The Highs & Lows of Running an Artisan Boutique

People often ask us what it’s like to run a boutique/small business and what we’ve learned from the experience. Well, the simple answer is that it has been an absolute roller coaster, with incredible highs and some devastating lows, but undoubtedly a labor of love that neither of us would trade for anything.

Omar started this business in 2017 and for two years, ran the store on his own. Even though it was only open by appointment at that time, when I think about him doing it on his own, while running another full time business, I am amazed at his fortitude, work ethic, and single-mindedness. It took him years to build the store and to get it open, and he did with incredible tunnel vision and grit and I have so much respect for him because of it.  When we opened the store full time in 2019, I don’t think either of us had any idea of the myriad issues we would face, but it has been an exhilarating ride to say the least! 

There are so many more considerations to the boutique than we initially thought-from finding inventory that keeps aligned with our vision of artisan made goods, to presenting a beautiful outdoor experience season to season, to finding reliable employees, to maintaining our website and online store, to shipping products, to dealing with the logistics of sourcing products from around the world, to traveling to different places to find new products, to brainstorming on marketing, business plan and the next manifestation of RO-there is so much to do and it is never ending LOL!

Everyday brings with it another problem or issue. Like most small businesses, Covid 19 hurt us, especially since we were in our first real year together, and we had to figure out how to stay afloat with a closed store. Thank goodness for Facebook Live because that helped us sell products locally during that dark time-the generous people of Sea Cliff, Glen Cove and the surrounding communities continued to buy from us even while they dealt with their own struggles. Since then, the boutique has slowly started coming back to life and we are excited at what it is morphing into. Each day is still a struggle but it fuels us to do better and try harder. We know that there are always going to be hardships. Omar and I both run other full time businesses and it is a constant juggling act day to day, but this is where our hearts lie and live. We know that our store is beautiful and unique and we want you to experience what we have to offer.

The community of Sea Cliff is wonderful and we absolutely love this sleepy little town. We have such loyal customers that come out and support us and we will do our absolute best to bring new and exciting products to you. We want you to feel the same excitement that we do when we find a new artisan and a new piece of art. LOL, we are like two kids in a candy store when we stumble upon something new that we love for the boutique and can't wait to show you!

We continue to strive towards making this boutique a destination and an experience. We don’t want this to just be a place to shop, but a place for our customers to unwind, relax, have fun, learn something-and be surrounded by beauty. And if you want to take a little piece of that home with you, even better! We are working on new and exciting plans that we hope to bring to you soon and which we know you will love just as much as we do. There is no better feedback for us than when someone walks into the boutique and their eyes light up in awe because we are trying really hard to find products that will touch you with their story and their beauty. Stay tuned, because we know that the best is yet to come.

Thanks for listening and come and see us soon!
Dina and Omar


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