If we were going to make a colossal life change, I wanted it to be different this time around. I wanted to do something fun. I wanted to get up in the morning and actually want to go to work. This earth is supposed to be life’s playground after all, right? If I was to succeed both in business and spiritually, I knew I had to make work fun! I always loved playing dress up as most little and big girls do, I always loved make-up, purses, jewelry and let’s not forget shoes! So there it was, fashion was part of our destination!
Read Ginger's Story.Visiting the warm, sunny south as our family annually did, we fell in love with tropical birds, dancing palm trees, aqua crystal waters, white sandy beaches and cheerful hellos from passersby as we browsed our favorite shopping destination. Everything was so bright, upbeat, enjoyable and alive at St. Armands Circle! We had found our haven, we just had to put the rest of the pieces together of life’s journey. If we were going to make a colossal life change, I wanted it to be different this time around. I wanted to do something fun. I wanted to get up in the morning and actually want to go to work. This earth is supposed to be life’s playground after all, right? If I was to succeed both in business and spiritually, I knew I had to make work fun! I always loved playing dress up as most little and big girls do, I always loved make-up, purses, jewelry and let’s not forget shoes! So there it was, fashion was part of our destination!
Why Apricot Lane.While researching the merchant and fashion field, I stumbled across the franchise Apricot Lane Boutique. They were the perfect opportunity, as I had never worked in retail before (I sure had lots of experience on the other side of the cash register though!). The next question was, how? I once read, you don’t need to have all the answers up front, just start taking the steps forward and you will figure it out as you go along. As the old saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained!” Anxiousness and fear of starting your own business are real, but once you look deep inside yourself, confidence overcomes and turns your dreams into reality.
Anxiousness and fear of starting your own business are real, but once you look deep inside yourself, confidence overcomes and turns your dreams into reality.
The American Dream.One by one they’ve joined me. My family, my husband, my girls, two pups and myself have relocated to sunny Sarasota. We’ve had quite the journey, we’ve flown across the country a few times meeting new people, making new friends, learning new things and experiencing a whole new life. These are all wonderful things we never would have encountered without the courage to just “start”. My journey has brought my family closer together, not only geographically but respectfully. We rely on each other, we laugh together, we each step up to the plate as needed and we really are enjoying each other along the way! We are having fun! Our store, Apricot Lane Boutique St. Armands Circle, is family owned and operated. We created something from nothing. We truly are living the American dream and you can, too! Make sure to to check out more about Ginger’s Sarasota store AND shop all of the seasons most popular styles from Apricot Lane! Stay tuned as we highlight more Apricot Lane stores around the country and the hardworking #MomBoss that is behind each one.Originally posted in City Moms Blog
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Feel Good Fashion: Apricot Lane
Apricot Lane Boutique in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre is bringing both fashion and philanthropy to our community and beyond. Embracing a “think globally, act locally” mind-set, Sandra Barnes, owner of the trendsetting boutique Apricot Lane, is shaking things up in the world of retail and social justice. Working for the greater good, she proves being altruistic is one trend that never goes out of style.
“I know the opportunity to give back will be the most rewarding aspect of this job,” said Barnes, who runs the shop with her daughter, Ashley Herrin. “We really look forward to getting involved in the community and making a positive difference.”
Among the flowy bohemian tunics and suede fringe boots, you’ll find handmade bracelets by 3Strands Global – an organization that rescues victims of sex trafficking and provides them with an outlet for creative expression and steady income. At first glance, the beautiful bracelets are eye-catching, but they become even more significant once you consider their source. A mission trip to Cambodia, in which Sandra crossed paths with Apricot Lane franchise developer and philanthropist Ken Petersen, would set her on an unlikely journey into merchandising and activism.
“That trip was truly life-changing,” said Barnes. “When you see children as young as 6 sleeping on concrete, you feel the call to help.”
And help, Barnes has – not only by carrying a unique array of colorful beaded or woven bracelets made by 3Strands Global but by encouraging charity right in her own backyard.
