they come into the boutique. We have hosted a few events over the past two weeks. One being, the two-day succulent bar, and the other being our normal monthly paint night. We have been trying to host more Saturday events, so that more of our customers, who have to travel, are able to attend. All in all, they have been well attended, and super fun events. I have met a lot of new customers, and finally met some that have been on line with me for sometime, that are finally able to make it into the boutique. I can say it’s rewarding to finally have you all walk through my door, and tell me your name. Something is different today though, as a new week starts, and another month finishes.
The month of March completely kicked my ass, my husband’s ass, and my staff’s ass. As people ask how were doing, and I tell them, they always say, “that’s a good problem to have”. While I agree that there could be much worse problems, it can be very draining. Many nights, Bryan and I spend hours next to each other, but on our computers. We could be shopping, or we could be working on quick books. We could be planning an event, or we could be working on the next advertisement goal we have. We are usually doing goal oriented things, and before we know it, its 2 am. If any of you have known me for any period of time, you know I have always had a very strict 9 pm bedtime. HA! Those days seem to be long gone.
I’m getting to my topic- I promise, but I need to set the stage. As I spend hours shopping for clothes each night, I always run across sizing issues, and thoughts about how we will take pictures in certain clothing, because of sizing. How do Ashley, and I be sure to take the most realistic, and functional pictures to capture our audience, and be sure you all fall in love with the pieces just as I did when I picked them out.
So, as you may or may not know, the way clothes are made in the boutique world is quite different then what you may find in a mall. Or, maybe you have ordered “boutique style” clothing off of amazon, and it took 3 months to get to you, it ran way small, and oh by the way- it didn’t have a care tag. Which makes the piece of clothing illegal to sell. If you didn’t know that fun fact- you are welcome. I can explain the in’s and out’s of what I just said above another day. Bottom line- don’t do it. I know that sometimes the cost is to good to pass up, but there is a reason. So boutique clothing is often a loose fit. Very rarely do you find a form fitted style- and if for some reason we have one, we always make it very clear! This type of style becomes very appealing to a lot of people. I am now learning why… truly, why.
Being comfortable in your own skin is hard. I bet you most of the women who come in my store, and try things on make a comment somewhere in their visit, that implies they are not happy with their appearance, their weight, or just the way they look. This may be a temporary state of mind, because maybe they are mid transformation, or this could be how they feel every single day. Maybe they are just really unhappy with how they look, the size they wear, or they just lack self-confidence. Do you really believe you are your own worst enemy when it comes to self-confidence? I see a lot of people come in who constantly compare themselves to something or someone. It could be the person they are shopping with, it could be a famous actress, or musician, or it could be Ashley, or I.
Seriously, stay with me.
When people make comments about appearance, do they always think that the person in comparison is happy in the skin they are in? Do they assume that just because someone wears a size they don’t, that they are happy about that size?
I see many different shapes, and sizes. I also see a broad age range in the boutique. I would say we have a customer base that ranges from ages 12/14- 70 years of age. WOW! That’s so many different style preferences, sizing considerations, and generation considerations when I am shopping for new items to bring into the boutique. I often hear ladies say, I have never been a size “insert whatever you want here”, and I never will be. Or, “yea maybe in 3rd grade I wore that size”. Or, maybe someone is on a weight loss journey, and is bound, and determined to get into that smaller size. GO YOU.
On the flip side of that, someone who may be a size 0 is struggling to gain weight. They don’t like the way they look in shorts, and they just want to look a little bigger than the average 8th grader. People often make comments about how it must be nice to be so skinny. Or, “I’m sorry hunny, they just don’t make them your size anymore”. I’m sorry, what? LADIES- everyone is built different, has different genes, and carries weight differently. Some ladies will struggle all their life to keep the weight off, while others struggle to keep it on. So is it really fair to make comments? I really wish we spent more time on us. The person you are, the person you want to be, and how to accept yourself for who you are. Love yourself. Love the curves you have, and figure out how to embrace your body.
Here is where I lack finding words for balance.
In attempt to figure out what styles people like, if they are trendy, or if they are simple, and what sizes are most preferred, I have learned a lot. We are working hard to expand our 1x-3x inventories, because I understand there is a huge want/need. I WISH I could get more XS. I myself would benefit from XS most of the time. When a true boutique style top arrives, I usually want a XS, but that’s hardly an option. This is a good thing for most everyone else, because in a lot of cases you can size down. I see the look on faces when they leave with the medium, instead of a large. Or, when I say on a live that my 2X girls can size down the XL. It is all about how that piece of clothing makes you feel.
We are in the business of making women feel good about themselves, and gaining confidence. I love when someone comes in and tells me they could never fit into a pair of jeans, and then they leave with three pairs, two sizes smaller than what they would expect.
My take home today-
If you are having image issues, you are not alone. If you think that the woman next to you picking out a size on the opposite end of the spectrum isn’t having image issues, you are wrong. Just because someone doesn’t open up, and express their issues with self-image, does not mean they are not struggling too. I don’t care if you are a 00 or a 22; we all have something that we don’t love about our bodies, our weight, or our looks. My goals are simply to help you overcome a fear of not being your true self, because you are worried what the world will think. Please, always consider your thoughts before they become your words, and never discount someone else ability to have low self esteem just because they look different in clothing, or appear to be perfect in pictures. While your thoughts are that they look good in everything, they may truly feel like nothing is good enough.
I hope that in your time as a customer with me, you have found happiness in the perfect top, perfect jeans, and that you just smile. The most beautiful version of you, is the happy one.
Ps- Everyones butt looks good in those Judy Blue Jeans, I promise!
Just be kind.