If I had to make a list of bad-ass women bosses, on that list you would most definitely see the name Laura Horwath. Laura was a guest speaker in a mentorship program I was in where she chatted to us about all things starting a business and finance. I sincerely appreciated how down to Earth and real Laura was when she talked with our group. Her no fluff, no bullshit attitude spoke directly to the person I am and I immediately got off that call and looked her up online because I was THAT impressed with her. Once I looked her up on social media I was so impressed to see her businesses, her success, and her reach in the local business community.
Laura is the Owner of Ferne Boutique (currently she has two locations...one in Bay City, Michigan and another in Detroit, Michigan). Ferne also sells their items online so fret not my non-local babes! Ferne is a woman's apparel and clothing boutique with an aesthetic that is part sophisticated boss lady, part cool city girl, part wanderlust free spirit, and part comfortable chill at home chic. Her boutiques thrive on giving exceptional one-on-one customer service and styling. She carries sizes XS-3X in her boutiques (which we love) in order to serve as many women with a variety of different sizes and body types. We all deserve cute clothes, am I right?!
Laura is the epitome of a boss babe who focuses authentically on the concepts of community over competition. Laura carries many local, woman-owned businesses products in her boutiques and she also has hosted an array of events at her boutiques letting local business women come in to do popups to sell their products or share their services. It is that focus on helping others and helping the greater good that make Laura the successful and inspirational babe that she is.
I know this is all just the beginning for Laura and that she has so much more coming to fruition in the future. I am ecstatic to say that I know her and to see her tremendously inspiring journey along the way.
Keep reading to learn more about Laura...
Your Business / Service Name(s):
What is Your Website? Insta Handle? (Or However Else We Can Find You!)
www.ferneboutique.com and @shop_ferne on Instagram
Why Did You Decide To Start Your Business?
I was living in Bay City, Michigan, where there weren't any clothing boutiques for women 25-45. I found myself driving down to the Detroit area to shop, and realized that it wasn't just me that was struggling to find clothing there to buy for myself. I wanted to solve a problem and fill a gap that existed and help women have a local option
Do You Have a Blog, Podcast, or Youtube Channel? Tell Us About It!
A blog: https://ferneboutique.com/blogs/news
What Is The Best Advice You Can Give to A Woman Starting Her Business Venture?
You owe it to yourself to have a purpose and a plan with goals. Without a plan or a reason why, it is just a hobby. One day you'll wake up and say "why am I doing this?" and it makes it easier to keep going when you have goals. Also, don't wait. There is never a right time to start, you'll just regret it more if you don't.
What Is Something Most People Don't Know About You?
I have no background in fashion, buying or owning a business. Everything I know, I learned and taught myself.
What Does Your Typical Day Look Like?
I wake up early and walk my dogs with my husband. Then I usually try to relax a bit and have a cup of coffee or two. After that, I prioritize my to-do list so that I don't get overwhelmed. I typically try and go through my emails early, get any orders shipped or Ferne related inquiries handled earlier in the day so that I can tackle the larger "CEO" projects that are always evolving on my plate. Marketing, social media, events, collaborations, all of the big picture items that are on going. I like the ability to have days where I can be creative vs days where I have to spend time on accounting and other more tedious tasks. Being able to choose how we plan our days as entrepreneurs is very attractive to me. I enjoy being able to take walks with my dogs, go grocery shopping/run errands and then plan out my work hours when I want to work.
Who Are Some Women That Inspire You? (Globally and Locally)
Sara Blakely is probably my idol. It is so inspiring to watch women solve problems and break the mold of what we are able to accomplish. Locally, Melissa Butler who founded The Lip Bar is another very inspirational woman. These women are looked up to by so many because they took such big risks and went after something that helped solve a problem for other people. It takes a lot of selfless acts to keep going and not give up. These two women do just that!
What Was One Huge Business Flop or Problem That You Had to Endure and How Did You Handle That?
We've had many fails that always have taught me to learn. From buying inventory that didn't sell to an employee who pretended to be someone else just to learn everything about my business and copy me... I could go on for days! The best way I've handled problems in business (even when a car went through the front of our store windows) is to realize early on that there are going to be problems. Be honest with yourself about the reality of what you are doing. If owning a business, creating a brand, etc. were easy then everyone would do it! Things happen, you make mistakes, and fortunately you learn from things and have the option to change.
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of?
Creating and building a brand from scratch. It has evolved so much and grown in such a cool organic way. I've loved every minute of the way we have become what we are today.
What Do You Do For Self Care?
I started taking days off LOL that has helped to give me some relief. I also try to get a massage a few times a year and release tension/stress.
What Jobs Did You Work Before You Created Your Business? Tell Us Your Journey.
I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2008 and moved to Chicago. My degree is in Public Relations and Marketing and that year wasn't the year to get a marketing job. I got a job at a digital printing company and was like "what even is digital printing" lol but I really learned the ins and outs of customer service, marketing, eCommerce, order fulfillment and sales. At the time I did not think any of the skills I was learning mattered. I worked many other marketing/Project Manager jobs in corporations before I realized that was never going to fulfill me. I wanted to do more, wake up every day with a purpose of adding something bigger into the world instead of just sitting at a desk.
Give Us Five Fun Facts About You!
1) I'm an only child
2) I really dislike Pasta (sorry universe lol)
3) My dog has 3 legs
4) My husband and I were set up by friends and it worked out!
5) I love playing competitive sports like volleyball, softball, basketball, etc.
What Sign Are You? Are You Into Astrology?
Gemini! I'm not super into it but when I read about the traits of a Gemini it is definitely me!
Do You Know Your Enneagram? If So, What Is It?
I literally don't! I didn't even know what that was until recently lol
What One Word Represents You Most.
Expressive. I am very loud and don't hold back most of the time. I also put every ounce of energy into the things that I love and it shows.
What is Your Favorite The Posh Shop Co Product?
The key chains! Friends is my favorite show and I love the Rachel to my Monica. They're just such a great gift! and also a great gift to yourself too! hahaAND MY FACE on it and the "You're doing great sweetie" mug! But I'm also obsessed with my brand ambassador keychain and the birthday candle I bought my bestie.