Senior Tabbitha Bradley fulfilled her dream of starting a boutique by opening Route 46 Clothing Co. with the support of her friends.
Bradley opened the shop this summer because she loves shopping but doesn’t like the high prices. She aims to sell the clothes from her shop at the lowest prices possible.
“It was always something in the back of my mind that I wanted to do but just never had the drive,” Bradley said. “Finally, my roommate and my friends pushed me to start it.”
Bradley’s target demographic is college students because she wants to help others find affordable clothes with a minimal budget.
“As college students, we are all a little tight on money, so I try to offer my clothes at the cheapest price I can,” Bradley said.
The store is only online via Facebook. Products are announced on the Facebook page with prices so that anyone interested can comment their email to receive an invoice through Paypal. Local customers can stop by her house to pick up their purchases or she can ship them out for $5 or less.
The clothing Bradley sells is chosen from her various sales representatives. She said the hardest part is picking which clothes to sell because she doesn’t know what others like. She also sells handmade leather earrings.
Bradley runs the store from her home to keep the stress levels at a minimum. She has an extra room set aside to store all the inventory.
“I definitely filled my plate with this,” Bradley said. “I had no idea (about) all the processes I had to go through before even opening it. But after all that was done, it’s been a blast.”
Bradley is thankful for all the help and support she gets from her friends junior Danielle Ross and senior Jade Bee Wilbourne. They support her business and help her choose the clothes to sell.
Bradley’s biggest help is junior Jenna Gerke who runs all of the social media accounts. Her favorite part of the job is taking the pictures to post online. She treats the work as a part-time job, setting aside time for it each day.
“I mainly agreed to help her because I wanted to be able to help her become successful,” Gerke said.
With Gerke’s help, Bradley’s business has taken off.
“I’m crazy busy with it now,” Bradley said. “I feel like it will only get better.”
Bradley’s favorite part of being in charge of Route 46 Clothing Co. is getting to know all of her customers.
One customer is sophomore Hailee Beemer. She enjoys the affordable products that look like clothes she could get from a high-end department store. She recommends the boutique to others because of the low prices for fashionable clothing.
Beemer’s shopping experience at Route 46 has been positive due to Bradley’s friendliness and quick communication.
“Tabbitha is very easy to work with and wants to help her customers feel their best and look their best while still keeping their bank accounts up and working,” Beemer said. “She is very tentative and wants to get your items to you as soon as possible and as smoothly as possible. I appreciate that because we are all busy college students.”
Because it’s only an online operation now, Bradley hopes it keeps growing so she can someday have a brick and mortar store. After college, she plans to move back home and continue building her boutique.