Community is everything. Here at Breathless Paper Co. we're fortunate to have an incredible extended community that reaches across the nation. We thank people like YOU for that! We also thank our retailers and stockists - those people and shops that latch onto our designs and buy into the Breathless Paper Co. philosophy.
This time, we're giving a HUGE thank you and an even bigger hug to a retailer and close friend of Breathless: Louette Boutique in Hilton Head, SC.
We talked to Heather Quinn, owner of Louette Boutique, about her relationship with Breathless Paper, her successful premier lifestyle boutique, entrepreneurship, balancing work and family, and celebrating four years in business (congrats!)
Q + A
Breathless Paper Co.: Tell us the story behind your shop. How did it start?
Louette Boutique: Louette opened in March, 2013. My Grandmother, Louette, is the inspiration behind the shop. We wanted to capture her love of style but also her way of living - loving art, classic style and the "finer things in life."
BPC: What is your shop "philosophy"?
LB: We appreciate the simple loveliness in life. Louette is a lifestyle boutique specializing in clothes "you live in" and gift/home items that marry "vintage classic style" with the new. The shop has been carefully outfitted with reclaimed wood dating back to the early 1900's. Its a family affair - my husbands company The Twelve Oaks Group designed and built the shop. I wanted to create a shopping experience - to bring back the "old" way of shopping, where you knew the store owners name, you could pop-in and chat. We want people to feel at home in Louette. I love my clients come in and say "I just wanted to pop-in, its so lovely in here. I love coming in here."
BPC: How long have you carried Breathless Paper Co. products?
LB: I have carried BPC since we opened! Its one of our staples. People run into Louette saying "I need to grab one of your cards...I just love them." BPC is a great representation of brands we seek out. Its a small, woman-owned, southern company. I seek out local/regional brands when possible. And...its a bonus that me and Jess are life-long friends.
BPC: How do you know Jessica (of Breathless Paper Co.)? Tell me about your relationship.
LB: Jess and I met in 3rd grade in Catholic school. We were on the same summer swim team together - we pretty much lived together during the summer months. Jessica has always had a love of pretty things...I can remember we would spend afternoons re-arranging our rooms..looking back we were basically "merchandising". Ha! When I began the process of creating the concept for Louette, Jess was my first phone call. She has been my mentor through this whole process.
BPC: What's your favorite BPC product that you sell? What's your favorite card saying?
LB: My favorite product right now are the Tiny Cards. They have been one of our top gifts this year. My all-time favorite card is..."Sorry" (with the horses a*s) Ha! I just feel that card says so much in so little words. The simplicity of saying "sorry" can go a long way.
BPC: Do you guys have a "best seller" card or other BPC item?
LB: "Happy Birthday You Old Bag" is our best-selling card and the Tiny Cards do really well right now.
BPC: You're celebrating 4 years in business! Congratulations. What are the ups and downs of starting and maintaining a boutique?
LB: Thank you! Honestly, this has been a whirlwind. Louette started off with a bang - we even had celebrity clients (like Stella McCartney!) seek us out in our first year. In the past four years...not only did I open Louette but I also had two babies. The upside and downside are kinda the same: the upside: I get to do what I love. But because I own my own business, I can spend time with my two girls. The downside: because I am with my girls so much, they are in the shop a lot. Its pretty stressful! I'm multi-tasking all day long and could not do it without my amazing team of Louette Ladies.
BPC: What do you like about being in Hilton Head?
LB: Living in the Lowcountry is amazing - especially with kids. I feel super blessed. I get to take my girls bike riding through Sea Pines, we go to the beach. We are outside all the time. The people are lovely and laid back.
BPC: Now that you've hit this 4-year milestone, what does the future of Louette Boutique look like?
LB: We are looking to build our online business. A lot of our regular customers live on HHI part-time. We are building our site to ensure that people can get items from Louette wherever they are. I would love to continue focusing on local/regional designers as well.
BPC: What's your favorite quote?
LB: "You must do the things you think you cannot do" -Eleanor Roosevelt
BPC: Anything else you'd like to add about being an entrepreneur and a business woman?
LB: I get asked a lot about how I started Louette. The truth is...I don't really know. It was a dream and I just did it. I've had to learn from many mistakes and spend lots of time "outside my comfort zone." But, I feel so much pride knowing that I took a risk. I'm proud that my daughters see their mother working hard and honestly, I think the biggest gift I can teach my girls is how success is not always succeeding. Most of my success has come from making really big mistakes and learning from them.
You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I think its super important to surround yourself with people that don't always tell you what you want to hear. Jessica has been such a source of inspiration for me - not only is she a very dear friend, she is a kick-ass business woman. There have been many times that Jess tells me what I DON'T want to hear. That is a true friend. I'm so lucky to have such a strong woman in my corner.