Ashley Alderson is from Bowman, North Dakota, and although she now lives in Wisconsin, she says growing up in a small town in the Peace Garden State is where her love for unique fashion came to be.
“That’s really what boutiques are, it’s not about selling products it’s about building confidence. So for me building a voice for people like me in the Midwest and anywhere really in the globe that isn’t New York and L.A., I think it’s more important than ever,” Alderson said.
After establishing a network geared toward connecting these shops with customers, Alderson saw a need for something more.
“What we realized was small business owners really more than just another platform to interact with consumers they really needed one another,” Alderson said.
In 2013, The Boutique Hub came to be, which provides resources for owners and a place to come together and share ideas.
“From business education to live events and conferences to shopping wholesale to someone to just be a voice for our industry,” Alderson said.
Despite its negative impact on small businesses, Alderson says the pandemic has also allowed for education on tools social media marketing.
“Our industry will change because every small business owner that’s traditionally brick and mortar will have to find an online revenue stream, to sustain themselves so we will go heavy into e-commerce, live-selling building mobile apps,” Alderson explained.
So, whether you’re using a virtual shopping cart or a real one, the message about the importance of shopping locally stays at the heart of Alderson’s business plan.
“Shopping small isn’t just a tagline that we celebrate once a year on small business Saturday, it’s literally a way of life for millions of Americans and so it’s more important than ever if you’re looking for someone to support your kids’ baseball team or who’s paying local taxes or who’s employing local families it’s small business owners,” Alderson said.
The Boutique Hub now has over 6,000 members across the U.S. To see those in North Dakota, click HERE.