Do you ever feel like you lead a lot of different lives and that what you really need is a wardrobe that works for each one? I do. Is the same true for you?
This past week, blogger Samantha Erickson @theeverydaymae and I met up at Mainstream Boutique of Rochester to play with the fun winter fashions there. I found looks that work for my big 3 needs: professional, romantic, and laid back.
There’s the me that needs to look professional and wants to be curled up next to a fireplace with a warm cup of something delicious and a book in hand. I never thought I’d do the mustard color, but with the burgundy t-shirt, the scarf, and the necklace, I love the way it works. Now all I need is the fire place, the book, and the warm cup of something delicious.
Then, there’s Monday Night Date Nights and Friday Night Happy Hours to dress up for. My fiancee and I are now more than two years into our relationship and I don’t ever want to slack on how I look on dates with him. I love the front detailing with the belts on this dress!
On weekends, I just want to be laid back and cozy while running errands, baking, and getting the to-do’s that I don’t have time for during the week done. Am I too old for the knit hat with the two pom-poms look? Let me know.
I also love to host parties. This navy velvet dress is easy and fun! I love how versatile jewelry can be. I’m wearing a wrap bracelet as a necklace, because the blue and silver colors are so perfect for the dress. Blue is one of my favorite colors to wear.
It was lots of fun playing with fashions at Mainstream Boutique and even more talking with Mainstream Boutique owner, Jennelle Crump-Stemper about fashion, business, and taking on new challenges.
An Interview with Jennelle Crump-Stemper
Q: What made you decide to open a Mainstream Boutique in Rochester?
A: I was recreating myself and that’s what I came up with. AKA divorce. Well, life took a couple different turns. I was looking to get back into full-time work. I’d worked with women for decades in sales. I like working with women, connecting with them, making them feel good and empowered. That’s the biggest thing for me. There’s so many ways you can do that with fashion.
Q: You were in your early 40s when you opened Mainstream Boutique in Rochester. What advice do you have on going after it and taking on a totally new adventure in your 40s?
A: I think you need to pay attention to the signs you’re given about it. The intuition that you have. Pay attention to your passion about it, because that’s what’s going to drive the success. If you’re not super passionate about it, the work that it takes to get it going will feel like work. If it’s your passion, it won’t. The work, the effort, the time to make it successful, needs to not always feel like work.
I think that’s [passion] the biggest thing. I wouldn’t be afraid of starting in my 50s and 60s.
Fake it until you make it. It’s always in the back pocket for me.
Q: What do you feel are the unique challenges of being a woman in business?
A:The balancing and juggling of different aspects of your life is always an utmost challenge. Being everything to every piece of it. Creating that balance. Mom. Grandma. I have kids at home that still need my time and that I want to see.
Q: How do you keep balance?
A: Continuing to focus on it. I don’t always keep it. Focusing on it is the big key. Building your team and your support. I have an accountant. I have a Social Media person helping. There are certain things I can take off my plate. Finding the right people to put on your team. You can’t hide someone.
Q: How do you feel your style has evolved?
A: I put comfort above most things. A great fitting denim, a great tunic or dress. There’s way to look very fashionable and be comfortable. I generally don’t wear a lot of the same things over and over again.
Jennelle’s Style Advice:
- The most attractive thing is confidence. Age, size, anything really. It’s about owning who you are and projecting that out.
- For her Mainstream Boutique customers, when someone is on the fence about an item, she says: Love it or leave it. If they’re not sure, love it or leave it. But if you love it and leave it, it might not be here. If you love it take it.
Mainstream Boutique has always had a quick turnaround time on their items. In their new location, it’s even quicker. “That’s why a lot of our regulars shop once a week.”
One of Jennelle’s favorite parts of owning a clothing store are the conversations and connections that happen between customers. ”People in the dressing rooms will all be trying things on. It’s super fun to see the bonding that happens.”
Q: What styles will be big next year?
A lot of the distressed denim. The floral applique. Still camo. Some really great soft fabrics. Stars on shoes and sweaters and things. Sparkle. Plaid is still really hot. Nothing major has changed. They’re just doing it different ways. Lace. Silk.
Mainstream Boutique first opened in August of 2013. It’s first big location move happened the last week of September 2017 to the T.J. Maxx Plaza (1300 Salem Rd SW #450). The move has been great for Mainstream Boutique and Jennelle. In addition to meeting new customers, “A really important piece of my business is giving back. I’m able to have more exposure. I’ll be able to do that in a bigger way here.” Charities she’s worked with include: Channel One, Unshattered, and The Women’s Shelter.