Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Ayana Evans
Studio 165 Beauty and Boutique
Shelbyville, Illinois is full of family oriented stores that are sure to catch the eye. From antique stores to family owned restaurants, one store that is sure to stand out on Shelbyville’s busy main street is Studio 165 Beauty and Boutique. Studio 165 is a trendy upbeat women’s boutique that sells everything from jewelry to heels. This voguish boutique opened on November 23rd 2014 and is owned by three good friends Marta Boarman, Mendi Hoarman, and Ashley Hartke. Hoarman and Hartke own the upstairs part of the building and Boarman owns the downstairs section. In Studio 165 you can purchase comfortable clothes with vibrant colors that make you stand out in any setting.
“ I like Studio 165 because they have a great variety of clothes, the people who work there are very kind and help you find whatever you’re looking for, and most importantly you can walk into the store looking for almost any clothing item and its guaranteed you can find it here”, frequent customer I’nea Gregory says.
Motivational signs hang all around the store to create a positive feeling to the women that are shopping there. The employees are very helpful and treat every customer like family.
“ This boutique is different from any other because it is very small so there is more one on one contact with the customers and more of a connection”, employee Gabby Collier says.
Being a new store has its disadvantages and perks. However, for Studio 165, it was hard to get exposed in Shelbyville in the beginning. Most of their customers came from their location in Neoga looking for sold out items. For the purpose of getting more customers the trendsetting boutique created a facebook page. Then they became more popular around the city.
“ The social media outbreak definitely exposed our store”, employee Gabby Collier says.
In fact, a lot social media sites including facebook are a great marketing tool when branching out into the business world. With social media, you can create a business profile that people can view and find out if they are interested in your business. Studies show that social media has a 100% higher lead to close rate than outbound marketing and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility.
“ While I stopped in Shelbyville for my family road trip, I searched places to shop and ran into Studio 165 Beauty and Boutique’s facebook page. I looked at all the clothes on the page and instantly fell in love, so me and my older sister drove up there and checked it out. If we had never ran into the facebook page we would have never checked the store out .”, customer Fayth Wade says.
Social media has now brought a new genre of marketing to self and family owned businesses.