Tag Archives: Iowa City boutique

Podcast Interview Featuring Stevie Tummey

6 Oct

Hey Everybody!  Here is my first podcast.  I decided to interview Stevie Tummey, an Iowa City native who opened her own business in downtown Iowa City–a women’s clothing store called InBox.  The boutique brings great styles and brands to the area, so I wanted to learn a bit more about how Stevie started her business and how she gets the best, newest trends into her store.  And of course, tying in the ‘This vs That’ theme of my blog, by finding out how she chooses between articles of clothing for her window displays.  You can follow the script below while listening to the podcast!  Enjoy!

Laurie Lehman: Welcome to my first podcast of ‘Laurie’s This vs That’, I’m Laurie Lehman.  Alright, so I’m here today with Stevie Tummey, 27 year old store owner of InBox, downtown Iowa City–Say hello Stevie!

Stevie Tummey: Hello!

LL: How are you doing today?

ST: I’m doing fabulous.  We’re having a 25% off sale today so it’s brought in a lot of traffic and that’s exciting, and it’s beautiful outside!

LL: I’d like to ask you a few questions on how you started up and decided to open your own business

ST:  Well, I’ve always had a passion for fashion and have been in retail for the past 13 years.  So, my first job was in this exact location Preferred Stock Iowa CIty was also a clothing store.  I have worked in retail or sales for several years and I love boutiques and I love to shop and I decided that the time was right with the economy being so down, that most businesses when they start can make it through anything.

LL:  When did you decide that you could actually start up the business on your own or how did you get the funding for it?

ST:  So, I decided that; I was in California for about a year hanging out, living my life and was interested in opening my own business.  And I saw the real estate prices in California compared to Iowa City when I would come back to visit my family and so at that point I realized that I would probably be able to you know the lease of a place and such in Iowa City, so then I have always been good at saving money. So, I’d saved up a lot of money and I also then went to a private investor and got a personal loan for the business.  So, that’s how I started the business on August 5, 2009!

LL: Would you mind describing the process you go through on your buying trips, to get your clothes?

ST: Depending on what time of year it is, I really enjoy traveling and sometimes I take my husband and daughter if we’re going out to L.A. and it’s a far trip then I’ll take them.  And, we will take a flight and go out and there’s a fashion district and fashion mart and we go shop all day long for like eight to ten hours days.  It’s very stressful because it’s not just fun shopping it’s actually for the store and it has to be stuff that other people want to buy and wear so it puts more pressure on me as opposed to just going shopping for a pair of pants for myself.  So that’s one way I go on a buying trip, the other way is; Chicago has a fashion mart, a merchandise mart, so I go there, a couple times a year I’ve taken the manager of the store Allysa Mullen she has gone with me before and we have a lot of fun there.  We just usually go down for the day, leave really early in the morning and stay all day and see our favorite brands and then come back home.  And, the third way I buy is, I have emails that come to me from my favorite brands, so I’m a frequent buyer on their line so they send me emails with new products and I buy it online.

LL: Do you go anywhere else besides Chicago and L.A.?

ST: I’ve been to New York or buying trips and my goal is to be able to take a trip to Europe to go buy.

LL:  Well, as you know my blog is actually a fashion blog that’s called ‘This vs That’, and it’s where I take two fashion accessories, two articles of clothing, or two different brands or even ideas and compare and contrast the two and I kind of pick the winner each time I post.  And I was just wondering if you could kind of talk about your window displays and how you decide what to put in there.  Would you rather put jeans on more so than a dress, or vice-versa?

ST:  So, our window displays we try and change weekly.  We also try and put new merchandise in the window.  Colorful stuff definitely helps, sparkly stuff, most often times we go with a theme.  Maybe every (we call our mannequins girls) so every girl in the window is going out.  We like to accessorize them a lot and I really enjoy putting jeans on the mannequins because they give people a great idea but dresses, I think, look better.  And it’s more fun to shop for dresses, because usually it’s an occassion that you’re shopping for as opposed to jeans who no one really likes to try jeans on.

LL: Yeah, I’d have to say that I usually would pick up a dress, or be more attracted to a dress in a store window than jeans.  I’m not really looking for that in boutiques.

ST: Right.  So, that’s how we do it.  We also have a professional merchandiser come in and she helps guide what we want, with our concepts, and she makes it come to life and is amazing.

LL:  Alright, well thanks for being a part of my podcast today.

ST: Yes

LL: There you have it, that was ‘Laurie’s This vs That’ podcast, I’m Laurie Lehman

Podcast music: Love & Hate Relationship by MonSteReo