HerKentucky Business: Olive You Boutique

A friend told me about a new boutique in Richmond (for you non-Kentucky folk, about a 20 minute zip straight down I-75 from Lexington) and I asked if it was really worth the drive to go there, especially as I'm a plus size gal and can't usually find anything at boutiques. She assured me that it was, and seeing as I'd love to own a boutique one day (I mean, who wouldn't!?), I went to Olive You and chatted with owner Katie Brandenburg. She is just as lovely as her store is, which is saying a lot because the store is AMAZING. I left with a few pieces of jewelry and greeting cards - there's definitely something for everyone.


Katie Brandenburg
What made Richmond the perfect place to open Olive You?
I love Richmond and it makes it even more special that I am from Richmond. I love all the people here and Richmond has always needed a fun clothing boutique. I have always wanted to open a store in Richmond, since I was a child.

For so many women, owning a boutique sounds like a dream. How did you get to this point, and what made you take the leap?
It really has always been a dream and didn't think that this dream would ever come true. :) My parents have been a huge inspiration and have really made me go for my dreams. I am one lucky girl and truly blessed to have such a great family helping me all along the way.

How do you select what items go in your store?
I select the items by going to market picking unique, one of a kind items that I can picture a wide variety of people wearing. When opening the store I wanted women from all generations to be able to find something they love. When at market I select brands that a wide variety of age groups would love :)

What's the hardest part about being a business owner?
The hardest part is trying to manage your time and get everything done that is needed. There is so much to do for a business owner and juggling your time can be stressful!!

What's the best part about being a business owner?
Making my customers feel good about themselves and feel good in their skin. No matter your age or size everyone should have fun shopping and be able to find things that they love and make them happy. I love making this happen everyday!! :)

What advice would you give to Kentucky women wanting to start their own business?
Go for it!!! It is a lot of hard-work, but if you have a dream and a great plan you should make it happen.

Quickfire Round:
  • Bourbon, martinis, or beer? Beer 
  • One bucket list item. Go to Capri :) 
  • Favorite way to spend a Friday night. Hanging out with close friends and family having a great meal or just sitting on the couch. 
  • Celebrity/personality you'd most love to shop at your store? After Golden Globes this weekend I would say ... Jessica Alba... I also love Reese Witherspoon!! She is so cute and fun.
Check out Olive You at 118 Meridian Way, Suite 1 (in Heritage Place across from Meijer), follow them on Facebook, or check them out online!

The Beaufort Bonnet Company

The Beaufort Bonnet Company

is everywhere lately! This adorable line of children's accessories is just perfect for the teensiest fashion mavens in your life. I'm just in love with the bonnets, bowties, and bloomers -- many of which can be monogrammed. I keep hoping a friend or relative will have a baby soon so that I can buy all the Beaufort Bonnets!

I recently caught up with Markey Hart Hutchinson, the Lexington lady behind The Beaufort Bonnet Company. She's smart and fun, with a great eye for fun design. Markey's great attitude certainly shines through in her company's designs! -- HCW

A few questions with Markey:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m from Lexington. I graduated from Sewanee (The University of the South) in Tennessee. I’m 32. I have two funny, smart, and wonderful children, my son Wakefield, who's 3, and Betsey, who's 1 1/2. My husband is a patient man and a great father. I like laughing, nice people, and all things that make my eyes smile. Colors and ‘pretty’ influence my mood; style and design have always been a passion.

How did The Beaufort Bonnet Company come to be?

A Mother Daughter Team started Susu and John in Beaufort, South Carolina around 2007-2009ish. The Beaufort Bonnet, made from an old heirloom pattern, was their star item and the reason they went into business. When I was pregnant and seeing the world through pink-colored glasses, I spotted a picture of a friend’s baby wearing a pink gingham bonnet while perusing Facebook. I asked where she got the little gem; I just knew Betsey would want a bonnet! My friend ended up gifting us one and it was love at first sight. Betsey wore her bonnet everywhere and people went bananas over it. Strangers and friends were asking where to get one. After studying the Susu and John website I noticed they didn’t have any retail accounts in Kentucky. I thought, I’m already selling these bonnets- I might as well get paid for it. I contacted the owner and asked if I could have the exclusive rights to sell them in Kentucky- a few emails later I found myself negotiating a price to buy her business. I gave the company a new name and logo and hit the ground running.

 I see a lot of traditional Southern style in your products, with some Lilly Pulitzer-style preppy mixed in. What are your inspirations for The Beaufort Bonnet Company's products?

