Names: Alyssa Thomas, Bethany Thomas, Melanie Thomas
Location: Chicago, IL (Lincoln Park & Hyde Park)
Business: Comfort Me Boutique
1) What is Comfort Me?
Comfort Me is a boutique offering women's apparel, accessories, home furnishings and gifts. Our concept is comfort for the mind and body but not just in the literal sense. Not only do we carry clothing that is comfortable to wear and things to make the home comfortable, but we also support as many local and independent artisans as we can. This way, our customers can feel good and comfortable about what they're purchasing. Retail therapy can "help" the customer and those that they're supporting, as well!
2) How did you launch Comfort Me?
It started with an idea that my mom Melanie had to open a gift store carrying things to "comfort" people, if they were going through a hard time like a break up, or if they were sick, etc. When my sister Bethany and I became involved, we wanted it to be more of a lifestyle boutique because we had an interest in fashion. And the idea grew from there.
3) Why did you start Comfort Me?
We started the business because it was a dream of my mom's to open a store and after she survived breast cancer, she decided it was now or never. Bethany and I didn't think twice about whether or not it was something we wanted to do. We were so lucky that our mom was, and still is, healthy, and that our mom presented this amazing opportunity to us at such a young age. She really believes in us.
4) What makes Comfort Me innovative/new?
Our merchandise mix is different from most other stores since we carry clothing and jewelry plus a mix of new and vintage home decor and gifts. Also, almost all of our merchandise is made in the USA or fair trade. Another thing that I believe really sets us apart is that we pride ourselves in customer service. Many of our customers appreciate the fact that we are a small, family-owned business and we are always here to help them with whatever they need, or just to hang out and chat every once in awhile!
5) What's your ultimate goal for Comfort Me?
I just want to run a successful business and continue to be happy with what I'm doing everyday.
6) What's been your favorite thing about starting your own business?
Probably being surrounded by something that we created and believe in and getting to share that with everyone who walks through the door.
7) What are you work day essentials?
K. Hall Pomegranate Hand & Body Cream; Altoids; post its; music (I'm currently listening to the Van Morrissen Pandora station); mini Chocolove bars (We have them on our counter and I stare at them everyday. I am now addicted.); and my Sterling & Burke Beatrice bag
8) What advice would you give entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business?
If you believe in it and you're willing to work hard, just go for it. YOLO.