Business Profile: Vendors Boutique, a Store For Clothes, Bags and Everything
An interview with owner and founder Lisa Locke.
The Vendors Boutique, a store owned and founded by Lisa Locke, originally had two locations in Northeast Philadelphia (which were opened in 2008) before moving to one location in the former Mainly Shoes & More space on Germantown Avenue. The store offers space for shoemakers, bag designers, clothiers and others to sell their wares inside a retail location. It's been open as The Vendors Boutique since December.
Locke sat down with Mt. Airy Patch this week to answer a few of our questions. Here's what she had to say.
Mt. Airy Patch: What made you decide to open up here?
Locke: We liked the space, actually, and we were coming from the Northeast. Business wasn't as good there, so we were scouting out other areas. Neither one of those locations worked.
We ended up trying to find a place that was more artsy, more creative. And this was it.
We were hoping to become part of this with the gentleman who was here (who owned Mainly Shoes & More). But I think we kind of overpowered him in the sense of what he was trying to do versus what we were trying to do.
Mt. Airy Patch: What are you trying to do with the?
Locke: The purpose of Vendors Boutique is to provide an opportunity for women in business, who desire to have businesses of their own but can't afford the overhead, all the things that come with having their own business. So we incorp all the different vendors here. Whatever it is that you sell or whatever service that you have, you are able to come here and be a part of the collective and have your own business.
Pretty much, this is your business. You can have a space in the store, and you can call it whatever your business is, but you're a part of The Vendors Boutique.
Mt. Airy Patch: How do you like Mt. Airy?
Locke: I personally love Mt. Airy. I'm from Mt. Airy, I live in Mt. Airy. What took us so long to come here was just finances, and space (in Mt. Airy) seemed to be so filled at that time in 2008 and 2009. We just couldn't get in. But when the opportunity came, we came.
Mt. Airy Patch: What have you learned as a business owner that you would want to teach others?
Locke: I think the main thing that we have learned as a business is to be open to change, to economic change, to situations changing. We want to be able to adapt—you need to be able to adapt to those changes in order to survive in business. So I think that's one of the main reasons why the collective works so well.
Sharing and giving (is very important, as is) not being so afraid to step out with other people and do other things and widening your horizons.
Mt. Airy Patch: What specific items are you selling at your store?
Locke: We have, oh my goodness, a myriad of different things. We had Tupperware at one point, and people thought Tupperware was obsolete. We have Avon, Mary Kay, Flori Roberts. We have three designers that design their own clothing. I make my own handbags and clothing. We have shoes, regular clothes, regular jewelry, handmade jewelry, photography. Pretty soon we'll be starting our own modeling program, self-esteem classes, things like that.
The Vendors Boutique, 7167 Germantown Ave. Open noon to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 267-266-3187, TheVendorsBoutique1@gmail.com.