Boutique Spotlight: Southern Couture
Q&A with Owner/Buyer: Brandee Loving
I think it’s important to highlight some of the amazing retailers who carry Count Me Healthy. Most of the owners are stylish, strong women who have worked hard to grow their businesses. Learning their stories is inspiring and I wanted to share.
I’m kicking off my Boutique Spotlight blog with Southern Couture, a chic store with a feel that’s a little like “Spring Street in Soho” right in the heart of East Memphis. Southern Couture has been featured in Glamour, Shape, InStyle, and Lucky.
Featured lines: Tibi, Milly, Envi, Liquid, Tolani, Yohana Barash, Graham and Spencer, Gypsy 05, Amanda Uprichard, Yumi Kim, Red Engine Denim,12th Street by Cynthia Vincent, Young, Fabulous & Broke, Splendid, Velvet.
CG: How did you get started as a boutique owner?
Brandee Loving: I have always wanted my own store. I started at another boutique when I was 18 and it was there I learned that I loved the business. I finished college at Ole Miss, studied in Europe for 6 months and moved to NYC to attend the Fashion Institute (FIT). NYC wasn’t the city for me though and I returned home. I started working at the same boutique I had in college and did all of the buying and managing. In July 2007, I decided to finally open my store! My grandfather said he would help open a boutique for me one day. He kept his promise, but passed away shortly after. The butterflies I use throughout my store’s marketing and advertising are actually in honor of my grandfather who inspired me to follow my dream.
CG: What are some of the challenges you face as an owner?
BL: So many challenges!! Making sure I stay within budget, making sure all the customers are happy, and buying the perfect items for every age range.
CG: You are also the buyer. Are the styles you carry a direct reflection of your style? Describe your style?
BL: Some of the styles are a reflection of me. However, I must reflect everyone’s style and personality to appeal to a wide range of customers. I would say my style is very mixed. Some days retro, some glam, but I’m always comfy. Many people say that I put the most random things together and make an outfit. I never “match” but I make it match. Customers also love that about me because it makes them pass their personal style boundaries.
CG: Love the name “Southern Couture.” Can you tell me how you chose this name?
BL: I had a designer tell me one time that my style was very southern couture. Then I had a girlfriend say the exact same thing to me. I emailed all my designers and they LOVED it. They thought it was perfect for a store in any city or hopefully for my clothing line one day!
CG: Managing a business and doing all of the buying has to be stressful, especially during the holidays. What do you do to stay healthy?
BL: Staying healthy?? Hmm… that’s a tough one. Drinking smart water, working out, and I’m working on finding other ways.
Southern Couture (formerly Wink)
6150 Poplar Avenue Suite 131
Regalia Shopping Center
Memphis, TN 38119
Phone: (901) 682-1128
fb profile: www.facebook.com/southerncoutureboutique