Blush Shop is a chic boutique in the city of Guelph in Canada carefully created and curated by Michele Lee. Michele, known for her keen eye for effortlessly chic style, has built a large following on social media that has helped grow her business. She shares fun intricate details of her creative process, including beautiful window displays, which we love! Read on to find out more about Blush Shop and how Michele's hand-selects each piece for her boutique.
Hi Michele! Tell us about your background and what inspired you to open Blush Shop?
Hi, my name is Michele Lee and I'm the owner of Blush. My background is in fashion merchandising and marketing. Previous to starting Blush, I was a national visual director for a retail brand. I was inspired to open Blush because I felt the need for a new creative challenge.
Describe the shop's aesthetics, style and merchandise that you carry. Is everything a reflection of your own personal style? With so many brands and products out there, how do you choose what items to sell in your shop?
When you step into the shop, you'll find soft pink walls, chandeliers & gold hotel carts displaying our lovely goodies. There is a feminine feel to the shop & merchandise, but it is mixed in with everyday essential basics and denim. There are so many brands to choose from, however, I carry lines that I personally love and know our clientele will love. I like to feel that my customers can come into Blush and enjoy their experience, and not be overwhelmed with too many lines. They know that everything has been carefully chosen and handpicked for the boutique. My favorite brands seem to be French... gorgeous yet effortless pieces. I do love a good pair of shoes though, so I would say my favourite item right now is my block heeled white booties that I'm wearing on repeat.
Your Instagram is fabulous and you have a huge following! How has Instagram and Social Media played a role in your business and its success?
Thank you for such a lovely compliment. Social Media and Instagram has definitely helped grow our business. It's such an amazing way to connect & engage with people. I opened Blush in 2004 when social media barely had a presence. We eventually grew our presence beginning with Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Pinterest and then Instagram.
"Social Media & Instagram has definitely helped grow our business. It's such an amazing way to connect & engage with people."
How do you decide what content to create and post on your Instagram? What are your top three tips for fellow boutique owners when it comes to Instagram?
I'm actually spontaneous when it comes to deciding what to post on Instagram. I love to feel creative and be inspired by something that catches my eye or a piece of clothing with great details that excites me. I also really like to post little moments throughout the day that people can relate to that will might make them smile. My top tips for boutiques:
- Make your feed reflect your brand (color story, mood, brand, vibe).
- As a business I think it's important to inspire others and not to always feel like we need to sell our products in every post.
- Take time to engage with people who are leaving comments and questions.
We love that you share the planning details of your window displays. Where does the inspiration for the displays come from? Walk us through that process from idea to execution.
Planning our front window display is always a fun challenge. After 12 years, it's honestly hard to stay unique. I usually start my inspiration from scrolling through Pinterest and gathering ideas to an inspiration board. From that point, I like to sketch ideas & layouts. After I've come up with a design, I shop... or make props a few days before the day I want to install the display. I find that the best time for me is actually getting into the window, designing, and enjoying the process before the shop even opens. I love this creative time.
What has your proudest moment been so far in your career?
The proudest moment... that's such a tough question. Retail is not easy so every day I feel proud of what we've created and that we are helping to dress amazing women. I think the 10th Birthday of Blush stands out in my mind as the proudest moment. It felt like such a milestone.
Were there any obstacles you had to overcome starting your business, running and growing it? What have you learned from these obstacles?
There has definitely been many obstacles and growing pains over the years. I'm still learning everyday! I think I've learned to constantly update and adapt to keep our brand inspiring and interesting.