Thursday, July 16, 2015

5 Questions for Jacqui Nelson, Ultimate #Girlboss

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Meet Jacqui, the face behind Swanky J Boutique - the adorable and affordable online shopping site featured in my last post. As you know, I just adore finding and connecting with small businesses - it's super rewarding to support someone that you're able to make a personal connection with. Want to know what it's like running your own fashion boutique? Read on - and don't forget to enter to win the adorable necklace Jacqui's wearing in the photo here!

PS: You can use the code SWANKYMAYXO for 15% off your purchase at Swanky J through the end of July!

1. What was the motivator behind creating Swanky J Boutique? When and how did you become interested in running your own online shop?

 I have been an entrepreneur since I was 21. Working for myself and creating my own life has always been so important to me. My dream has always been to start and run my own business, I just needed to figure out what I could do that I could be super passionate about. I have always had a huge appreciation for fashion and jewelry. I ran a very successful jewelry business for 6 years prior to starting Swanky J. After I had my daughter last fall I got a part time job at little boutique and fell in love with retail. I went to my husband and told him I found what I could do and do well. Swanky J was born. We are 100% online because my husband's job is so unpredictable. Once we get settled where we are going to be living we may open a brick and mortar. A newfound passion/ obsession of mine :)

2. What is the story behind the name "Swanky J Boutique"?

My husband and I were racking our brains trying to figure out what to name the shop, so he was spitting out any and every girlie type name you could think of... J Nelson Apparel, Swank, Swanky (+ a million more) then he quickly said Swanky J and I said, stop right now -- that's it! I love that I am the J behind the Swanky and also that our daughters initials are SJ and so is our other baby, our business! It was the perfect fit! 

3. What would you say is your mission behind the shop? What are you striving to do/what's the end goal?

 My mission is and will remain that I want women to be able to buy super cute, on trend and quality clothes, jewelry and accessories at a reasonable price. Clothes that are going to last through the seasons & they can make amazing memories in. It stinks when you're online shopping and you really want the entire look the model is wearing but you can only afford one of the pieces. I want my customers to spoil themselves with the entire outfit and not break the bank! 

4. What is your advice to other ladies looking to start their own small business?

 My advice would be to set realistic goals with a time line, have a well thought out business and marketing plan and have adequate funding! People may think starting a business is easy and maybe I make it look easy (which is great) but it is SO much work. I love the saying, I don't have a "9-5". I have a when I open my eyes to when I close my eyes. I do it because I love every minute of it and it never feels like work. One more thing, whatever you decide to do, make sure it's something you are head over heels in love with. People can tell when you're faking it! 

5. What's your favorite item in the shop currently?

 This is a really difficult question because I hand pick every piece we carry so I literally love it ALL! But if I had to choose I would say our American Girl dress in either red or yellow! It's so girlie and feminine! The fit is perfection too! Throw on some statement jewelry and some wedges and you're good to go! 

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