When Flower Mound hairstylist Blaire Spriggs began developing allergies to products she was using to style hair, she knew she would need to start thinking of an alternative to being behind the chair.
She thought about her passions. Fashion had always been important to her, but so were rescue animals.
Spriggs has three rescue animals of her own, and her boutique is named after her dog Charlie and cat Gracie.
Before launching at the beginning of June, Spriggs began intensely researching wholesalers who created clothing that aligned with her mission to source quality products for the casual, easy-going woman seeking effortless fashion.
She started with small orders to test items and soon found lines that fit the vision for her boutique. Quickly, Spriggs began making connections with other small business owners and formed partnerships.
“I’d love to stay that route as much as I can,” Spriggs said.
While on vacation in Mexico, she met an Atlanta-based handmade jewelry maker who started The Lumen House. Charlie & Grace is now the first boutique to sell some of its accessories.
Spriggs also connected with a former high school classmate in Oklahoma who owns custom swimwear company Barbara Burton Bathing Suit Co. Together, they designed an exclusive line of reversible suits for Charlie & Grace.
Spriggs moved to Texas about a year ago and didn’t have any experience in retail, but she discovered a Facebook group of Flower Mound women in business. Through the group, she’s found support and advice, such as being directed to e-commerce platform Shopify to build and operate her website.
“It’s amazing how other women in the community just jump behind you and really want your business to grow,” Spriggs said.
She met Erin Titensor, owner and founder of Dallas-based headband line Simple and Blush, which launched a week after Charlie & Grace. The two teamed up to offer giveaways together on social media.
“It’s amazing how other women in the community just jump behind you and really want your business to grow.”
“We’ve been building each other’s businesses,” Spriggs said.
Through Facebook and Instagram, Spriggs has been showcasing Charlie & Grace’s products through 30-45 second try-on videos in which she gives a run-down of the sizing, material, and fit of an item she’s wearing. Several items have sold out after posting videos.
“I’m not ashamed to say how much I weigh, how tall I am, what size I am,” she said. “I really feel that sets me apart because I’ve committed to posting about every item that comes in.”
In addition to shopping online, her customers also can request a private showroom shopping experience. Spriggs, with the help of her husband, has turned the second floor of her one-and-a-half story home into a showroom, complete with a fitting room and shelves and hooks with products displayed.
“As of now, I don’t have a desire to have a storefront. I like the idea of it being more personal,” she said. “I’ve been able to fit it right into my life.”
Spriggs is gearing up for her biggest launch yet—her fall collection—which will arrive over the next two weeks. As she grows her businesses, Spriggs plans to add more lines, including a shoe line.