As much as I love our local boutiques here in our small Montana town and support them whenever I can…tis true that I also rely on the internet for shopping. Jonathan Franzen says that no good novel is currently being written on a computer attached to the internet and he’s right. I’ll be in the thick of a scene in my current novel in progress, and suddenly I’m fact checking online, and suddenly I’m buying boots. I recently had to unplug my main computer for just this reason. Too many temptations. The fab women’s boutique CHILL is one of them. I learned about it via a mutual friend on Facebook, but to my dismay, it was where so many of the fab boutiques are– thousands of miles east. I am thrilled that CHILL has decided to start a website and to share their great products with all of us who live far away from their store front. And I’m thrilled to welcome them as a new advertiser at THESE HERE HILLS.
For those of you entrepreneurs out there who want to start a business, but need a little nudge in the way of inspiration, here is their story:
By Wendy Yellin Hill
My sister-in-law, Jayme Yellin, and I opened “chill” on April 1, 2008. We envisioned a hip boutique in the suburbs featuring out-of-the-ordinary merchandise at a great price. Neither of us had any experience in retail. In fact, we were both attorneys prior to having children. But we felt that our town lacked, and needed, a retail store that embraced an urban vibe, and carried the latest trends from New York and beyond. In the beginning our lack of experience was actually a blessing, as we were not constrained by what we were “supposed” to do. We trusted our instincts and taste, and went with our gut feelings: if we liked it, we bought it for the store. If we didn’t, we passed. To this day, we continue with that very personal vision. Our store is a reflection of who we are, and how we like to dress, decorate, and live. The jewelry in our store ranges from bracelets and necklaces that were purchased on a recent trip to Istanbul, to trendy pieces from our New York City vendors, to handmade items from a local jewelry designer who is just starting out. We carry clothing from Billabong, the surf company; the Malibu and Paris-based I Can 2; cotton tops from Nusantara; as well as other local and LA-based companies. Our housewares are from Belgium, Turkey, Bali and Germany. We carry toys and children’s accessories from the UK, and scarves from Thailand. We also strive to purchase products that have been made in America, or are free trade. Our customers range in age from 5 to 75 as there is something for everyone at chill. We have built up a loyal clientele; people who shop with us tell us how much they enjoy the experience, and love the fact that every time they come in, there is something new to see and buy. They also love that we have made it a point to sell beautiful items at reasonable prices. And while we are a tiny 300 square foot store, we are very big on customer service and satisfaction, and make everyone who comes through our door feel welcomed, cared for, and appreciated. We are the general store for hip people. And we are thrilled to be coming to the internet.