Demure

A New Milestone

Tomorrow marks my official 6 months of blogging!!  That means, 6 months ago this evening I was sitting in my office wondering how I was going to do this thing!  While my dear husband was researching and price comparing cameras, I was deciding on a name and prepping my first few posts!!  It was a very crazy time!!  Demure had just started to take off, it was the last day I guaranteed orders to arrive by Christmas Day, and I was crazy busy!!  But for some unknown reason, I wanted more...  I was tired of other bloggers not giving their ALL when promoting Demure, and I knew that I could do better, be different!!  I was a small business owner myself, and I felt like I knew how to best serve all the small businesses out there!!!  And the truth is, Demure's merchandise is not the only clothing I like.... I love it all!!  So, I want to talk about it all!!!

I call this piece of art "Balancing Act" **in a very serious voice**  HAHAHAAA Sometimes I make Blake's job very hard!! :)

I call this piece of art "Balancing Act" **in a very serious voice**  HAHAHAAA Sometimes I make Blake's job very hard!! :)

I had been thinking on a name for about a month at that point... You know, people ask me all the time why "A Demure Life"?  And I can't even believe I haven't shared that, out loud, to all of you as a whole yet...  For those of you that don't know (well, the first paragraph hinted at it) I have a boutique called "Demure"!  Its my 3-year-old baby, that I've put A LOT of time and money into!!  Blake came up with the name for my store, and I love it so much!!! I also happen to have a rental property company called "Demure Properties"...

So, essentially... This IS my Demure life!!  But, *MY* Demure Life sounded somewhat snotty and awful!!  So I went with *A* Demure Life!!  

When I think about all my businesses being named the same way, it makes me laugh because it gives me some sort of small hope that I might one day be as successful as Joanna Gaines: She has Magnolia Market, Magnolia Farms, Magnolia Reality, Magnolia Journal, etc!  She's built an empire, and one day I will too!!! ;)  Wish me luck in all my crazy dreams and aspirations LOL!  

So here's the details of my look!  These linen pants are FANTASTIC!!  I told you all about the white pair I also bought while Blake and I were at the beach, on Saturday's blog post!  I bought a size 6 in the white, because, well, they're white (I'm sure all you ladies understand)!  But I bought these patterned cuties in my usual size 4!  They are linen, so they do wrinkle, but I think thats the best part about this fun pattern.... You totally CAN NOT tell!!!  They also have a great draw string waste, and cute cuff detail at the bottom hem!  I am 5' 7" and this is the length they are on me with just the 1 cuff they come with!  And you can find them HERE for the fantastic price of $64.50!  I don't know how many of you have purchased quality linen pants in the past, but these are a good deal (just in case you missed that from Sayurday night's blog post)!

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This exact top is from 2 years ago so it has sold out, but the one HERE ($28) is very similar, the one HERE is very preppy (nice and collared like I like), and this one HERE is the one I wish I had to wear with these pants, and is only $24.99!!!! OMGeeee

These wedges are my favorites for the Summer!  If you follow me on any form of Social Media, you are probably sick of seeing them by now!!  But they have just been restocked in all sizes, and now come in 2 more colors than before!!!  Find them for just $59.95 HERE!

This awesome Cleopatra-style, gold, bib necklace is from my own shop, and there is ONLY 1 LEFT!!  So hurry and grab it for yourself if its something you want!!  Get it HERE for just $18!

That's it for tonight ladies!  I hope you all liked this casual, everyday look at much as I do!!  Feel free to drop me a comment of what you'd like to see more of!!  And thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for coming along with me on this journey for as long as you have!!  I hope we make it another successful 6 months together!!  Can't wait to see where we are in December!!  

Love you all, XOXO

- Rachel

Vacation Style

Hey Ladies!

I've missed writing for you over the past 2 weeks!! 

Don't get me wrong, the little hiatus Blake and I took to go on vacation and celebrate his birthday (3 weeks late) was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed!!  But I'm so glad to be back and hoary to get back into the swing of things!!

I hope you're having a fabulous start to your Summer too :)  Do you have a beach vacation planned as well!?  Have you done your vacation outfit shopping yet!?  If not, you're gonna want to take out a pin and paper, or get your online-shopping finger ready to click, because I'm about to show you some FABULOUS Summer outfits!! 

1. The Perfect Floral Maxi

This one is my #1 favorite!  Obviously I love it, because I chose to carry it in my own shop!!  The Carly Dress can be found HERE for only $45!!  Its so soft, has the perfect floral print, and HAS POCKETS!!!  

Unfortunately, I only have 2 Larges left though... I would say that the large fits a size 6, 8, or 10 based on chest size!!  Its a babydoll cut, so its only fitted in the chest, and the rest of it is loose and flowy no matter what size you get!  I wear it all the time myself, and its definitely a smart buy!!

