UNO CBA alumna Sarah Spooner graduated from the small business and entrepreneurship program in 2012. Her Entrepreneurial Planning class inspired her dream of opening her own business and launched her on a three-year business planning effort, supported by CBA professors Brian Petranik and Dale Eesley.
Spooner opened Four Sisters Boutique in 2015 and, after four years, has grown the business into what she calls “a successful shopping experience.” Both her brick-and-mortar store, located in Omaha’s Rockbrook Village, and the online boutique are boosted by a vibrant social media strategy embraced by enthusiastic customers who appreciate Spooner’s vision and commitment. The boutique’s Instagram boasts over 45,000 followers.
The boutique has garnered such success thanks in part to Spooner’s focus on cultivating a broad audience. Her target market ranges from women age 17 to 50+, with clothing for “college girls, the working gal, the stay-at-home mom,” and more. The store also sells accessories and gift items that anyone can enjoy.
“We take pride in being able to offer different clothing to such a broad demographic,” Spooner says. “Women in their fifties can come in and find a kimono for their outfit, while a woman in her thirties may wear it as a swimsuit cover-up.”
The boutique also places an emphasis on affordability in an effort to dispel the reputation of boutiques as expensive niche stores.
“We generally don’t sell anything over $70,” Spooner explains. “It makes us the perfect store for everyone, especially college students trying to save money but still get more bang for their buck.”
While strategizing for her business and employing 13 women that she “look[s] forward to working with every day,” Spooner turned 30 this year and has been “experiencing the ‘30s life’” while being lucky enough to “love what [she does].” The hard work of running her boutique is a daily challenge she never shies away from.
“Running the store has been my passion for so long,” Spooner says. “I own my own house too, so I stay busy with that and the store! Things are going great. Running a business is hard, and I work every single day, every single hour, but it’s worth it.”
Spooner is focused on her latest goal of expanding the boutique’s online presence to capitalize on the global uptrend of ecommerce. Paired with the in-person store, Spooner’s forward-thinking approach to sales and connecting with customers has given the boutique an edge.
“We love our location, we love our shoppers, and all the friends we’ve made. In the coming years, we hope to turn Four Sisters Boutique into a household name across the United States,” Spooner says.
And the lessons from Spooner’s UNO CBA education still come into play as the boutique expands.
“My time at UNO CBA helped me so much,” Spooner says. “They helped me with financial plans for the store, guided me in the right direction, and told me the correct people to talk to. I’m extremely grateful for my professors for giving me the knowledge and encouragement to start my own business. That is what helped me bring it to life.”
As a UNO CBA alumna and proof that an entrepreneurial spirit can take one far, Spooner encourages enterprising students to forge relationships with their professors and colleagues and make steady, conscious progress on their goals.
“Do your research. Do not rush things, and focus on what you want to do. Take your time,” Spooner suggests. “Nothing comes easy. It takes a lot of work, a lot of patience, and a lot of tears. But once you create something that you love, all of that hard work is totally worth it.”
Stop by Four Sisters Boutique in Rockbrook Village, 2900 South 110th Court, Omaha, NE 68144 or shop the styles online.