Business Name: Blue Kite Boutique
Location: 1103 Oak St., Downtown Conway
Website: www.bluekiteboutique.com and facebook.com/bluekiteboutique
Date opened: Opened August 2012 and moved downtown September 2013
Number of employees: 1
What type of business is it? Retail
What specifically does your business do? We sell affordable clothing (all under $40), jewelry, decor, and gifts, and specialize in handmade items from local people. We also offer classes taught by people who make items for the store. Classes range from Yoga to jewelry making and card making to knitting and more!
Owner Name: Marla Stanton
Why did you decide to open this business/location? I wanted a place to sell my handmade items and the opportunity to provide the same for other local people. Although we now carry more than just handmade items, the handmade aspect is the heart of Blue Kite. We moved to Downtown Conway, because we feel like it’s the best fit for us. We love Downtown!
What is the best part about owning/operating this business? I love meeting all the really talented people in the area and turning around and providing unique and affordable products for customers.
What has been the biggest surprise that has happened since opening this business? People really value handmade items. I think it’s nostalgia from their mothers or grandmothers making things, or it’s that they are getting really unique items that they’ve never seen. People like being one of a kind!
What is the best piece of advice you received before going into this business? Stay true to yourself. It’s so easy to try to be like other businesses, but we really try to stay true to Blue Kite and do what we feel is right for the store.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in business? Do your homework. Know ahead of time what it will take to truly be a business owner. It’s really rewarding, but it’s very hard work!
What makes your business unique to Conway and Faulkner County? One thing is that we offer a marketplace for local people to sell their items. I think the most unique thing, though, is that a portion of every single sale goes to the Blue Kite Project. Right now we’re raising funds to feed malnourished children in the Philippines. People can learn more about both of those aspects of Blue Kite at www.bluekiteboutique.com.