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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Prescott-based online clothing business opens - Boutique 511

Considering that Veronica and Beth Wittek have together organized family trips and holidays, it seemed only natural they would go into business as well. In fact, the question is why it took so long.

“I’ve been wondering that myself,” Veronica said. “It’s our first project together but we’ve known each other for 10 years and have done a lot together with our families.”

Veronica and Beth husbands are brothers and Veronica, who is originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has lived in Prescott for the past eight years and works in the financial department at 3M while Beth is a stay-at-home mom living in Edwardsville, Illinois in the St. Louis metropolitan area (or the “East-Metro” as it’s called on the other side of the Mississippi River). However she travels to Prescott often to visit for family gatherings and other occasions.

It was during one such family trip, in fact at a water park in Dubuque, Iowa in the late summer of 2016 with their husbands and children that they decided to go into business together. They’ve put together an online business called Boutique 511 which sells women’s clothing and accessories. Boutique 511’s website is at www.boutique511.com.

The “511” part of the name was the month and date the company was formed.

“It’s a name that’s very close and personal to us,” Beth Wittek said. “We plan on selling different, fresh styles of clothing that can encompass a night on the town to a night on the couch.”

To avoid the overhead of a traditional brick and mortar store, the Witteks made the decision to purchase items from vendors and sell and promote them online. Their initial batch of product they purchased at a vendor’s market in Chicago called Merchant Mart.

“It’s very good quality and style and their made in the U.S.,” Veronica said. “There are a lot of these markets all over the country and they accommodate small businesses like ourselves.”

But Boutique511 doesn’t plan on being just online. The Witteks hope to take Boutique 511 from virtual to real through various festivals in the area and region too.

“That’s the beauty of the market in that you can have direct service to the customer online,” Beth said, “but also rent a 10x10 space at a fair or festival and put in a pop-up shop for persons to stop by and look at and touch and feel our clothing and accessories as well."

Such products include dresses, t-shirts, tank-tops, sweaters, leggings and shorts in various along with purses and jewelry.  They plan on shipping products from both homes.

“Shipping is going to be our biggest cost to control and hope to keep things affordable for ourselves and our customers,” Beth said.

What motivated the Witteks to take this plunge into the business world was a simple desire not to let an opportunity passed by

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do, something in the back of my head I’ve thought about and yet I’ve put off before,” Veronica said. “I wanted to be a part of something I can do on my own and passionate about and now is as good a time as any to give it a try.”

But Veronica said she’s very happy to have Beth as a partner in this venture.

“She’s very creative and organized,” Veronica said. “We realize we’re different people with a nine-year difference in age and it’s something we talked about all the time. But we know each other well enough to work together and it’s great that now we talk about five times away about ideas and plans and the business in general and it’s wonderful!”

Beth said was just as excited to start a business with her sister-in-law and draw the extended family closer together.

“I would love to have my kids spend their summers up here with their family and say they’re from this area, that’s important to me,” Beth said.  “Having a 9-to-5 job would restrict that. And I’m ready to do more for my family and have something to be involved with together.”

Inquiries for more information about Boutique 511 can be emailed at support@boutique511.com.

Veronica and Beth Wittek and their products from their new business Boutique 511

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