Great observation! TBBC style is a reflection of my style. I like all things classic, timeless and refined- but I also like colorful, fun, and clever. My inspirations demonstrate that ‘refined’ doesn’t have to mean ‘boring’. Lilly Pulitzer, Dorothy Draper, and Carleton Varney mastered the art of pairing classic pieces with bold elements & bright colors to make things interesting. I want babies and children wearing TBBC items to provoke smiles (followed by compliments and conversation) - I love the idea of being partly responsible for someone’s smile.

 Here at HerKentucky, we love to support Kentucky's women-owned businesses. What advice do you have for women who want to start their own business?

I regret I’m not qualified to hand out advice. The Beaufort Bonnet Company is 4 months old; I’m still craving advice, suggestions, and wisdom. Ask me again when I recover my investment and start sleeping ;-)

What do you wish someone had told you before you started The Beaufort Bonnet Company?

I wish

someone had told me I was going to make mistakes- and that some mistakes were going to be expensive. Mistakes involving trust and dependability sting the most. The good thing is, I’m a fast learner.

Now for a few fun questions:

Coffee or Tea?

I’m way too complicated to answer this question. I drink coffee every morning but it’s really not my cup of tea- ha- do you get it?

Bourbon or Beer?

Cold BEER. In a bottle. But a cup or can is fine too.

Jeans or a Skirt?

skirt

Cats or Cards?

C.A.T.S cats cats cats!!

What's your favorite spot in Lexington?

My favorite spot(s) in Lexington are… Greenbrier’s pool, 3rd Floor Main at Keeneland, the house where I grew up, Wheelers, Suggins, Merrick, Rupp Arena when the Cats are playing, Gate 11 for tailgating, Monkees, L.V. Harkness, and the Chinoe Pub. Hmm, I bet there aren’t many people who have used L.V. Harkness and Chinoe Pub in the same sentence… I guess that’s me in a nutshell.

If The Beaufort Bonnet Company products are on your Holiday Wish List, you can find them at these Kentucky stores:

L.V. Harkness and Co

.: 531 W. Short St., Lexington (They even do registries for expectant mamas!)

Hopscotch

: 120 Clay Ave., Lexington

Nancy's Place

: 133 West Main St., Springfield

Kids Stuff

: 300 North Mayo Trail Suite 3,  Pikeville

Lad n' Lassie

: 188 West Court St., Prestonsburg

The Fab Fath Sisters: The HerKentucky Interview

I was so excited when

Farah

and Victoria Fath agreed to an interview with HerKentucky. They are the cutest Kentucky girls you can imagine. Soap opera fans will know Farah from her roles as Mimi on Days of our Lives and Gigi on One Life to Life. Here in Lexington, we know Victoria as a talented wedding videographer and pageant director. Together, the Fab Fath sisters run

a celebrity and style Tumblr

and keep Twitter hopping.  Thanks so much to Victoria and Farah for taking the time to talk to us!

OK, the #fabfathsisters are just about the cutest girls on the Twitter. Tell us a little about yourselves.

The Fab Fath Sisters at an early age.

Victoria:

I'd say we had a pretty normal "Kentucky girl" upbringing.  For example, we cheered, did pageants, and went to the lake in the summer.  Things changed when Farah got on "DOOL" and we moved to California.  She was 15 and I was 12.  Moving to Los Angeles from Lexington so young really changed us because it's such a different lifestyle and you're exposed to different ideas and cultures.  However, I think we both pride ourselves on keeping our Kentucky "small town" values in the way we live.  We both have a crude sense of humor and aren't shy to speak our minds - as that comes across often on Twitter - but people that really know us, know how genuinely kind we can be and how important our family and friends are to us. 

You girls have done a little bit of everything -- New York, L.A., TV, videography. Tell us how a couple of Lexington girls wound up doing such glamorous things

.

Victoria

: Living in NYC is not glamourous!!  It's a hustle.  We've made a lot of moves in our life; I've moved across the country 7 times!  It's hard but you've got to be willing to be flexible in life if you want to better your life.  I'd say NY was the best experience in my life, I just really lived it up there and left feeling like I had done and seen everything I could in 4 years.  Farah is really the person for this question...

Your Tumblr profile says "We look alike. We sound alike. We think alike. We are #TeamFathSisters"; have y'all always gotten along so well?

With friend Catherine Combs the night of UK's National Championship win.

Pretty much. :)  We have some differences but overall we are like the same person.

Y'all grew up in Lexington. Are you UK fans?

