By Katarina Velazquez Greeley Tribune, Colo.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Emilie Casseday often gets emotional when she thinks about how she turned her dream of owning a boutique into reality -- "I'm not going to cry anymore," she said playfully -- but she credits a lot of her success to her faith.
Greeley Tribune, Colo.
Emilie Casseday has dreamed of owning a boutique ever since she was a little girl. Even at a young age, it made sense to her.
"I always loved clothes and I always loved shopping," she said with a laugh. "So I think to me, in a little girl's brain, it was like, 'Well, then I'll just own a shop.' "
And now she does.
Almost a year to date of starting Blush Boutique Co. in her basement, Casseday, 31, opened a storefront Dec. 6 in downtown Greeley at 805 8th St., Suite 100, between Mariposa Plants and Flowers and The Nerd Store.
The shop is a women's fashion boutique and gift shop that sells primarily women's clothing, alongside jewelry, unique home items such as pillows and teapots and more.
There's also a selection of goods for men and children.
Before opening a storefront, Casseday wanted to start small and make sure a clothing boutique such as hers was something that would be profitable in Greeley.
She primarily ran the business out of her basement, hosted pop-up events and attended trunk shows, among other retail opportunities. After receiving positive feedback from women in the community, she said it was time to get a little bigger.
On Blush's grand opening day, the 1,750 square-foot store was jam-packed with people from all walks of life, Casseday said. She boasted nearly 200 sales -- more than what she got in one month when running Blush out of her basement.
"It was apparent that this was something Greeley wanted," she said.
Blush has two main focuses: affordability and comfort, Casseday said. Also, most everything in the store will be sourced locally, ranging from coffee from NoCo Coffee Company to tea from Free Leaf in downtown to jewelry and clothing from Greeley artists. Giving back also is important to Casseday, and 10 percent of Blush's sales each month will go to a different charity or foundation, local to global.
"Good fashion should be attainable," she said. "I'm probably offering something that's already here (downtown), but for a different demographic. One of the biggest pieces I feel like I'm offering is a place to build community for our younger women generation."
Casseday opened her store now because she wants to capitalize on downtown's tremendous growth, but more importantly, she's proud of what Greeley is becoming. Originally from Evergreen, Casseday admitted it took her a while to warm up to the known "cow-town" city. But now, it's a vibrant and sensible place to open a business like hers, she said.
"It's like our generation realized how cool downtown Greeley really is," Casseday said. "There's something special about it, and there's an energy and excitement that hasn't been felt before ... I think it's important to invest in the city we live in."
Casseday wants clothing at Blush to be unique to her customers. She said she plans to order only one batch of a certain article of clothing, and then doesn't plan to re-order the same item again, though she might get the same piece in a different color or style. It makes her clothing more unique than anything residents can buy from a big-box store, she said.
"It keeps the integrity of the piece," she said.
Casseday often gets emotional when she thinks about how she turned her dream into reality -- "I'm not going to cry anymore," she said playfully -- but she credits a lot of her success to her faith. "God put this dream in my heart and made it into something bigger than I could have imagined," she said. And through clothing, Casseday hopes she can spread a message to the women of Greeley. "Overall, I want women to know their value," she said, "not just because of the clothes they wear, but to know they were created to be extraordinary beings. That's Blush's mission." ___ (c)2017 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) Visit the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) at www.greeleytribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.