Meet the December Business Owner of the Month: Tiffany Tito
Each month, we’ll be featuring a different Supplied customer who’s totally killing it in her business. With our incredible community of girl bosses, we have a lot of business owners to choose from! If you’d like to be considered for future months, send an email to [email protected] and tell us a bit about your business, your goals, and your success story so far. If you’re selected as the business owner of the month, you’ll be featured on our site! We’d love to hear from you :)
Tiffany Tito opened her boutique not too long ago, but she’s been dreaming of it for ages. Though she always imagined opening up a brick-and-mortar boutique, she made the shrewd decision to start with an online store and work on building it up there first. She founded Le Rêve Fort Boutique (meaning “the strong dream” in French) in early November 2020, and things have been really rolling since then. Right now, she’s selling jewelry, purses, and clothes out of her home in Ansonia, Connecticut, but she’s got even bigger goals for the future.
We at Supplied had the privilege of chatting with Tiffany about what inspired her to finally take the plunge and open her boutique, along with her greatest accomplishments so far and her advice to anyone else thinking of starting a boutique. Read on for a glimpse into Tiffany’s business journey!
Why did you start your boutique?
I’ve wanted to start my own boutique for a long time now, but when COVID hit I knew it wasn’t going to be a good time to open a physical boutique. But then, a few months back, I realized I was still doing plenty of shopping even during these strange times, and other people probably were, too.
But what inspired me to finally take that leap was bigger than that. My father was a really big businessman. He and I would always talk about my big dreams and plans. I’d tell him what I was hoping to do, and he’d ask me questions to help me finetune my vision
He died earlier this year. While I may not have gotten the chance to show him what I did with all of his advice while he was alive, opening my own boutique is a way of honoring his memory and doing my best to take care of his family.
Who’s your ideal customer?
My boutique is for women who are out to create their own unique style. As for me, I don’t really have a specific style. If I like a certain product, I’ll buy it. I started my boutique to help other people build their confidence, find unique pieces they love and feel comfortable in what they wear.
A lot of girls out there struggle with low self-esteem, myself included – I want to show them they’re beautiful in their own way and they don’t have to look a specific way like everyone else. My boutique is full of fun, stylish pieces to help women create their uniqueness and show it to the world.
What’s been your greatest accomplishment so far?
Actually getting started was huge for me! But I’m proud to say that I still have momentum, even though right after I launched my store I felt a little like “...now what?” :)
My greatest accomplishments are taking the baby steps – launching giveaways, spending time posting on social media, engaging more with my audience. I’ve already had multiple sales, so I’m psyched about that!
How do your customers typically find you?
Social media has been really good for me. I spend the most time posting and engaging on Instagram, though I have a Facebook page too. To get the word out about my business, I cross promote my business on my personal accounts and use hashtags. (I’ll typically use 10 hashtags in my IG captions and then add another 20 as a comment!)
What’s a goal you have for your business?
For the short-term, I’m focusing on building my audience on social, getting more sales, and helping more girls discover their style. I’m a very introverted person, so I’m excited (and a little nervous) to get out of my comfort zone, be more outgoing on social media, and try new things!
In the long-term, I look forward to creating more jobs for other people. Nowadays, so many people are struggling to find work. Whether I hire shipping and fulfillment employees for my virtual store or people to work the register at my in-person boutique one day, I’m excited to pay it forward and help other people.
What advice would you give to someone else thinking of starting a boutique?
As someone who just started her own boutique, I have a lot of tips!
First, do your homework. At least in the state of Connecticut, there’s a lot of paperwork you’ve got to do to file and create a business. It isn’t too complicated, but it takes some work.
Then, don’t overthink it. Focus on what you want to accomplish, what your goals are, and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Stay true to yourself and have fun throughout the process so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
As far as inventory goes, keep it simple. You don’t need to spend thousands on products to open a store, you don’t have to launch with 50 products. Limit yourself to what you can do and then sell that. As your business grows, you can add more stuff. But opening with too much inventory just puts undue pressure on yourself.
The last thing I’d say is… just go for it! The world has certain ideas of what a beautiful woman looks like and what kind of bodies sell clothes, but you don’t have to be a model to show off your own products. (Think about it – you’re not selling to models, you’re selling to real people like you and me!) Everybody is beautiful, and you’ll be the most happy and successful if you embrace your true self.
Follow along on Tiffany’s business journey!
Interested in networking with fellow boutique owners like Tiffany? Join the Supplied Family Facebook group to get motivated by other girl bosses & Supplied customers!