Jodi Tormey is the owner of Emily and Addie Boutique located outside of Boston. Nestled in historic Dedham Square, her store is at home with independently owned book stores, coffee shops, and other local businesses. The main street is homey and inviting, piquing your interest to browse the specialty stores and do some window shopping. Its a wonderful location to take the family and make a day of it.
About Emily and Addie
Jodi opened the doors of her boutique, named after her daughters Emily and Adeline “Addie” in May 2017. She carries kids and baby apparel from ages newborn to 7 years, and has since expanded her assortment to include accessories and toys.
“Emily & Addie offers a curated collection of quality brands you love including Tea Collection, Melissa & Doug, Feather Baby, Mayoral, and many more.”emilyandaddie.com
As I was walking up to the store front to meet with Jodi, I was greeted by the bright Emily and Addie sign above the entrance, and the freshly styled mannequin forms in the window. Coming from a design and merchandising background, this made me feel all warm and fuzzy. The styling was sweet, simple, and oh so inviting. When you first walk into the space it is refreshing. It has has a light and airy quality. I could feel the holistic flow of the store, from the white backdrop of the walls, to the large built-in shelving units, contrasted by the pops of seasonal colors in the product. I loved the wardrobe merchandising on the built in shelves. The outfits and gift sets are already together, so shopping for your kiddos or picking up a present is a breeze.
Emily and Addie also has a nice selection of organic options, as well as handmade product by women and local designers. I was able to spend some time asking Jodi about her business and the passion behind it. Check out our Q&A Session below!
Q&A With Jodi
Q: What inspired you to open up a storefront, instead of just an eCommerce business?
A: I studied Apparel Marketing in college, worked for major magazines, and then had my first child. Boutiques are common in Brooklyn where I lived and saw myself owning one. I decided many years ago I wanted to open a children’s boutique and work for myself, but timing wasn’t right. About 9 years and many jobs later, I still thought about opening my own store and decided to just go for it. I wanted to be hands-on in the store, meeting customers, talking to locals and seeing what they love. I like the personal aspect and being part of a community. I’ve met so many amazing people over the years that I never would have met with an online-only store. I see my customers grow up!
I carefully curate the merchandise and choose items that are not only incredibly soft and beautiful, but have a story. Although, e-commerce is essential, that personal touch doesn’t come across when shopping from your phone.
Q: When customers come in your store what do you hope is their first impression?
A: The store is adorable, not overwhelming, and fun to shop.
Q: What gift services do you provide?
A: Shopping should be easy and convenient, so I offer free gift wrapping, as well as a personal shopping experience. I’m your personal shopper! I not only help find the right size and style in store, but I have picked out gifts many times for customers over Facetime, FB/IG messenger, and email. They tell me gender, budget, size and I send them photo options for a complete gift.
Q: How do you pick what collections to carry, and do you hand pick what you buy for the boutique?
A: The brands I started with were some that I knew and loved, and others I found at a trade show. Since opening, I have swapped out brands that weren’t working and brought in new ones that I found either through sales reps, online wholesale sites (which are the new form of trade shows), searching social media, and from brands contacting me directly.
Q: What advice would you give other mom business owners about owning and operating a storefront?
A: I would ask they if they are doing it for income, or are they doing it for the love of doing it? A retail storefront (vs. a service storefront) is costly and you have to be prepared for managing all the expenses. Get experience in a similar store first. Work closely with an accountant to understand what you’re getting into and does it make sense. Join entrepreneur groups and talk with others who have experience. Get a mentor. Network and make connections. Hire people you trust. Figure out what your focus is and how you are offering something different and better. Give it your all or don’t do it at all. There are amazing days and terrible days, and are you prepared to handle the bad days?
Q: How have you been gearing up for the holiday season, and do you do any special events around then?
A: From back to school time through the winter holidays are the busiest, so I buy more for those times of course. I participate in the town’s Halloween festivities and Holiday Stroll. Small Business Saturday is the greatest idea ever! That’s when people really come out to support me.
Q: What is special about being a local business in 2019?
A: It’s about that hands-on, personal experience and getting to know your neighbors. All the stores in the area really try to support each other and it’s a great feeling.
Q: Can you tell me more about your store events? How do you organize them and what is your favorite part about hosting them?
A: The space is really small, but I’ve managed to pack in some fun events including baby music classes, floral arranging, mom’s night out, ceramic hand print keepsakes, and chat with a doula. They are a fun way to get people in the store, a great way to promote my business as well as many other mom/women-owned businesses that I partner with.
Q: What is is it like working with women and local designers? What makes it special for you?
A: Working with local, talented designers provides something unique to my customers while supporting other small business owners. I carry bibs, headbands, clothing, stools, pillows, and jewelry that is all handmade with love from extremely talented local moms. They support me and I support them. It’s a wonderful experience for all.
Shop and Follow
I had a wonderful time visiting Emily and Addie boutique and talking with Jodi. I highly recommend you visit if you are in the Boston area. If you are out of the area reading this don’t worry, you are in luck! You can still support this amazing mom owned local business and shop the website 24/7! Shop Here: EmilyandAddie.com
New fall products are in, and it is a great time to think about family photos and accessories for the colder months ahead!
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Stay Resilient <3 Mika