On the heels of our three year anniversary bash, it seems like a great time to reflect and reminisce on how far we’ve come at Unity Boutique - that means starting at the beginning with creator and owner, Erin Thompson. Anyone who has stepped foot in the store has most likely had an encounter with Erin. Her passion for fashion and her love for all her customers is something we all admire about her. Seriously, if you’ve had the amazing opportunity to chat with her for two minutes – you know what we’re talking about! She’ll say she owes Unity’s success to our incredible customers and dedicated followers who have embraced her passion for ethical, sustainable, fashionable and affordable clothing – but we say, we owe so much to Erin for having this vision and allowing us all to support it!
Let’s learn more about Unity’s owner, Erin and what this milestone means to her!
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What an incredible journey it’s been, starting Unity Boutique in 2015. When did the vision begin and where did your love for sustainable fashion come from?
Erin: The vision began in my high school years while working at a consignment shop. I learned a kind of sustainability in “reusing” clothing and accessories by changing its owner. My love for fashion and clothing only intensified as I’ve gotten older. I feel, as most women do, our greatest “pastime” is shopping, why not use something (we are going to do regardless) - to make a difference.
Unity Boutique - 2015
What does a day in the life of a boutique owner look like?
Erin: I usually wake up around 6:30a, get in a workout, shower, sit in front of my vanity for hair & makeup, then comes the famous “picking out of the clothes”. I run some errands in the morning, and into the store by 10a. I usually start the day with checking emails and responding to time sensitive issues, then right into the never-ending to-do list. Everyday it’s different, I could be unboxing items, steaming, and tagging. Depending on what customers come in, some need assistance, somedays I spend tons of time just chatting with customers and picking out pieces for them, other (slower) days I’m task focused trying to work through the to-do list--giving balanced attention to each item, and planning/buying/preparing for the future. Prioritizing is a big deal in my world! I usually wrap up the day by 6p and head home. I try to give the evening to my personal life as I feel balance and rest are key components to feeling successful and being your best.
Unity Boutique - 2018
What has been the biggest surprise of the past three years, at the store?
Erin: How much your personal life can challenge your dreams/goals/life and knock you off your game. I lost my father at a very crucial time of growth in the life of Unity, he was my biggest supporter and much of the reason I opened Unity. It’s challenged me and my journey with Unity in ways I, before, thought were unimaginable. What you go through only makes you stronger, softer, and able to help others. I’m presently very thankful for that!
Martha (my sister) and I
What is your favorite part about having Unity Boutique in Granger, IN?
Erin: Granger is a happy, clean, full of life community. It’s a wonderful place to settle down and start a family. So I’d say my favorite part is that everyone is relatable and supportive. The people around here respond to kindness & goodness with open arms!
What is the proudest moment you’ve had at Unity Boutique?
Erin: I’m proudest in simple moments. When the store is full of shoppers, dressing rooms are busy and I’m offering advice to customers trying on items; the store vibe is happy, relaxed, and I feel like everyone has come to pick through my closet. It's these moments I take a deep breath and am completely overcome with gratitude -- sometimes I fight back the happiest of tears.
Soon to be...dressing rooms!
If you were stranded on a desert island what are three things you couldn’t live without?
- Sunglasses - cloudy or sunshine, I never leave home without them.
- Ponytail Holder - my hair would be an unruly mess with no product or heating tools, so surely I would need a tieback (although I’m usually a hair down kinda girl).
- Red Wine - because wine makes every situation better...amiright?
Who are some of your style icons?
Erin: I’ve never been drawn to “icons” - I’m a big believer in “do you” style. Whatever feels good on you-you rock that. I can find amazingness in every “icon” or stylish person I see. If I had to choose one from the past I would say Marilyn Monroe was one of the first style icons I can recall admiring. I loved her more for her “womanly curves” and sexuality. I also remember my mom being obsessed with Princess Diana, she would say how beautiful and classy she was. And I never forgot how important it is as a woman to be classy in your dress. I’m pretty much a fan of everyone in their own right.
Early on, our famous mirror has played a significant role!
How would you describe your personal style?
Erin: All American-down to earth.
What do you love most about your job?
Erin: The stories of life that come in and out of the doors, the realness and rawness of the people I meet or get the pleasure of chatting with daily. But I get most excited when New Arrivals get delivered!!!
What’s your best piece of advice to others wishing to pursue their dream?
Erin: If you don’t believe wholeheartedly in what you are doing--no one else will. Be your own biggest cheerleader! Make sure you have an incredibly understanding supportive, gentle, and all loving family and spouse. Go ALL in! Dreams are scary & incredibly risky, ride the wave (or rollercoaster) through the ups and downs, it’s not supposed to be easy, don’t give up!
My people! Martha (sister), my Dad, Brett (husband)
What’s next for Unity Boutique?
Erin: My heart feels incredibly pulled into collaborations, of what nature I’m still exploring. I’m a big believer in “organic” happenings. There are endless ideas and avenues to explore for Unity. I feel like the framework of the business has been established, and I’m incredibly proud of that, now diving into strategic future planning and narrowing in on who exactly our Unity girl is. Some of you have met Cristal, who has been an amazing friend to Unity and me over the past three years. Cristal will be a big part of the next few years as we prepare and dive into the second phase of Unity life. Stay tuned we are excited to share with you…
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