Victoria:

Of course #BBN.  You don't grow up in Lexington, KY and not bleed blue.  I actually went to UK for my freshman year.

A couple of "soapy" questions for Farah: 

I think most of us grew up with a mama or grandma who watched soaps. In fact, I think every Kentucky grandma was addicted to Days of Our Lives.  Was that something y'all grew up with? If so,was it crazy walking onto those sets?

Well you guessed it.  Our mom's mom watched Days since its inception.  Strangely enough she only passed it on to one of her daughters (not our mom).  Our mom was an ABC soap fan so I think she was more impressed when I got on One Life to Live.  That's not to say she didn't watch Days when I was on it.  She did, of course.  I definitely remember sitting in my grandmother's TV room while she'd play Days.  Obviously she recorded it on her VCR like everyone else.  I was fascinated with the show and got even more into when mine and Torie's babysitter watched it everyday during her summers with us.  So yes, it was very surreal going from fan to cast member.  Although the feeling of being awestruck faded fast due to the busy schedule and tough work load.  I adapted quickly into my new life and the people who I grew up watching became my 2nd family. 

At the risk of going all fangirl here, I'll admit that I grew up watching ABC Soaps. What was it like to work with

Erika Slezak

-- one of THE grand dames of the genre?

At the OLTL Wrap Party last year.

It isn't possible for me to say enough nice things about Ms. Slezak to even come close to doing her justice.  I seriously am choked up right now just thinking about her.  The first scene I ever taped for OLTL was with her and right away I was blown away by her extreme professionalism and grace.  There isn't one nerve in her body that isn't full of class.  It was so refreshing to witness someone of her stature be so completely kind and respectful to each and every body on that set.  No matter if you were her co-star for the day or your job was to sweep the floor, you were her equal. Oh, and I never saw her look at her script.  Just trust me when I say that's unheard of.  The stage manager would be counting down and my script would still be in my hand.  lol

OK, Dirty Soap -- what was it like to do that show? It seemed so crazy and DRAMATIC! 

Well the fact that it took 6 months to film only 8 episodes, I don't have much good to say about it.  Doing that show added nothing positive to my life.  Producers had a story board for the season and they did whatever they could to manipulate situations so they could get the story they wanted.  I could only stand my ground and refuse to do or say something for so long until I just wanted to go home (or for them to go home).  I also didn't want the show to suck either, so that was another reason I'd agree to certain scenes that I knew "would never actually take place in real life." Just know reality TV is all in the editing.  I couldn't believe how some of the situations were pieced together because it's not at all how things really happened.

And now a couple for Victoria:

Tell us about your background. It sounds like you've done some amazing work. What brought you back to Lexington?

 "Amazing work" is a strong statement haha.  I spent so much time on a TV set growing up that I think it was natural for me to fall into this sort of work.  I basically majored in Television in college.  I wrote a term paper on the cult fandom of soap operas actually. lol... Soap fans are CRAZY die hard.  After I graduated college, I was getting pretty burnt out with the NYC lifestyle and my boyfriend wanted to move desperately, so we decided to move to Lexington.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it and also moving to a place where my education in film and TV was kind of useless, but it was the right decision.  I've been doing freelance filming of weddings and pageants.  I toil with the dilemma of work and location all the time. Lexington is not where I'd like to be for my career but I'm where I want to be in my personal life.  And I think the latter is more important.  I know Farah has the same struggle.  I truly believe Lexington is one of the best places to live.  My boyfriend thought we'd be here for 6 months and move but he grew to love it and we bought a house and have no plans to leave anytime soon.

I've become very involved in the pageant circuit around Kentucky since I've moved back home, judging and now directing.  Our mom and I have started our own runway and arts pageant.  We want to allow both boys and girls an outlet for creative expression and we expect this to be a fun and modern pageant.  Our first preliminary is Dec. 3 and our state pageant will be in late April.  You can find more information at

facebook.com/victoria.fath.3

or by emailing

RoyalArtsPageant@gmail.com

You're a brand-new mom. Tell us a little about how that's going for you. Is your daughter well on the way to being as fabulous as the Fath sisters? 

Lola rules.  Her last name may not be Fath, but she is a Fath girl.  As Farah put it, "She's a great addition to the family."  Being notoriously blonde, I was shocked to see my baby with head full of black hair!  I was never one who thought about having kids but being a mom just comes naturally to me.  There's a lot of love in my life.  I'm blessed.

You can read more about the Fab Fath Sisters on their Tumblr,

Fath Fix

, and on

Victoria

and

Farah

's twitter accounts.