I was absolutely honored to be chosen to do a feature for Voyage Raleigh magazine! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed participating in it! Thank you so much for all of your support, always!
Daily Inspiration: Meet Lisa Patterson
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Patterson.
Hi Lisa, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I would love to! I am Lisa Patterson and along with my husband, Rusty we own The Blue Fairy Boutique!
We believe in hard work, dedication and customer service that surpasses everyone. We have been honored in 2019 as a runner up in Wilson’s Choice for “Favorite Boutique” and in 2020, we were honored and humbled to receive the First Place award for Wilson’s Choice “Favorite Boutique”.
Many people ask how we started, well this is how the story goes. After years of selling through various MLM companies, I realized that selling for other people was not fulfilling. I needed something to call my own. This initial feeling was the seed that blossomed into The Blue Fairy.
In 2017, with a very small investment, our adventure began! We took all the money we could scrounge up and set out on what would be the greatest and most fulfilling journey of our lives.
We started with only a tiny box of jewelry. Jewelry was going to be our primary focus but our customers had other ideas! I was constantly being asked where I got my clothing, bags, etc… I was a little hesitant but eventually decided to have a little faith and expanded into clothing and eventually all kinds of other accessories as well!
The Blue Fairy started solely online, selling through Facebook, small shops and vendor shows. Vendor shows are super fun and we have met so many wonderful people through them that we now call friends. It’s all fun and games until it takes multiple hours for set up and breakdown (while you’re still working full time). A customer AKA Fairy Doll (that is what we call all of our customers and employees) told me at a vendor show that my setup looked like a store and that I needed to open a storefront.
When we finally got our minds wrapped around having an actual physical store, we found a location in ONE DAY! It was perfect, I taught Zumba at this location a couple of times and always said if we owned a business that this would be the perfect place. In December of 2018, we officially had our very own brick and mortar store!
We have since expanded to a bigger location and made so many new friends along the way!
Especially all the girls that we have had the opportunity to employ at The Blue Fairy. We knew we would probably have to hire a team when we opened our store, but we never knew that this team would become more like family!
We can’t wait to move forward and see what the future holds for us and of course for all of our fairy dolls!!!
Thanks for participating in our little journey!!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Life is full of challenges! The struggle is just a part of the process, a process that we are in no way finished with.
It has been a struggle every step of the way. My husband and I started this business with no prior business experience. We have been navigating unknown waters since day one. This has made the entire process more difficult than it would have been with more experienced people, but thus far we have been up to the challenge! It is amazing how far a little enthusiasm and determination can get you.
The first step was learning how to become an LLC and order products wholesale. This led to us selling on Facebook, entering the vendor event circuit, and learning how to develop our own website. We have done everything ourselves from top to bottom. We have been lucky to hire some amazing girls along the way that have helped us in more ways than we can count!
We decided to try our hand at brick and mortar and that has prevented plenty of challenges in itself. Hiring staff, doing payroll, scheduling, it has all been a learning process.
We have come so far from that day we went to Raleigh and signed up to become an LLC. The biggest challenge now, and maybe always, is getting our name out there, online and locally. This has been a really hard process that we are venturing upon. It has taken an enormous amount of time and money to get where we are today, and we aren’t finished yet!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My husband and I are still both working full time while also running the boutique. He works in pharmaceuticals and has been since 2008 and I have been in banking since 2009. Time management is so important, with both of us still working full time. It is definitely not easy chasing your dreams!
Our boutique’s number one focus is always customer service. This led to us being a runner up for Wilson’s Choice best boutique in 2019 and winning in 2020. Voting is about to begin in 2021 and we are excited to defend our crown! We try our best to treat every customer like they are family and to give them the best experience possible. We won’t sell them an item if it doesn’t look great on them. We would rather have every woman leaving our boutique feeling beautiful than getting home and regretting their purchase!
Staying on top of trends and offering a wide selection of clothing and accessories is a priority. We want to have something for everybody!
We also do things to help the community when we see an opportunity. In 2019 and 2021 (2020 was not anybody’s year!) we hosted puppy adoption events with local animal rescue groups. Having a store full of puppies and boutique clothing is quite a site to see! We allow other small businesses to set up in our store on special occasions a well. We fully believe that a rising tide lifts all boats!
We are most proud of, well… everything we have accomplished! We have put everything into giving the best customer experience that we possibly can! This means in person and online. Our website, as our store, is in a constant state of improvement. We strive to have the best brick and mortar website and social media game in town. All of these things have improved leaps and bounds from even last year. The key for us has been to never be satisfied with good enough!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I think the main thing is that if you have a dream don’t be afraid to chase it. If you don’t know how to do something that is fine, be your own flashlight! There have been so many days where we have felt discouraged because believe me it is hard, but we have done our best to remain positive and focus on the future. Just because today was a bad day doesn’t mean that tomorrow will be!
In a lot of ways, we have fumbled and stumbled all the way to where we are today. We are much smarter and better today than we were yesterday. We can proudly say that we built The Blue Fairy from absolutely nothing into something that we think is pretty special. The opportunity to employ currently six college girls and give them that life experience that is so important is something that is invaluable to us and we hope to them as well. Not to mention all the amazing people we have become friends with along this little journey! We hope to keep growing bigger and bigger, and as we do become bigger to keep giving back. The world can be a pretty negative place, so we are doing what we can to put a little extra positivity into it every single day!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.tbfboutique.com
- Instagram: @thebluefairyboutique
- Facebook: @thebluefairyboutique
- Other: @thebluefairyboutique on tik tok