We chat with the owner of Curate Boutique about her recent transition from a brick-and-mortar store to a redesigned retail site and her exciting new lifestyle blog, Radiant Rogue.
The retail world is changing. No one knows that better than Courtney PeGan, who chased a dream – inspired by her late father – and opened Curate Boutique, a Hyde Park-based women’s clothing and accessories shop in 2013.
“Growing up, my dad had his own business for 40 years, so that was normalcy for me,” says PeGan. “I grew up working with the family and I saw how fulfilling owning your own business can be. It was always my end goal that I wanted to do my own thing.”
Over the course of her first two years in business, PeGan hosted events in her store, donating a portion of sales and 100 percent of raffles to her father’s foundation. In May 2014, she was able to award her first four-year scholarship to a local senior hoping to attend school. “It was so exciting to see all of the hard work pay off and to be able to positively impact someone’s life,” she says.
But along with the successes, there were also struggles. Primary of which, PeGan says, was the adaptation needed to accommodate changing retail behaviors that were making a dramatic shift toward digital. “I am an entrepreneur with a headstrong belief that there is nothing I can’t do myself – but this typically gets me in trouble when it is time to move heavy furniture,” PeGan laughs.
Turns out, she did need to move heavy furniture, because she made the decision to close the storefront in June 2015 and focus solely on the boutique’s digital efforts.
“Being my own boss and owning Curate Boutique was my dream. When I opened the doors to Curate in early 2013, my entire life changed. I loved working for myself. Even when I worked more hours per day and week than ever before, I felt energized and excited. It was easy to pour my whole life into it because I loved it, and I believed in myself and my tenacity. Unfortunately, wanting something and working hard doesn’t always yield business results that can pay the bills.”
After a two-month hiatus to redesign the website and logo, PeGan recently launched her new online-only boutique. She says the new Curate Boutique website makes it more user friendly, and more interactive with customers. In addition to Curate’s new e-commerce site, PeGan also relaunched her blog, now titled “Radiant Rogue,” to inspire her customers and reach them on a more personal level as she did in her store. “I loved connecting with shoppers in store,” she says, “and I wanted to preserve that personal connection in a digital way. I see Radiant Rogue as an opportunity to share my journey both personally and professionally.”
PeGan says she wants her journey of inspiration, risk-taking, adaptation and perseverance to inspire others. “I hope my story strikes a chord with some and inspires them to keep fighting for their dreams,” she says.
With the new streamlined business concept, PeGan says that lends itself perfectly to the new “Capsule Wardrobe Project” concept she’s excited to launch in the near future. According to PeGan, the Capsule Wardrobe Project is loosely defined as a seasonal wardrobe limited to 36-50 pieces of mostly high quality wardrobe essentials plus a few seasonally trendy pieces that mix and match easily. “The idea is that limiting the number of options in your closet doesn’t have to limit your personal style at all,” she explains.
To learn more, visit www.curateboutique.com. Use the code CHICFALL20 to save 20% on all new fall arrivals this week (expires Sept. 19).