Can I just take a few minutes to gather my thoughts here!? I cant actually believe this is part of my life right now. A boutique? Me? Seriously? My husband as my partner, not only in life, but in business? Ha!
Funny how things happen. So, if you are new to Pretty Please, or maybe not new, but don't know our story, ill let you in on a few things!
First, I am not a fashion expert. In fact, I have spent the majority of the last ten years of my life in boots and blues. What does that mean? I am a medic by trade. I ride an ambulance. I spent many hours riding around in a vehicle that's way bigger than me, and has a lot of expensive tools on it that I was taught to half ass use in a year and a half in school. I spent time in school learning how to pass a test that lets me use all the "cool" things we have access to, in attempt to save lives, or just take people to the hospital in a super expensive taxi. While that may sound insensitive to some, I'm here to tell you, it is. The past ten years of my working life, I have become insensitive. I was out of touch with so many people and so many things, because my reality was different than my friends (friends that were not in the same job as me). I didn't have a positive out look on many things, because I rarely saw a positive outcome in the real world that I was face to face with everyday. Many times I failed to see the good in people, and would separate myself from things, and events that made me feel as if I needed to be fake. If this meant not going out with friends, because I knew my negative thoughts and attitudes would bring them down, then I would try my best to just stay home. I didn't really see how I was, or how miserable I had become, until the day Ashley and I had an argument. This was in the early days of the boutique.
Why is this relevant?
Let me back up, and bring you up to speed on Ashley and I.
Ashley and I met the summer before 6th grade. Instantly, Ashley was a blessing to my life. I didn't know exactly how important she would really be for the rest of my life at that time, but its pretty clear now.
Ash was always by my side. It could have been a fight with my parents, a bad break up, a last minute decision to move (again). Or, being pregnant, and having a baby at 19.
Ash, and I grew up,got married, shared each others weddings together, had babies, built houses, continued to grow families, and spent as many dates nights, vacas, and randomness together as time allowed. Typically, we are finishing each others sentences, and laughing about something ridiculous one of us said or did.
Fast forward again, Ash and I spent a summer drinking Mic ultra, playing with kids, and random day drinking, and date days. We are 30 now, this is what our life has come to!
Ashley is running a successful shop! Shes doing hair, fake lashes, and building her empire. One thing you should know about Ashley, shes always thirsty for more! I have to say I have always been more of a settler. This meaning, if things are going OK for me, I wont rock the boat. I am good with a baseline of "just getting by". WHAT?! Why in the world would anyone be like that? I still cant answer. I think its just a comfort thing for me. In a world of un-known, I know someone will still always call 911, and I know I can do that job. How silly. When i think about this attitude now, I laugh. My husband is just like Ashley, what's the next best thing? How can I do more, and be better? I just didn't have that in me. Mediocre was OK with me. I never aspired to do big things.
So, Ash & Jer, and Bryan and I are sitting around drinking ultras. Ashley starts talking about a boutique. Never in my life do I see myself running a boutique. Ashley lays the ground work, and talks me into this! We put our heads together, and work on coming up with a name. THAT WAS HARD. So, since Ashley already had Pretty Please Hair and Beauty, I thought it would be best to stick with the theme! We agreed to use Pretty Please Online Boutique. Before we knew it we were ordering inventory, and selling out!
Things grew fast, the demand for new items were high! Our beginning support system (the customers who have been with us from the beginning) were ready for more! Every single week! It got to the point that Ashley and I were constantly on our phones looking for the next best thing, and trying to engage our audience.
Then came the website, and the live sales on Facebook! The interaction was fun, and rewarding. I mean, the fact that were were a great combo on and off the camera was the best part!
Although Ashley and I are very much alike in most things, we are very much different in a lot of other things. One thing that made us work so well, is our taste in fashion. Many times I would send something to Ashley that she would reply to me, "I don't love it". Then many times I would reply to her with something along the same lines about something she sent to me. It was just how we were, and it worked.
Ashley always inspired me, because she was always so positive. She wants to bring out the good in people, always. She wants to brighten someones day, and always make someone feel good. That's just how she rolls. I struggle with this. I am still working on this today!
Ashley and I were doing a live sale one night (these got to be stressful as we grew). We ended up disagreeing over something, and I cant even be sure what it was. After the live we were in a heated screaming match. She went home, and I ended the day in tears. We never really did speak much about it, but one thing stuck with me. That one thing, was me being negative.
Ashley and I continued the boutique, and then one morning I got a text from her. She was yet again, following a dream, and working on bettering herself, and her future. She asked how I felt about running the boutique.
Of course I said I would take it over. I felt an obligation to our customers, and to myself. This was a chance for me to grow. I could work on bettering myself, and this was something fun. This is outside of my normal, and I would need to step up, and step out of my comfort zone. All or nothing, its sink or swim!
My husband and I took on the adventure. I am still not trying to look at it like work, but as a hobby. Its something for us to do together that doesn't involve what we have always know, the fire department , and EMS. while our conversations use to kind of naturally fall around our work, now we can find new things to talk about, and brainstorm over.
Things I try to remember everyday, is this was a choice, but I should think of it as a blessing. I have already learned so many lessons. My biggest lesson coming from my best friend since 6th grade. Be positive, and focus on how to be better tomorrow. Love everything as if your whole life depends on its very existence. Never judge someone based on their thoughts, whether of you as a person, or what you're doing in life. No one else has to walk in your shoes but you.
My most favorite thing to leave people with is the simple statement of, "Be kind". I am excited to see where this journey takes us, and I hope everyone who reads this, and supports us, is just as excited!
Until next time...