New boutique is “Oh So Cute”: Embroidery, clothing store opens on Airline
Published 12:10 am Saturday, October 14, 2017
LAPLACE —For the past four years, Hailey Chapman of LaPlace traveled back and forth to Baton Rouge, working on embroidery projects and establishing a local clientele while balancing classes at LSU.
As graduation approached, she solidified plans to establish her own boutique, and on Aug. 18, Oh So Cute Monograms & Boutique opened at 1145 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.
The boutique offers embroidery, accessories, gifts and trendy, conservative clothing in a stylish environment resembling Magazine Street shops.
She first learned embroidery from her grandmother, Jane Chapman, who has more than 30 years of experience selling handmade infant items out of her home. Her grandmother’s dedication to her work is what inspired Chapman to pursue her own business.
Though she has years of experience with embroidery and monograms, selling clothing is a new adventure for her that she’s become particularly passionate about.
“I love when people come in and trust me to help them pick out an outfit,” Chapman said. “When they find the right outfit, they love it, and it makes them feel good about themselves.”
This week, she traveled to Atlanta to attend a semiannual apparel market and find the latest clothing trends, while also keeping her audience in mind.
Atlanta offers style with Southern flair, according to Chapman, and she prefers to sell clothes that are cute and modern, but also appropriate for women of all ages to wear.
“Anybody can find something here,” Chapman said. “It’s mainly for teenagers to, well, any age. My grandma could find something here. It’s all appropriate and conservative.”
Chapman said she focuses on keeping her prices affordable while ensuring clothing is made with good quality materials that won’t fall apart after a few washes.
“The average cost is around $30, and there’s not much over $45,” she said. “I wanted to make it to where people can come in and buy more than one thing, if they want to.”
Opening a business is a risk and a lot of work, according to Chapman, but she’s embraced the challenge, putting her entire heart into it to be successful. She’s marketed on Facebook, accumulating more than 5,000 likes, and she works at the boutique seven days a week.
Chapman said she’s still learning how to share the work burden because it means a lot to her to be at the store whenever customers are there so she can assist in any way possible. She enjoys forming personal connections with others and has made an effort to remember every customer’s name.
The experience of opening a business has given Chapman a new appreciation for local businesses.
Chapman said community response to Oh So Cute has been “amazing,” and she keeps her business locally focused by selling handmade jewelry and all natural bath bombs and soaps made by local crafts people.
“It takes a lot of courage to open a business,” Chapman said. “Sometimes people ask for things, but don’t support the businesses once they actually open. It’s a risk.
“I want people to know that just one purchase makes a huge difference, or even just telling something about it. Word of mouth is so big. If people support nice things in the community, we can have nice things and make our parish better.”
For more information about store hours and online shopping options, like Oh So Cute Monograms & Boutique on Facebook or call 985-359-3333.
— By Brooke Robichaux