Sophomore Stacie Wallace of Richmond is losing no time in living her dream. She is the proud founder of Kentucky Kouture.
After working in a local boutique throughout high school, Stacie knew her dream was to someday be a boutique owner. She admired the family-owned feel of her employer and the flexibility that came with owning a small business. Later, after working a corporate-based job where the business skills were great but the atmosphere wasn’t the same, Stacie compared the two opportunities and found the best fit for her future.
After serious consideration, Stacie decided to go ahead and open the online boutique Kentucky Kouture the summer after her first year at EKU.
“It was kind of funny, because I learned a lot from my dad about business, and he came up with the name,” Stacie said. “We were just talking about my plans at dinner one evening and everyone was throwing out names, and when my dad suggested Kentucky Kouture, something about it seemed to stick.”
A lot of thought went into the design of her new business. The website itself is simple, fresh, and easy to navigate. Currently, the merchandise sold there is wholesale, but Wallace hopes to broaden her selection through markets in hotspots like Gatlinburg, Tenn., or Atlanta, Ga. A trip to Gatlinburg is already in the making.
“Right now all of the clothes I offer are in a sort of mini-shop in an extra bedroom. Sometimes I let friends and family come through and browse. It makes me excited for the future, when I’ll open a brick-and-mortar store, but for now it makes it easier to make sure everything ships within 24 hours of an order.”
As a business management major, her classes helped her understand the technical steps. She formed an LLC and got a small business loan to purchase stock. Being a sophomore, Stacie says, “I know I still have a lot of classes to take, and I can’t wait to see how they’ll better my business. Of course, I could see myself working a corporate job with the skills from my degree, but the ultimate dream is to save the profit earned online, and open a brick-and-mortar storefront in three years after graduation.”
For now, visit kentuckykouture.com and check out the entrepreneurship of a future EKU School of Business alum.
-written by McKenna Bowling, Student Assistant
Office of the Dean, EKU College of Business and Technology