The Hollyhock House owner Holly Howard opened for business in November, thanks to the expertise received from the Metro East Small Business Development Center at SIUE.
O’FALLON, Ill. – Fashion and personal style have woven their way throughout Holly Howard’s work experiences from her college years and beyond. Howard’s affinity for creative expression through clothing, shoes, accessories, gifts and home goods has inspired her to open a women’s boutique in downtown O’Fallon.
A graduate of Murray (Ky.) State University, Howard worked her way through college at a well-known boutique in Paducah, Ky. and at a home furnishings store. Howard’s cousin owns a boutique in her hometown of Mayfield, Ky., offering Howard a close-up view of launching and operating a specialty shop.
“The Hollyhock House will carry beautiful but affordable clothing and more for women,” Howard said. “We’ll also carry lotions, candles, picture frames and other gifts. Our hand-selected products will be trendy and timeless, making them appealing to women from age 15-60 and making them feel confident and unique.”
Howard relocated from Kentucky to Illinois when she was selected to complete an internship with the Pujols Family Foundation in St. Louis. “I chose O’Fallon, because it reminded me of home,” she said. “I love this community, and I see the rejuvenation of its downtown. It’s a great fit for me and for my business.”
Located at 107 W. First St., The Hollyhock House will occupy a former physician’s office that stood vacant for two years. The 1,800-square-foot, one-story space is being completely renovated to make way for Howard’s boutique storefront.
Howard credits the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIUE, notably Interim Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May, for providing a wealth of time, expertise and support to her since January 2016.
“Jo Ann was wonderful,” said Howard. “She worked with me in deciding upon my business structure, in reviewing my financial projections, and in helping me create and expand my business plan. Jo Ann also armed me with industry and market data as well as referrals to attorneys and accountants who were also helpful.
“Thanks to dedicated assistance from the Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIUE and the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, I am where I need to be and looking forward to a solid beginning with my boutique,” she said.
The Hollyhock House is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information about The Hollyhock House, visit the boutique’s website thehollyhockshop.com, and its Facebook page facebook.com/thehollyhockshop.
The Illinois SBDC at SIUE assists new businesses existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a no-cost service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Contact (618) 650-2929 or [email protected].
— From the Illinois Business Journal via SIUE news services