Saturday, May 21, 2022

International Women’s Day : Spotlight on Local Business

Businesswoman Hope Farrow believes that success requires “work, work, work, an eye on the ball, a daily dose of confidence, and the support of people close to you. Regardless of how often one might feel like you are gasping for air, never stop working,” she said. “Try to find the confidence you need from somewhere, and keep telling yourself: You’ve got this.”

In honour of the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8, The Meaford Independent spoke with Farrow, mother of two toddlers and owner of Love Me Long Time Boutique. She is one of three women in her family who have always had a keen sense of fashion that has led Farrow to develop a clothing business catering to women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and budgets.

What started with a closet full of clothing posted for sale on Facebook has grown into a storefront boutique that offers both brand name consignment items as well as new brand name clothing. She progressed from selling her personal items on social media to selling on behalf of others, then from a mobile trailer at pop-up markets and on a website, to her current storefront location that opened in October 2021 at 36 Trowbridge Street East in Meaford.

Love Me Long Time Boutique carries an assortment of items that Farrow describes as “quality brand new clothing brands and brand name consignment items” that support the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. “Reduce clothing waste by shopping durable high quality fashion pieces that last. Reuse clothing by shopping consignment clothing and accessories. Recycle your clothing back into consignment to earn some money and reduce clothing waste,” she said.

Farrow has been able to grow her business despite the pandemic. “I started in 2019, but Love Me Long Time Boutique really took off in early 2020 partly because I made it super easy for people to shop,” she said. “I was offering porch pick-up from my house before curb-side pick-up existed. I would package up orders, leave them on my porch in a cute little bin, and customers would come and pick them up.

The pandemic has changed a lot of shopping habits. People have become more homebodies and have learned to shop online. The pandemic is still affecting all small businesses. Some people are still in fear of shopping in normal stores even though things have relaxed a bit and conditions have lifted.”

Every Wednesday evening, I do a live sale on Facebook where I choose items and four people try them on. My customers get to see me, interact with me, and so I think the trust is there between my customers and me. We’ve really got to know each other that way.”

As a woman with two young children, being self-employed allows Farrow the flexibility to balance family life and work. “The biggest advantage,” she said, “is that I get to run my life. Everything revolves around the kids first, then the business. I had the luxury before Joey could get into daycare of bringing her here to the store when I needed to. I had a play area for her. She had her naps here. I got to spend more quality time with my kids. I am grateful for that. My customers have been so understanding, knowing that the reason I close at 4 p.m. is to get home to get dinner ready for the kids and do the whole evening routine.”

Store hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, go to lovemelongtimeboutique.com.

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