How did this business get started? Mother and daughter partners Vivian Vickery and Jessica Byrd opened Simply Country, a women’s boutique clothing store, on St. Patrick’s Day one year ago. “We started the business online first, about six months earlier,” said Vivian. “It started with a website, where customers could order our clothing online. We developed a lot of dedicated, loyal customers. Because we are from the Fayetteville area, we also wanted to get more involved in the community. We took a big leap of faith and decided to open a storefront. We held a soft opening for our family and friends first, and then held a grand opening for the public on St. Patrick’s Day in March.”
Why did you choose this business? “We both love clothes and shoes. It’s our obsession. Mom is country oriented and I’m more boutique clothing oriented,” said Jessica. “We like to dress people up.”
What is the economy’s effect on the business? “We have only been open for a year, so it is hard to gauge the economy’s effect. So far, January has been the hardest month, since the Christmas holiday,” said Vivian.
When is your busiest time? “Our busiest days of the week are Thursday and Friday, and sometimes Saturday,” said Vivian.
What are some of your most popular products? “Dresses are very popular. We carry many one-of-a-kind styles. We have many colors and patterns to choose from. New inventory is added every couple of weeks. Some of the dress styles we sell include the floral silk dress, the tank dress, the lace top, the Rock and Roll dress with a hi-lo hem, the bell-sleeved little black dress and the T-shirt dress,” said Jessica. “We also carry custom designed jewelry and Ts and do monogramming.”
What store sales are coming up that you want people to know about? “To celebrate our one-year anniversary we are holding a special bag sale beginning March 17th," said Jessica. "Check our Facebook page for details. The bags will cost $10, and for our first 50 customers, whatever fits in the bag will have an amazing discount. The items that don’t fit in the bag will also be discounted, but at a different rate.”
What is the best part of owning this business? “The best part of owning a business is being your own boss,” said Jessica. “I enjoy helping customers. People often come in the shop not knowing what they want. We help them to put the right outfits together. We have both chic boutique and country-style fashions. People can mix and match.” Vivian agreed, saying that she enjoys putting people and the clothes together. “It’s fun. We want people to be happy when they walk out our door,” she said.
What is most challenging about running this business? “Right now, what is most challenging is getting the word out that we have a new physical location on Cumberland Road in Fayetteville. We want people to know that we’re here and that we have a great line of fun and stylish one-of-a-kind fashions that includes tunics, hoodies, ponchos, dresses, jeans, shoes, boots, hats, belts, totes, jewelry and more,” Jessica said.
What else would you like people to know? “We want people to know that good customer service is our main goal. We provide online shopping on our website, simplycountryboutique.com, or customers can order online and then pick up their order in the store. We also offer personalized shopping for our customers. Tell us what you want, and we will help you find it.”