Five years ago, Nicole Lindhorst had a dream that she opened a boutique. On Oct. 21, surrounded by family, friends and supporters, that dream became a reality when she held the grand opening of her storefront for BeYOUtiful Boutique.
The BeYOUitful Boutique, located at 2509 13th St. in Columbus, is full of clothing in a variety of colors, accessories, gifts and even skin care products. Treats, live music and a friendly atmosphere welcomed attendees of the storefront’s grand opening, “Oh My Gourd: Ladies Night Out.”
Lindhorst’s endeavor started in her basement five years ago without any vendors, but looking at the shelves today, you would not think that was the case. Vendors now include Judy Blue Denim, Andre by Unit, Zenana and She and Sky. But, for the most part, Lindhorst said, she is trying to rebrand herself with products that she carries as BeYOUtiful.
“We don’t talk about brands a lot,” she said. “Some of my boutique friends even rip off the labels and put on their own.”
Needing to change locations came when her family needed to utilize the basement. Lindhorst started looking at downtown buildings and soon the next step of her business started to unfold.
It’s been a year to the date since Lindhorst started this project. The building is 200 years old and there were a lot of issues that needed to be overcome, but Lindhorst said she has learned to pivot.
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“Honestly, I just trusted God through the whole thing,” Lindhorst said. “I feel like He planted that seed in my heart and He will get me through it.”
Originally, she purchased one side of the building, but as luck would have it, the tenants next door vacated the space. And she had the perfect way to use that space.
Lindhorst’s House of Colour franchise was set to be in the same space as BeYOUtiful Boutique -- House of Colour in the front and the boutique in the back. House of Colour is a consultation service where Lindhorst helps clients to discover the best colors and styles for them.
House of Colour requires natural lighting so the adjacent space worked perfectly for this use.
“It’s life changing,” Lindhorst said. “You see the light bulbs turn on when people are in the right colors and it is amazing.”
After clients have been matched, they can go to the boutique and shop in their color. Clothes in BeYoutiful Boutique are displayed based on the season -- autumn, winter, spring and summer.
Although seeing people walk out of the fitting rooms with something that fits and works for them gives Lindhorst joy, it’s really about the relationships she is building.
“Everybody who has walked in the door tonight, for the most part, I know who they are. They’re people I didn’t know five years ago. They come here, they trust me, we become friends. I think that’s a big part of it," Lindhorst said.
“When you have a friendship with somebody, you trust somebody, you know somebody, just being able to say ‘hello,’ a smile -- it just makes a woman feel good. In the world now we just need more love and more empowerment. Women need to feel strong and just by knowing what outfit to wear to make them feel their best. It’s a little thing but a big thing.”
Kris Frederick, who works in the boutique, said it is awesome to finally be opening. What sets them apart is that items are categorized by season, she said. Growing up here, Frederick said this is where shopping was done and now they are bringing that back to downtown.
"It's nice to work with her, she's a huge inspiration," she said of working with Lindhorst.
Opening the store showed Lindhorst just how important those relationships are. She noted that moving from the basement to the temporary space saw a dip in clients coming in, which made Lindhorst nervous. But seeing everyone show up on Oct. 21, it appears they were just waiting for the shop to open.
“It’s been a long time coming but obviously well worth it,” Lindhorst said.
BeYOUtiful Boutique is open Tuesday – Friday from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The store is closed Sunday and Monday. To book an appointment for House of Colour, visit the BeYOUtiful Boutique website, call 402-910-8525 or email Nicole.Lindhorst@houseofcolour.com. For more additional information, visit beyoutifulboutique.net/.
Monica Garcia is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.