Archive for Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shawnee boutique owner inspires Small Business Saturday push

Longtime Shawnee resident Beata Foreman opened by B boutique! in July.

Longtime Shawnee resident Beata Foreman opened by B boutique! in July.

November 26, 2013

By B boutique! in Shawnee specializes in custom gifts, handmade crafts and vintage items.

By B boutique! in Shawnee specializes in custom gifts, handmade crafts and vintage items.

Sandwiched between two big holiday shopping days this weekend — Black Friday and Cyber Monday ­— Small Business Saturday could get lost in the shuffle of countdown deals and blowout prices on flat-screen TVs. But one Shawnee business owner is determined not to let that happen.

Beata Foreman, who owns by B! boutique at 6314 Monrovia St., is going all out for the oft-overlooked second episode in the post-Thanksgiving shopping trilogy. This Saturday, she’ll open with free coffee, door prizes, surprise deals and extended hours at her thoughtfully designed, Anthropologie-esque space south of Shawnee Mission Parkway.

“What I love about Small Business Saturday,” Foreman says, “is that it lets people do the Black Friday thing and then focus on a local and relaxed experience a day later.”

The longtime Shawnee resident, who opened her boutique in July after a dozen years of selling custom gift baskets from her home, recently helped inspire a Small Business Saturday social-media push by the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

“I contacted them and said, ‘Hey, what are we doing for this? What can I do to help,’” she explains. “We’ve been really well received by the community. We’re getting great support from friends and new customers and other small businesses. I just really feel blessed.”

By B! boutique offers an exclusive line of bath-and-body products made in Kansas City, jewelry, clothing, handmade Christmas ornaments and vintage furniture. (A recent visit to the store turned up a beautiful, mid-century dresser for less than $300.) But Foreman’s tasteful curation of the products and space are the main attraction.

“A lot of people are coming in for gift-giving ideas,” she says. “I really try to ask a lot of questions and find out what that person likes, so my customers can give them something totally personalized and really special.”

Linda Leeper, president and CEO of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, was once a small-business owner, too. She appreciates what Small Business Saturday represents for businesses like Foreman’s and other Shawnee retailers, including Wild Birds Unlimited and restaurant Paulo & Bill, that are making plans for a big Saturday splash.

“Everyone’s always excited and anxious to get in there for the early bird shopping,” Leeper says. “And when they shop those big, wonderful deals, and then we can get them to patronize some of our small businesses, that’s a win.”

For her own holiday shopping, Leeper says, she shuns online deal-making and opts for the kind of personal, relaxed environment stores like Foreman’s provide.

“I really like to feel, touch, and see what I’m buying,” Leeper says. “It’s the best way to experience the atmosphere of holiday shopping.”

BY B! BOUTIQUE

Address: 6314 Monrovia St.

Contact: 913-213-5255, bybboutique.com

Hours: Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Small Business Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Black Friday

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