CENTERTOWN, Mo. — Kelsey Ott took her passion for shopping and made it a business. Pink Poppy Boutique has transformed a residential basement in Centertown into a stylish shop with shoes, jewelry, clothing and accessories.
Take the gravel path down Anderson Lake Road, where a few brick homes are scattered along the water. That's where the Ott family is raising two children and selling fashionable items to the community. Ott started her business adventure on a whim when she was looking for a side job between her nursing shifts at a local hospital.
"I love shopping and wanted to see if I could run my own business, so I thought what better way than to buy clothes to make other people look good," Ott said.
Although some find working from home a distraction, Ott said it creates an intimate space for shoppers and allows her to be closer to family.
"It makes it more of a personal experience," Ott said. "When the girls come, they can bring their kids it's more of a family-oriented environment."
Running a clothing business is more than having fun shopping. Hours of invoicing, unpacking boxes, creating price tags and more easily take up her day. She uses her Facebook page to promote and sell pieces. Customers can comment their interest in an item and get dibs on a first-come, first-served basis. Since most of her customers are local, they pick up from the shop.
Once a month the boutique hosts "Stop and Shop" events for customers to view and purchase products. To celebrate fall and the business' second birthday, the event will include wine and snacks for a "Sip and Shop" on Oct. 15. The fall collection includes seasonal favorites — lace, plaid, mustard yellows, olive, booties and floral prints.
Ott travels to goods and services markets to select products that are common to what her customers typically purchase. She looks for quality vendors who use good fabrics and styles that are young, contemporary and have potential to look flattering on all body types.
By purchasing a limited quantity of products, she is able to provide customers with trendy selections and keep the value of her products.
"My motto is 'freshly picked for you,' so I order small quantity of products to ensure that it stays unique and that half of the local vicinity doesn't have the same item," Ott said.
Since she didn't know what to expect when she began, Ott said she is thankful for the success and excited for what the future holds for Pink Poppy.
"It took a while to build up what I have now and it's not just buying clothes and reselling them it's a lot of time, but it's totally worth it."