And here we are. We did it, folks! With a few roadblocks along the way - but the time has come. And thank you so much for being here!
Start From The Beginning
The name came to my mom when she was reading a Danielle Steel romance novel called Message From Nam. The main character is a journalist from Savannah, Georgia - Paxton Andrews - and you follow her through her life to see how she ends up in Vietnam. And the name Avery comes from my mom's side from her great-great-grandmother. Lydia Leticia Avery Lively - say that one ten times fast.
Also, Paxton means "Peace" in Latin and Avery means "Elf King" from the old French language. Soooo there's that!
Growing up, I had to make sure my hair bows matched my outfits perfectly and my socks had to have enough frills on them. To say the least, even at 2 years old, I needed to be up on the fashion game. And to be honest - it started with my mother. Example A below:
My mother constantly tells me that she would have to hold me down to get me in a pair of jeans or pants because for years I refused to wear anything but dresses for the longest time as I got older. And realistically, I am still that way. Unless its yoga pants. Duh.
On into high school, I really tried to fit in with whatever trend was going on. Hollister & Abercrombie polos with jean skirts and Uggs - *cringe.* So I wouldn't consider myself too much of a fashionista through those years. I was just trying to survive high school. (Weren't we all).
I packed my bags and started college in Santa Barbara, California and my eyes were permanently wide open. I transitioned into the laid back California lifestyle and got to find new fashion trends from Southern California. The creative side of my brain was finally opening and soon after that, I was designing my dream site and everything in between. Here's a screenshot I actually found of the first outline of my "dream store" while I was learning Adobe.
Not QUITE the same but the vision was there.
Since I was a freshman in college, I had always wanted to own a boutique. Transferring to Los Angeles for school, I really got thrown into fashion and trends and got to see how fast things changed. But as life continued & work took up the majority of my life, school, going into the real world, & everything in between, it kept on getting pushed back.
But when I was picking out clothing from my closet, I was continuing to grow confidence in my everyday life, but also tackling big events. Whether it was a first date or a big interview that could change my career - I gained that confidence.
I've known as I grew up, I had to find fits and styles that I liked because I was short and had hips and struggled to find things I felt comfortable in. One style does not fit and flatter all. I started to find brands and styles that I fell in love with because I loved the way I felt in them. And soon others saw it too.
"Where Did You Get That?"
I had women from all parts of my life asking me where I found a cute dress, where I got a skirt and everything in between. I'd have friends come over and say "I need something to wear for this event because I have nothing and I know you will!" And I did. And I always found it at great prices.
One night I was going through my phone & seeing about 7-10 women asking for clothing recommendations on what to wear to a shower, conferences, alumni events, etc. I'd send out the links, so excited to see them in things that I found! And then it kind of just clicked. I needed to do this. I need to go out on my own. And it never was the “best time” to do it but I was at a point where the fire in me was slowly diminishing with other work that I use to pour my heart into & I felt like I didn’t have the passion for it as I used to.
I quit my full-time job as a Marketing Manager and said to myself, "alright, let's do this. I'm ready."
And my goodness, I was. I felt a rush of excitement every single day. I opened up notebooks I had saved over the years with ideas and brands that I wanted to touch base with. The branding that I always envisioned and an experience I wanted shoppers to have. My eyes were opened to more as the months went on and I was connected to some incredible people that have helped guide me in the right direction.
I was doing it. It was coming to life. But boy were there roadblocks, expenses, scheduling issues, and more. Building a business is not a walk in the park. I'll never sugar coat it. But it sure is magical.
I was ready - I booked a venue to host my official launch party. End of March. The day before my website was supposed to launch, my birthday. What better way to ring in turning 29 than launching your very own company?
My plan was finally falling into place. The fire was still burning, glowing into the night where I was cuddled up in my bed, my fluffy duvet wrapping me up as I worked on my computer endlessly until 2 or sometimes 3 am.
Wait A Minute
And then mid-March hit, about 2 weeks out until launch & I was prepared to fully launch. I felt like the time had come to let the world see everything I was working on.
COVID-19 started to hit the United States. Precautions were starting to take effect.
No more than 500 people in a gathering.
No more than 250 people in a gathering.
No more than 50 people in a gathering.
Shelter in place.
It had happened so fast, changes every day, that I didn't fully realize the extent of it. Until I turned on the news updates and stories on social media of people getting sick and losing friends and family left and right. Small businesses having to shut down and lay off employees. It was awful.
I needed to postpone. Not only the launch party but the website itself. The unemployment rate was skyrocketing. It felt so wrong to launch a clothing boutique when people couldn't even buy groceries. It just didn't feel right. I decided to work on my brand more. We all needed a moment to watch and learn what would come of this worldwide pandemic. We still don’t fully know. But I went on to perfect things and continue to make this better. I had shipments that were being delayed anyways from vendors having to close their warehouses to protect their employees. And I understood fully. I had to make some big changes to the business from my original plan but I will do whatever it takes.
I decided to set a new launch date for June 1st. The anticipation grew and the excitement was all around. Until May 25th, 2020 when George Floyd passed away from the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. That entire week, weekend and days moving forward is something I will remember for the rest of my life. History was taking place and sadness overwhelmed me. I spoke to my business consultant - who has been a godsend - and we talked about postponing the launch again.
How can I launch a clothing boutique and celebrate when at that very moment - the most important thing we needed to think about was anything BUT clothing. It stung once more to hold on launch but it needed to happen.
I will say, I know that I need to educate myself more and I am doing my best to do that and help others.
I took some time and here you are. I launched. Welcome! Thanks for hanging in there and I hope you find something you love.