This month’s Like a Boss features guest Britney Spivey, owner of Simply Chic Boutique in Bossier City. Host Sean Green, publisher and editor of BIZ. Magazine, had Britney reveal her philosophy towards style and retail shopping.
Located off Douglas Drive, Simply Chic Boutique is the original of what is now five stores franchised across Louisiana. The store sells shirts, dresses, blouses and all sorts of accessories for women.
“We asked a fellow business owner ‘How have you stayed in business so long?’ And he said that if every girl that walks in the door feels beautiful when she leaves, then you’ll never go out of business,” Britney said.
But getting to the point of opening her own shop was a winding road. Especially since the Bossier City native and Northwestern State University graduate started her career with a degree in biology.
“I was going to be in medical school. I had great grades, I was involved, but I didn’t feel like it was what I wanted to do. Both of my parents were in sales so with the biology background I did pharmaceutical sales for about two years,” she explained. “When I was traveling, I would visit all these little boutiques. I would think, ‘Why doesn’t Bossier City have this?’ There was a need.”
Her first job was in retail and her sorority sister’s involvement in fashion during college exposed her to that world. It evolved to be her passion.
“When I would lay in bed in night, I would draw the layout of the store. When it’s something like that, that’s keeping you up at night, then you know it’s what you’re supposed to do.”
So, despite a lucrative career in pharmaceutical sales, she and her husband agreed to take the plunge.
“It was scary. I knew I could make it, but it was a struggle to live on peanut butter and jelly for a couple years. I was getting married at the time so we knew before we had kids that if we were going to do it, this is the time to do it,” Britney said.
“No one is going to give you a roadmap. You have to figure out a lot of yourself. I would always say, ‘I’m blonde and I have no idea what I’m doing.’ And people would walk me through it,” she added.
Her success eventually led to the brand branching out to four other stores in Shreveport, Natchitoches, Baton Rouge and Mandeville. All of them have their own identity and offer their own unique products.
“We have three great owners. I know they love the store the same way I do. It definitely is a team, it’s all these minds going into it together.”
But when it comes to branching out even more, into the digital world, Britney believes in brick and mortar.
“We do a lot of online sales. I’m at a crossroads about online because we’re growing the store and if we really committed to online, we’d need a warehouse for that. But eventually we may look to that,” she revealed. “You still want people to come in to your store. It’s about being a boutique.”
She said her favorite thing about being in women’s fashion and retail is working the floor and forming bonds with her customers.
“I grew up around boys and have three boys now, so I enjoy working around women. I need some estrogen in my life!” she joked.
And those relationships are one of the reasons Britney feels like she’ll always live in Bossier.
“My mom passed away when I was nine and the reason I don’t think I will ever leave Bossier is I can still go out and meet people who knew my mom,” Britney said. “We were born right down the road and we’ll probably die right down the road.”
“I love going to those places that are special to Bossier,” she said. “I feel safe here. It’s a great place to raise a family and own a business.”
For more Like a Boss, check out our last episode on Kuan Lim and Holly Lim of Lucky Palace Chinese Restaurant.