Looking back, Lyn Cotton says she probably knew long ago that her love of fashion would drive her to a future career. After all, her last name is a material.
"It all started when I was a lot younger," says Cotton. "Even in elementary school, I used to make clothes."
Like many people, though, Cotton took the college track. The Dayton native got a Bachelors degree and then a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in criminal justice. She worked for the federal government after college, holding down positions in the Social Security office and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
But something was missing. Cotton had always wanted to own her own business. More specifically, she’d always wanted to run her own boutique.
"I started researching how to do it two years ago," says Cotton. Over time, she realized how cool a career in fashion could be if she managed to pull it off, she says – buying trips, making her own hours, being her own boss. Most of all, she liked the idea of helping others find pieces they’d love to have in their closets.
Three months ago, she quit her job with the government permanently and opened the doors to her new boutique Couture Couture in Over-the-Rhine.
"It was just like I had no chance to think, everything was happening so fast," Cotton says of her first night of business. She officially opened the store on April 29, during Final Friday.
Cotton says she opened the store in OTR by design, as well. She says she loved going to the bars on Main Street during her time in college, and that caused her to fall in love with what she calls a cool neighborhood.
"Every day it seems like there is something different going on downtown," she says. "I feel like this neighborhood is growing and changing at a rapid pace."
Cotton felt like the pace of the neighborhood made the timing right to open up a moderately-priced contemporary women’s boutique. She says she wanted make sure her store carried pieces from designers all over the country, including New York City, Los Angeles and Florida. Along with those fashions, she’s selling some locally-designed jewelry. All of it fits right in to OTR, she says.
"I didn’t realize there were so many people who also love downtown," she says. "But I am getting to meet them."
Each day for Cotton is a chance to work at something she truly loves. "I’m not doing this to get rich," she says. "I am definitely doing this because it is a passion for me."