HerKentucky Business: The Crushed Violet

The HerKentucky team is thrilled to present HerKentucky Business, a monthly spotlight on female entrepreneurs in the Bluegrass State. As soon as we started writing this spotlight, I instantly knew I wanted to interview Erin Miller, owner of The Crushed Violet, a ridiculously adorable fragrance boutique located in downtown Lexington.

1. Before being a fragrance maven, what did you do? What led you to opening your boutique?
Even though The Crushed Violet was in the back of my mind for ten years before it came to fruition, what I did prior to opening helped give me that final push. My brother bought a campground in Versailles—Camp on the Kentucky—and asked me to be involved in opening and running of it. That process showed me it's difficult, but not impossible, to open your own business. The amount of fun I had working with my brother and sister-in-law showed me how rewarding it can be.

2. Why did you choose to locate your business in downtown Lexington?
Downtown is equal parts quirk and swank. I always knew it was just right for what I wanted to do. Church Street is centrally located and yet feels tucked away at the same time. I love it.

3. What's the hardest part about being a business owner? 
Time constraints. Not having much of a social life. Not having time to cook and bake from scratch like I used to. Luckily, my husband is very patient and a wonderful cook. And if time constraint is my biggest complaint, I really can’t complain. Who doesn’t have that problem?

4. What's the best part about being a business owner?
I'm living my dream. I am very aware of that and grateful for it everyday.

5. What advice would you give to Kentucky women wanting to start their own business? I feel strange giving advice at this point because The Crushed Violet is still new, but if you have a real passion for what you’re doing, people recognize that. So as cliché as it sounds, make sure you love what you’re getting into, because you will be consumed by it. My business hours might be eleven to six, but it's a twenty-four hour gig.

6. How does someone find their signature fragrance? Come see me! Fragrance is subjective, like any art. Every person is different and has a different process. I’m here as a guide through that process, whatever it may be for you. If you want a basic starting point, check out the fragrance wheel from Michael Edwards on The Crushed Violet's website.

7. What do you see next on the horizon for The Crushed Violet? World fragrance domination? Ha! World fragrance domination. I like it—I've managed to conquer Twitter, so who knows? But it’s probably a little less intense than domination. I'll simply continue to provide the best personal service I can while adding more fragrances to The Crushed Violet as time and budget allow. I do have a couple of other additions to the shop up my sleeve and have been working on them for several months now, but I don’t want to jinx anything…here’s hoping!

And now: the quick-fire round!

1. Bourbon or martinis? Bourbon neat, martini dry.
2. One dream you still want to reach? Traveling with my husband to all our dream destinations.
3. Favorite Lexington restaurant? I’d have to say A la lucie, but Lexington has a crazy amount of great restaurants for its size. I also love Stella’s and Sugano and about ten others.
4. Favorite way to spend a Friday night. Curled up on the couch with my husband and our dog, watching a movie, having some drinks and being judged by our cats.

Thanks so much Erin for answering our questions! Find The Crushed Volet on Facebook, Twitter, and in person at 131 Church Street in downtown Lexington.