If you can’t make the drive to Rockford, Ohio to peruse the fashions at Betsey’s Boutique, log onto Betsey’s Facebook page, where you can comment to purchase items online!
Betsey’s Boutique also travels, on occasion, opening a trailer of merchandise at special events and venues, such as Mack’s New Market, a vintage, antiques, and handmade pop-up sale located in an historic red barn in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The Ohio Shop Now Trending
by Holly Wuebker
As one of the first specialty shops in the area, Betsey’s Boutique was sure to start a trend, especially since they began offering designer clothing fashions. Established by Betsey Gamble in Rockford, Ohio in May 2011, the business was poised to flourish as its proprietor focused on helping women to fill their wardrobes with some of the trendiest clothes around.
Although many said it was a ridiculous notion, Betsey’s goal was to open a boutique in downtown Rockford, bringing the latest clothing trends and styles closer to home for local shoppers.
After purchasing a hardware store located on Main Street, Betsey directed workers, including her husband, to help refurbish the dilapidated building. While retaining the main layout and structure of the building, they sanded down the wood floors and refinished them, repaired and painted walls, and restored the antique tin ceiling–one of the main focal points inside the shop.
The remodeled space provokes a vintage feel while providing a warm, cozy atmosphere that is most inviting to shoppers. For its owner, the completion of Betsey’s Boutique was a dream come true.
Betsey had been a stay-at-home mother, caring for her two young boys. The older of the two was just starting preschool, and Betsey knew she’d soon be looking for something to help pass the time.
Betsey enjoyed clothes and fashion ever since she was a little girl, and she’d often imagined operating her own shop. What she hadn’t anticipated, though, was how much Betsey’s Boutique would flourish and grow in just a few years, enjoying an immense success in downtown Rockford.
When she first opened, Betsey’s Boutique had only about six racks of clothing for customers to peruse. Today, there are clothing racks, shelves and a wide range of displays filled with a variety of apparel and unique gift items. In fact, Betsey’s slogan is “Uniquely Different.”
Betsey prides herself on offering such a wide array of clothing and accessories. At Betsey’s Boutique, you’ll find shirts, cardigans, boots, dresses, sweaters, jewelry and much, much more. But, warns Betsey, “We specialize in Boutique brands so each item is unique and available in limited quantities. Get it before it’s gone because it may not come back!”
In order to maintain such a large variety and offer so many different brands, Betsey must stay on top of the purchasing. She travels four times a year—to cities both small and large—to decide which brands to feature and to make inventory purchases for her shop.
Some of the larger purchasing destinations include Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas. These are quick trips for Betsey, who does her best to arrange the purchasing travel so as not to disrupt the boutique’s normal business hours any more than necessary.
What is most notable about Betsey’s Boutique is its popularity online. As her shop in Rockford grew, Betsey began posting photos of complete outfits on her Facebook page. Now, online sales make up a large portion of her business. The clothing boutique situated in a small community in Ohio has accumulated more than 350,000 followers on Facebook.
Betsey invoices customers by email, and she offers to ship customer purchases across the United States. She says online sales keep her and the staff very busy—in fact, they work on filling online orders during the days the storefront is closed.
Betsey’s customers are as varied as the inventory she keeps in her shop. Many bring their phones so they can recreate the outfits they saw on Facebook. More than a few travel some distance, even as far away as Nashville, Tennessee.
Some customers come with the changing of the season, in order to fill their wardrobes and get the customizable styles they prefer. They arrange outfits so they can use the same pieces in several ensembles to get a variety of looks.
Betsey enjoys helping customers put together the perfect outfit for any occasion. “If you are passionate about what you do, you want to come to work,” she says. Betsey loves her work—getting to know customers, understanding their needs, and helping them find what they are looking for. “The best part,” she adds, “is meeting people you never would have thought to meet.
September through December is one of the busiest times at Betsey’s Boutique, and as the seasons change, so does the inventory, as well as the atmosphere. This month, there are pumpkins in the front window and fall décor throughout the store.
As Betsey and her staff prepared for the fall season, they changed the merchandise layout. Items are rearranged according to how well they’ve been selling, and Betsey says they now have a good grasp on the current season’s trends. Boots, leggings, blanket scarves, vests, plaid and floral (especially with all the fall colors) are making the biggest statements this fall.
Betsey’s Boutique in downtown Rockford is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Shop the store’s Facebook page @shopbetseys anytime.