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  • Lynna Nguyen

Interview of Lynna by Been Around the Roc

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

Carolyn, the co-founder of Been Around the Roc blog, was kind enough to ask us for an interview about the story + journey of how Creatures of Whim was born!


Check out her blog for more inspirational content about independent women: http://beenaroundtheroc.com


Below is the full interview!

 

How This 25-Year-Old Opened A Fair-Trade Boutique and Is Making a Worldwide Impact





Meet Lynna, who at the age of only 25 opened up her brick-and-mortar boutique in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Lynna’s story depicts the importance of embracing the law of attraction, ethically sourcing goods, and supporting the independent makers in the U.S. and abroad. This interview will DEFINITELY leave you inspired!


This girl boss interview goes into how the small business owner got to where she is, why you need to just START even if you don’t feel ready, and how she handled the obstacles along the way.


Be sure to check out more pictures of her shop and intentionally curated artisan goods on the links below!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m from sunny Orange County, CA which is about an hour  south of Los Angeles. I grew up there my whole life and moved to Lexington, KY to start my business in October 2018.  I am a small business owner (of a brick and mortar retail store), entrepreneur, and content creator.

You own a boutique at such a young age. So impressive! What’s your background and experience in business, the arts, fashion?

My background is in fashion design and I have a Bachelor’s degree in this major.  I worked in several different fashion accessory companies for the next 3 years after graduating as both a product developer and designer, but was very unsatisfied and disillusioned with the fashion industry as a whole.  It was filled with abusive relationships between the companies and their manufacturers overseas. I vowed to change this relationship between the consumer, the brand, and their makers.

Growing up I was always very creative and I knew I wanted my career to be something to do with the arts / creativity. This is the main reason I decided to pursue a career in fashion design. I always had side hustles growing up and knew I would definitely be a business woman and be my own boss one day.  I sold drawings of Neopets to make money as a 5th grader! In high school I had a pretty successful business on Tumblr with a very niche group of followers – we were all obsessed with Korean pop culture/music and these were the type items I sold to my online friends! LOL!

I promised myself that I would be running my own business by the time I was 25.  And guess what? I did just that as I reached my 6th month of being 25! The Law of Attraction is totally a thing!!

What steps were involved in starting your own business and opening up a brick and mortar?

I’ve had the idea for the business for a few years now, but the retail spaces in LA were just way too expensive for a startup and so I never really took action on it.  I tried to start other online businesses in the meantime. When I met my current partner in May 2018, we started a long distance relationship – he lived here in Kentucky and I was still in LA. This went on for 6 months until…. I decided to move across the country to be with him and shift away from my life in LA. I was only comfortable doing this once I had the idea of starting my shop in Lexington, KY (after visiting for just an hour one time!). It made sense for me to move because I wanted to be with my partner, and I also wanted to start my business in a place where it was viable and possible for me to start it and where I knew there was really an untapped niche.


As soon as I had the idea, I started to research retail spaces in Lexington. The space I have now is the first and only retail space I contacted! Everything fell into place really seamlessly! I then researched all the (annoying!) paperwork tasks I had to complete before I could launch the business – how to start an LLC, what kind of permits and licenses I needed, taxes information, and basically any other paperwork I would need in order to legally run my business. Honestly this was the most frustrating and toughest part!

After that was the fun part – ordering inventory! I reached out to a couple of the artisans in Nepal and India that I already had been in contact with for the past year and who I already knew I wanted to work with.  I also reached out to some local brands and companies within the US that I knew and liked. This was basically the starting inventory!

Then I had everything shipped to Kentucky, and as soon as I moved we started set up the store.  I signed the lease with the realtors, built some furniture, and set up the store with the newly ordered merch and inventory!  As soon as we h