We had the good fortune of connecting with Melinda Emmons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melinda, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve always had an interest in fashion and wanted my own boutique, but I was afraid to take the plunge. After leaving my legal job, I stumbled upon a small vacant space in Old Seabrook while looking for the post office. The rent was affordable, so I looked at the tiny space and thought I could easily fill it with jewelry and trendy clothing. If I failed in a year’s time, I would return to the legal world. However, within 6 months, I outgrew the space and moved into an old house down the street. I painted it purple with lime green trim, and the brick sidewalk was painted black and white zebra stripes. Couldn’t miss me!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe that what sets me apart from other boutiques is my experience. I went to charm school at Foley’s when I was very young and then modeled for Mayo Hill in Houston when I was a teenager, I worked in retail beginning at Frost Bros. in Houston selling Gucci bags. Next stop was Foley’s in jewelry and fragrances, and worked in cosmetics and fragrances at Dillard’s and I worked in other boutique stores, and I learned a lot about buying and merchandising. Hurricane Ike lent me a huge blow and shut down my store front for about eight months, but I kept selling at various shopping markets. I reopened and it was like starting over completely. It was tough, but I have a great determination.
Opening your own boutique is NOT an easy task, and perseverance and thick skin play a huge part. There was a time — short time — when I thought about going back into the legal field. Then I asked myself, “Are you CRAZY???” I got over what was ailing me and started to work harder and harder. Giving up and giving in were not — and are not — options.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living near the coast, this friend would have a very nice time.
Visit and tour NASA and then eat fresh seafood on the water.
Brunch at The Galvez is a must along with champagne, then soaking up some sun on the beach with a cocktail somewhere on The Strand.
Pontoon “cruise” on Armand Bayou would be a fun time, and then eating afterward. Obviously, I love to eat.
A nice lunch at Brennan’s Houston and then shopping at The Guild would be another fun day. Good food is a must!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Rob Emmons, is – and always has been – a huge support to my boutique. He’s very helpful, and I can always bounce ideas off him and make my ideas better and stronger.
A big shout-out of THANKS to The Independence Village of Texas City for inviting me to coordinate a runway style show at their Mad Hatters Luncheon and help raise needed funds. This privately funded non-profit residence cares for 24 residents who may have Down Syndrome, developmental disabilities or brain injury and need minimal assistance in their daily living. Melinda’s Boutique furnished 48 outfits and donated a percentage of sales to this group.