 

2. Pineapple Shorts

These babies are making me feel like I should change the theme of my blog...  

I typically HATE shorts... My legs are particularly white, 1 of my knees is messed up from a biking accident, and I'm starting to get varicose veins... So, even at only 26 years old, I generally HATE SHORTS!!  But this Summer has somehow been completely different!!  

Since I don't particularly like my legs, I search SO HARD to find shorts that are so amazing my legs won't even be noticed!!  If I'm going to wear shorts, they better be freaking awesome!!!  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably noticed that I've actually been on a shorts kick recently... I've been stumbling onto SO MANY great pair!!  And people have even started to comment that I "always have the cutest shorts!"  It didn't really occur to me until after the second person said it, but I have to agree with them LOL!!  If I'm going to put myself out into the world of social media with a pair of shorts on, then you better believe they are WORTH IT!!

My favorite pair thus far this Summer are these J Crew Linen Pineapple Shorts!!  You can find them HERE for a staggering $98.  But before you panic, J Crew is doing a 25% off sales June 17-19th and if you watch my Instagram Stories, I'll let you know when they go on sale again!  And the top I paired with them can be found HERE for only $29.50! 

I mean, just look at that cute bow people!!  And just in case you are worried about the length, its perfect!!  Not too long and not too short - a perfect 3.5" inseam!!!

 

3. Floppy Hats

Big floppy straw hats have been trending for about 3 years now!  I carry CUSTOM monogrammed hats in my shop for $50, which you can order HERE!  

But I'm also really into the ones that say cute things like "Do Not Disturb," or "Find Me in the Sun"!  All of which would cost me too much to make, so I've linked some really great, inexpensive ones below!!  

The bottom line is, if you want to be a trendy female with all the cutest beachwear out on the sand this year, you need a big floppy hat, I promise!

 

4. A Super Cute Bathing Suit

My favorite one from this year's beach trip was provided to me by Lauren James - the cutest, preppiest, most perfect Southern fashion boutique EVER!!  It has a really dainty floral pattern, and an adorable peplum!!  You can find each piece here: TOP & BOTTOM 

I'm wearing both in Medium here, for size reference!!  The top has underwire with full boob support!!  I wore it strapless, though it does come with a strap if going strapless is uncomfortable for you!!  The bottoms provide full butt coverage, and have mesh instead of traditional bathing suit material on the sides so that they're not too tight where some of use girls hold a little extra cushion (A.K.A. Love Handles LOL)!!  And y'all, even if this bathing suit isn't one that suits your style, please at least go to their website and check it out, because they featured me on the page for the bating suit top!!!  What an honor!!  Thank you Lauren James!!!

 

5. White Linen Pants

I actually found these beauties while we were at the beach!!  The weather was SOOOOO cold the first day that Blake and I had to go buy some warmer clothes to survive since we only brought, you know, shorts and tanks for a freaking BEACH VACATION!!!  So where did we go!?  THE OUTLETS!!!  J Crew factory first, of course!!

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These white linen pants are only $59.50 and you can find them HERE!  J Crew Factory constantly does sales as well, so again, if you watch my Instagram Stories, I will let you know the next time they do!!  As far as sizing goes for these, I do want to point out that I bought these pants in another color in a size 4, but I went up to a size 6 in the white just because they are white!  I feel like the bigger size made them look better!  I just wanted you to know that!!  The hat is from my shop (link above) and the top can be found HERE!  P.S. THIS is the other color I bought just in case you were curious!!

 

6. A Cute Sun Dress

I shared all the specifics about this dress the week before we left for the beach, but I had actually purchased it specifically for our vacation!  This cute lightweight linen J Crew dress was perfect for the one fancy dinner we always go to when we are down there (Greg Norman's - you should go the next time you're in North Myrtle)!!  Check out my last blog post HERE if you want more specific details about this outfit!  But for now I'll just share the links: DRESS, CLUTCH, BANGLE, & SHOES

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I'm actually giving 1 lucky winner one of these clutches & a necklace this weekend!!  Head over to my Instagram or click HERE to enter!

I'm ashamed to say that I think shopping for and during a vacation is the absolute best part, but really, y'all probably already knew that about me *smirks and thinks "I should just end the post on that note" LOL*  I know the pineapple shorts are a little expensive, but a few of the items (floral maxi, sloppy hat, linen pants) are at the best price points you would be able to find!!  And really, the point of the pineapple shorts is the super cute pattern!  Use those as a visual example of what you should look for when you go shopping for your vacation attire!!  But seriously, don't miss out on those J Crew quality linen pants for under $60!!  Everyone needs a pair of white linen pants!!

I hope y'all enjoy your Summer vaca wardrobe as much as I loved mine!!

XOXO

-Rachel

The bathing suit was given to me free of charge from Lauren James, but all thoughts, opinions, and information are my own!!

My Baby is THREE

Y'all, Demure is THREE YEARS OLD TODAY!!!  

