Q and A with Valerie from Cherry Hill, New Jersey
“I have learned that the ability to pivot in business is the way to survive.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I am passionate about quality of life, finding balance, and working hard to enjoy the things you want! I have never really wanted to do anything else but fashion since I can remember; even as a little girl, I played “boutique“ by setting up “stores“ in my room. My twin bed was the counter, dolls or my mom or little brother were the customers, and I would take my mother’s shoes, clothes, jewelry and set up displays. I played like this for hours! Even if I was at my grandmother’s house. All I ever wanted was my own boutique. After a career in accessory design, import, and wholesale, I decided to move to retail and open my own store. I felt there was a missing component in my area…there were a lot of shopping centers and malls but no true specialty boutiques with personal service and simple things like actually being waited on and someone making suggestions to help you find the perfect outfit that makes you feel amazing. Everything had turned chain store OR to get great customer service the store was very expensive. I set out to have what I considered affordable pricing (mainly under $100) and great personal service that you would expect in a much more expensive store.
At present, I am working on moving my store into (gulp) a shopping center!
I never thought or felt my store was that “type.“ We are stand-alone, a bit private, sort of pride ourselves on “if you know, you know“ specialty boutique that is not cookie cutter. However, surviving Covid-19 in business has led me to realize some things, and learning to pivot is one of them. Right now, the location and ease are huge. I was offered a really great situation to grow and I took it! (Hence looking for a rebranding on the woman’s site.)
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I went to art school albeit I wanted to go to fashion merchandising school. My parents thought that was impractical. My dad later retracted that when he saw my growth for my business.
My mother and both grandmothers were all really beautiful and very trendsetting. Their style impacted me a lot, and I played dress-up and store in all of their closets while other kids played soccer. I used to “style“ my friends or anyone who would let me! [She laughs.]
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: I have learned that the ability to pivot in business is the way to survive. And working hard to enjoy things that are important to you is priceless. Covid made me realize how little control we have. I no longer really say, “I can’t do XYZ because of the business this or that.“ During those first years of building the business, I worked 24/7 and never stopped. I missed out on a lot. I don’t do that anymore.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: Feminism means to me that I am in control of my decisions emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially, no matter what.
MORE ABOUT VALERIE: I am a proud mom of four and love the beach! I am from Cherry Hill, NJ, where I reside currently. I was born in Philly, and I lived previously in Los Angeles, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ.
Shop Haute Bungalow is my store!
13 East Main St, Marlton, NJ
Yes, we do have an online store as well!!
Online Shop: www.shophautebungalow.com
Thank you for reading!