National Women’s Small Business Month Series Q&A Featuring Mandy Phillips of B.loved
October is Women’s Small Business Month in America! To celebrate, we’re featuring Cherokee-based women-owned businesses all month long. These inspiring stories will shed a well-deserved light on their incredible leadership, business acumen, and resilience.
This week, we’ll hear from Mandy Phillips of B.loved – a women’s clothing and home décor boutique located in Downtown Canton. Follow along on cherokeega.org and via social media to like, follow, and share.
How has being in Cherokee helped grow your business?
Having a storefront in Canton is great! During our time here, I have created wonderful relationships with many of our customers. I truly love the small-town feel that Downtown Canton offers. Over the last few years, Cherokee has truly grown, and I think the continual growth has allowed the store to grow as well.
What led you to pursue a career in fashion?
My love for fashion inspired me to pursue a career in fashion. I really began finding my sense of style around my sophomore and junior year of high school. During my senior year, I completed my senior project on owning a boutique. After high school, I continued my education at American Inter-Continental University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Marketing.
You started B.loved online and packed orders from your parents’ basement. Now you have a successful storefront. What advice would you give to other small businesses who are wanting to grow/scale their business?
When I started B.loved, we started very small. I think that starting on a smaller scale allowed me to learn and grow. Although we started online, we were still able to grow a local customer base. Some of our online customers started visiting us in our basement to shop in person, and several of these customers still shop at our storefront today. I think it is important to believe in yourself, trust the process, and don’t give up.
What are some of the most popular items that you carry in your store?
Our most popular items are our shoes and handbags from the leather company BedStu. Our customers also love our B.loved candles, anything from Free People, and our handmade jewelry. Our goal is to carry unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that are high quality.
What is your favorite part of being a small business owner in Cherokee?
I love that we are located in such a thriving community. I always dreamed of having a hometown store where I could pursue my passion, but it has turned into so much more. I have gained relationships with people in the community, built strong relationships with my coworkers, and my days are filled with doing what I love.
What is your favorite Fall activity in Cherokee?
Riverfest is my favorite Fall activity in Cherokee.
To shop B.loved, check them out on social or visit https://shopbloved.com/.