Dottie Couture Boutique–local to Indianapolis but popularity online that expands across the country. Owner, Brooke Magdzinksi, is truly a super woman; an entrepreneur, fashionista, and mom of three! Brooke shares with me the evolution and inside scoop about Dottie.
Can you talk about what made you decide to open your own boutique (originally in Bloomington)? Also, I understand that the boutique hasn’t always been named Dottie Couture—can you tell me more about why you changed the name as well as moving the location to the Indianapolis area?
“I opened my first store in Bloomington, Indiana almost ten years ago (eek!), and it was called “B Boutique”. It was a higher end store than Dottie Couture, and catered to the fashion forward college student and local market. I owned that store for 3 years before selling it, and moving further north. I wanted to spend more time with my new baby, and re-vamp my business plan. As a new mom, a girl on a budget, and someone that LOVES to shop, I decided to focus on “the look for less”. I was determined to find high quality, of the moment items that were really affordable. So that I did! My Greenwood store (5 years old) initially started out with the name “Lottie Dottie Boutique”, but when the time came to federally trade mark it, I felt like it wasn’t right. So I tweaked it just a bit, but kept the most important part, “Dottie” which is my grandma’s name. She is one of my fashion icons, and represents everything ladylike to me. Once my flagship store in Greenwood was opened and established, I decided to focus on the website aspect. I was the boutique owner, photographer, stylist, and website processor, ha! My staff and I packaged orders in our back room and hand delivered them to UPS. Eventually, thanks to the power of social media we outgrew that back room, our first warehouse, our second warehouse, and now I am looking to move the warehouse to an even bigger location. It’s amazing. After the website was rolling, Dottie Couture Indy (3 years old) came next, and then Dottie Fishers (1 year old) followed.”
What has been the most difficult thing for you to overcome as an owner?
“My biggest challenge as an owner and what I work the hardest on, is how to evolve the store. How to keep things fun, new, and fresh. I want Dottie to lead the pack in the fashion industry and that means coming up with new ideas daily to keep our shoppers engaged. It’s one of the things that I feel is my strengths, but I am very self-critical, and never get too comfortable with the success of Dottie Couture. I can change overnight, so I am always focused on the “next big idea” for Dottie Couture.”
Dottie Couture has an incredible social media presence; how do you handle the demand (for Dottie)?
“Social media is insane, haha! I love it so much, and initially did it all myself, but I had to call in some reinforcements after it really picked up. There are two social media managers and myself that manage it all, and it’s a full time job, wowza! I want our socials to be a fun place to window shop and stay in the know of what’s new at DCB! I want people to get to know the Dottie girls…..the models, customer service team, managers, web team, boutique girls….all 60 something of us. Honestly, Dottie Couture isn’t just me. I could never do this without my girls, and I am so so incredibly thankful for my staff that puts my vision in motion. Our society is so driven by socials, so we continue to grow our social media presence and keep people entertained while enticing them to shop!”
What is a piece of advice you want to give young women today?
“My best piece of advice to young women today is to never settle. Life is so short. Don’t settle in your relationships, friendships, or your job. Do something every day that gets you closer to your dream. That may require a break up, removing toxic people from your life, a move, a job change. It may require you to get out of your comfort zone. Dottie Couture started with me leaving a corporate job where I was unhappy, and pursuing a “fun job” in a boutique. It has now evolved into a profitable company that brings the “look for less” across the country and employs over 60 people. It can happen. All of this was just an idea at one point. I get REALLY excited when I meet other entrepreneurs, it’s so exciting to me, and anything is possible.”
Tell me about your proudest moment or accomplishment in relation to your business?
“The thing I am most proud of regarding Dottie Couture, is how we are able to give back to the community. We have done several “Shop For A Cause” events that give directly to individuals that need our financial support, schools, or charities. It feels good to give back to the community’s that support the store. This past summer lots of my Dottie girls did the “Walk for Wishes” and I felt so proud of the type of girls we have at Dottie, such sweethearts.”
You truly are a wonder woman—you own your own business, you have children of your own, and manage to keep up with the trends & demands of fashion. How do you do it all?
“How do I do it all? Eek? It’s a work in progress! I have lots of “to do lists” haha. I sleep very little, and use almost every hour in my day. I just had a baby 3 months ago, and am forcing myself to start working out 3 times a week. It’s so hard to unplug and do something for myself, to put Dottie on pause…. But I’m doing it! 🙂 I have an amazing management team, really talented girls that help me run things. My sister is the GM of Dottie Couture, and she is literally a god sent. Such a smart, organized girl. My cousin is one of our social media managers, and the first one to come to my rescue when our socials took on a life of their own. My husband left his teaching job a little over a year ago, and works with our accountants and helps me with anything I need. You can find him behind a computer or running merchandise around to the shops, sometimes with a kid or two in tow. And my parents are my biggest fans, my mom is one of my best customers (hehe), and they both have encouraged me from the get go that I can do this. This is very much a family business.”
Last but not least, tell me what is in for Fall & Winter 2015-2016 fashion. Any must have items?
“Ohhhh must have items, let me just fill up your Dottie shopping cart for you! 🙂 My go to’s are:
A blanket scarf, leatherette leggings, fringe booties, comfy denim tunic, and one of our leatherette moto jackets. I am loving the long multistrand dainty necklaces we have in stock, and I always have on a bracelet stack. The best candles right now are spiked cider and wine under the tree from rewind! Last but not least I am obsessed with our amber blends! I like to layer the amber and envoke scents, the body cream is amazing this time of year too.”
A special thanks to Brooke for taking time to answer my questions!
Dottie Couture Boutique offers free shipping online within the USA. Shop www.dottiecouture.com and make sure to follow them on Instagram (over 74,000 followers!) to keep up with new arrivals! Instagram: @dottiecouturebtq
*All pictures were obtained with permission (Copyright of Dottie Couture Boutique).
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Until next time,