“Fashion for a Cause” parties offer guests mouthwatering appetizers and cocktails, with a portion of the proceeds of items purchased going to a charity of their choice.
“We want to donate to a diverse group of organizations,” said Barnes, “Whether it’s a local library, team or ASPCA, we want to be able to help a lot of organizations meet their goals.”
Carrying brands that often inhabit the hippest Southern California boutiques, Apricot Lane brings the best of the West to Mount Pleasant. With 70 percent of stock imported from companies based in The Golden State, the caliber of couture is high and surprisingly affordable.
From flared blue jean bell-bottoms to distressed leather jackets, the array of styles offered makes it easier than ever to embrace your inner fashionista. Whether you are looking for a beachy sundress or a killer accessory to tie together an already rocking ensemble, Apricot Lane has got you covered.
Unlike franchises that are limited in what they can offer, Barnes has the freedom to stock her shelves with whatever she feels shoppers will desire. She even encourages customers to come to her with requests. Making sure to bring in new inventory every week, Apricot Lane is truly leading the way in fresh, fierce fashion. Carrying buzzworthy brands, this local shop is sure to keep the ladies of the Lowcountry looking on point.
Since opening in December, Apricot Lane continues to attract a wide range of multi-generational shoppers. Daughters, mothers and grandmothers can be seen sipping champagne while fully reaping the benefits of retail therapy.
Escape into a world where stackable bracelets, showstopping statement necklaces and Piko tops abound. From fitness to fancy, there is no limit to just what a trip to Apricot Lane can bring. Stroll in today. You’ll be glad you did.
To learn more, visit apricotlaneboutique.com/store/mountpleasant or call 843-971-1800.
By Kalene McCort.
Originally posted in Mount Pleasant Magazine
Linnore Gonzales, owner of an Apricot Lane franchise in Centennial, CO was recently interviewed by Business Opportunities. Where they learned how Gonzales’ prior experience has helped her succeed, what her plans are for the future, as well as what advice she has for potential franchisees.
Why did you choose the Apricot Lane Boutique franchise?
I have always been a believer in the franchise model as shown in my past and present businesses. I have always been intrigued by the fashion industry and was happy to come across Apricot Lane and thrilled to find out that it is a franchise!
How long have you owned a franchise?
I purchased the Apricot Lane Centennial location from a former franchisee in November 2014. When I moved to Colorado in 1994, I had the opportunity to be introduced to the world of franchising. I bought an independent paint your own ceramic studio that I converted into a Color Me Mine franchise. I owned and operated three Color Me Mine locations for 10 years. I also owned a long-term part time staffing franchise, 10 til 2, for 7 years and presently own an interior decorating franchise, Décor & You as well as women’s magazine franchise, HERLIFE Magazine.
Why did you decide to get into franchising?
Franchising allows me to be in business for myself but not by myself. I love to be able to get the support of the franchisor and have access to a proven system without having to re-invent the wheel to find success. The advantage of a bigger organization is a huge plus. The opportunity to learn not just from your franchisor but from all the franchisees in the organization is something you will not get when you are an independent business owner.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Before I became a franchise owner, I worked in corporate as an Asset Manager in a real estate investment trust company in New York. I still have a position in a very prestigious Denver company as Director of Risk Management but having franchise businesses allows me to be diversified and still run successful businesses.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
For me my challenge in owning my Apricot Lane franchise was to be able to understand how to run and operate the business in a short period of time. We took over November 1, 2014 and needed to make sure we merchandise accordingly to be up and running and ready to face, tackle and take advantage of the holiday season.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Take advantage of what the franchisor can offer. Always remember the reason you picked a franchise business. Hire wisely. Learn to delegate and trust your employees so you can concentrate on areas that will build and make your business a success and not dwell on areas that will not bring in the income. Do not forget the marketing. It is important to be out there and continue to build and market your brand.
What’s next for you and your business?
Increase profitability and make Apricot Lane the go-to boutique in Colorado for high style fashion.
This article first appeared on the Business Opportunities website on January 6, 2016.