Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Traveling Chic Boutique!
Four questions with Bethel resident Bobbi Jo Beers, founder of Traveling Chic Boutique, located at 4 Corners in Brookfield and at Quarry Walk in Oxford.
Why did you start your business?
I grew up around small businesses. My grandparents owned a furniture store and I always loved going and playing hide and go seek with my siblings and cousins. I thought I was really cool because I could go in the back room where no one else was allowed.
As I wandered around the store I could picture myself someday doing something similar. So I guess you could say that it has always been a dream of mine to own my own business.
What is your best-selling product/service?
I sell woman's clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, gifts, and home decor. Each of the locations sells something a little bit different. My main item is woman's clothing, but because I rarely carry the same thing twice, it's hard to pick a best seller!
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
I have been blessed to be able to follow my dream and it is a passion of mine to give back to the community and support other small businesses. I started mobile - out of a 1963 Airstream. I spent the first couple of years schlepping around the state doing pop-up markets and home parties.
During that journey, I met and was inspired by many woman entrepreneurs. And because I appreciate the local support, I do everything I can to practice what I preach and support small! I carry locally made jewelry, candles, scarves, and even some bags.
Some of the designers that you will find in our stores are Bead Free Forever (Redding), New Territory (Newtown), Emmy Star Designs (Wilton), Dajana Designs (Oxford), Erin Deluca (Redding), WrenHouse Ateliers (Sandy Hook), 83 Main (Sandy Hook), Legrify Inspired (Milford, CT), Jenny Buxton (Mass), 21 Block Prints (Hartford), Rooted Plow (Ridgefield), Candlewood Lake Gear (Brookfield), Hour Lake (Brookfield), Binny Bags (Brookfield and South Africa), and I am sure that I am missing some and we are always looking for others!
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
I have "reimagined" my business many times over during past five years. When I started out mobile, I never really thought that I would ever become a brick and mortar. But opportunity knocked and I answered. Two years late, I received an email from Quarry Walk in Oxford asking if I ever thought about opening a 2nd location, and at first, I thought heck no, I haven't even been open a year in Brookfield. But again opportunity knocked and it felt right. Then, of course, we got hit by the pandemic and we shifted gears a little bit by offering more online, local deliveries, in-home fashion shows and try-on sessions, birthday surprise deliveries, and basically, we did whatever we needed to do to survive a couple of months when we were closed.
I worked harder those few months than I did while I was open. I have carried on some of what we had offered during the thick of the pandemic, but not all. I believe that re-imagining your small business all the time is what it takes to continue to be successful and competitive!
Traveling Chic Boutique is located at 4 Corners in Brookfield and at Quarry Walk in Oxford. Shop in-store or online!
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!