I’d like to share with you the story of a project that was very dear to my heart, my little boutique. It was a great and wonderful journey; a natural place for me to plant my entrepreneurial feet, given that I’ve always had a passion for all things beautiful, including fashion and design.  I instantly fell in love with the idea when the opportunity arose, and found myself the proud owner of Eco Chic Boutique.

It was exactly what I needed at the time, and a true reflection of where I was in my life. The blending of something old, and something new, and as we’ve all seen these past few years, even the fashion world cannot escape those three beautifully resourceful little R’s – reuse, re-purpose and recycle! The sheer satisfaction of taking something old, worn, loved in a past life, and bringing it back to beauty in a glorious way, ready to be loved anew in the hands of someone else.

The decision to purchase the boutique was very easy for me. Not only did it cater to my first guilty pleasure (fashion)… and also, my second guilty pleasure (business)… it brought a purpose all its own – to take what was once a small budding flower, and transform it into the fully developed, delicate but mighty rose of a business that became an exciting addition to our community at the time.

And if you know me at all, you’ll know very well that the temptation to take true potential from the shadows and bring it into the light is like catnip for me! It’s simply irresistible!

The heart of the business was to help everybody find their Own Kind of Beautiful, which we insisted on facilitating for every visitor that walked through the door, focusing foremost on collection and resale of fantastic high-end designer merchandise, including Michael Kors, Coach, Mackage, Lulu Lemon, Louis Vuittan and Chanel, to name a few. Items loved once upon a time, in a different life, by different owners, were now finding their way into the hands of the everyday woman like you and me, elevating our version of “our beautiful”.

It was an exciting time! Our little shop doubled in size within the first year to a new retail space of over 1800-square-feet! We were blessed with the relationships and stories of those people who made trips to our little Boutique a part of their beautiful..

Eventually, however, real life entered the pictured, and the time had come for me to leave my little shop.

No matter where I have been in my life, I have always said – family comes first. And when sickness made it’s way into our lives, I just knew… it was time to turn the page on this chapter, no matter how much it hurt to leave my beautiful little boutique on High Street – the place that everybody seem to love and cherish as much as I did, most days.

The decision was made. It was time to close the boutique, to gather our tribe and to get #insidethebubble, using every technique we had ever learned to get us through the next chapter of our lives.

And, when we can say we came out on the other side still smiling, you know and see that with God, ALL things are possible for those that love him – even the dream of owning that boutique for such a short period of time.

My tribe grew during this story… new and dear friends, professionals, celebrities. I had their love and support while the store was still open, and yet again when the time had come to close. Not only was it the right choice, with my God, and my family, it was an easy one to make.

The memories that make me smile the most are the expressions on the faces of countless women, drawing back the curtain on their little dressing rooms, wearing fashion pieces and accessories once deemed out of reach. I will always be the woman, in their memories, that met them with a smile when they found their own kind of beautiful.

You never know what you’re doing for someone until you just do it. For you, perhaps it was only a season. For them, the effect lasts a lifetime.

Written by : Michelle Bragg

Leaving the corporate world after a decade in Leadership Management, and assisting corporate growth from start-ups to multi-million dollar organizations, she teaches her very successful #insidethebubble approach to all her participants – the difference between “impossible” and ”possible”.