That boutique of mine has been quite a work in progress!!  Owning a boutique is like laundry... Nothing's ever really quite done!!

Ever since starting this blog, and having another platform from which to tell people about Demure, I've actually gotten more questions about how to open a boutique than I have about how to start a blog LOL!!  I'm not sure why that is, because really, in its infancy, A Demure Life would be considered more successful than Demure was at the same amount of time...  But that's ok, I've learned a whole lot in the past 3 years {which is mostly why A Demure Life has found quicker success} and I'm totally willing to share the facts of "how to start a business" with you!!

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First things first - I will assume you have already thought out your plan, consulted someone older and wiser {and maybe even an expert in the field}, and have researched the particulars of your business so that the general how-to's here will makes since!  And just so you know, I didn't write a formal business plan until I had already been in business for 2 years, because my business was constantly evolving into what it was going to become, and I just didn't know for sure yet what EXACTLY I wanted it to be...  So, here's were to begin:

1.  Claim Your Name:  I did this by forming an LLC... A Limited Liability Corporation... Which protects you and your personal finances from being entangled in any potential lawsuit or bankruptcy!  This is done at your state's Secretary of State's office, and costs $110 {at least that's what it costs in SC}.  Before driving down to do it though, you should check their website and make sure that the name you want your company to have has not already been taken!!

2.  Once you officially have a company created, you will then need to apply for an EIN number!  This is basically your company's social security number, and its used for banking and tax purposes!  It also goes along with protecting yourself and personal finances!!  Plus, its done all online at irs.gov {P.S. I tried to do this too soon after having changed my name after Blake and I got married, and it was a TOTALY NIGHTMARE, but for you it should only take 24 hours MAX}.

3.  You will then use your new EIN number to go file for your business license!  This is done at your state's Department of Revenue and it costs $50 {at least that's what it costs in SC}  While you are already there, go ahead and sign up for a "paying your sales tax" class and get a couple copies of the "sales tax exemption" forms {because some wholesalers request to keep one on file, so you'll want to have multiple}.

4.  Next, go start your company checking account!  I went the traditional bank route first and got charged fees far too often for not being able to keep the minimum balance in my account and it ended up ending badly... So, please learn form my mistake and start your business checking account with a Credit Union!  I'm talking the difference between starting up your checking account with $200 and $25, respectively!!  There my be other banks out there that do things a little differently, but at my bank, business accounts are treated very differently than personal accounts, and $200 was just not something I could keep in my account at all times to avoid a fee (and still can't)!!  Please remember to start your bank account using your EIN number instead of your own personal Social Security Number - PROTECT YOURSELF!

5.  So now, this is where the majority of my questions start, but you have to go through all of those steps before this one is even possible, but most people don't even know 1-4 even exist!  The number 1 question I am asked: "Where do you get your merchandise?"  And the answer is: "I buy my merchandise from various wholesalers!"  But the reason all those other steps are necessary first is because you can not buy from a wholesaler without the Retail (business) License!  That would be illegal because wholesalers don't charge tax {the reason for the tax exemption form} so you have to be buying it with the purpose of reselling it {and charging sales tax at the point of sale} in order for it all to be legal!!

6.  Then, the follow-up question usually is: "Well, which wholesalers do you purchase from?"  And my answer to that is very simple:  I have 2 favorites, though I have purchased from many others!  I buy mostly from The Lookbook Wholesale based out of L.A. and Miss B, a small wholesaler based out of Atlanta, GA in America's Mart, to which I will be going in person in August and I am SO EXCITED!!  You can google search wholesalers and hundreds will pop up!  You will then just have to choose your favorites!!  Make sure to check where their warehouse vs. their headquarters is because I get charged a $4.99 fee every time I order from one particular wholesaler... They have a warehouse in New Jersey, so you get your merchandise pretty quickly!  However, they are based out of France, so the charge is an international one, and most banks/credit unions charge a fee for international purchases!

7.  Next, you need a platform on which to sell these products you have now purchased!  A website of any kind will do if you market it correctly!  Etsy works for some (though I didn't like selling through them much), and I know of one VERY SUCCESSFUL boutique that sells via Instagram exclusively!!  As long as you have a way of getting your merchandise in front of the eyes of your target market, you can succeed!!  I personally use Squarespace for both ADL and Demure!  I love how user friendly it is, how great the customer service/tech support is, and honestly, they are just really pretty sites {very stream-lined, which is something I value}!!

8. Advertise and Market yourself like CRAZY!!!  Social Media is truly, very important to this!  And I would like to say that all you blogger babes reading this already have an advantage that I didn't have!!  3 years ago Instagram was JUST taking off as such a valuable resource for marketing!!  But I was so slow to the game... I didn't even start an Instagram for Demure until I was 8 months in!!  And then, after that it took me SOOO long to catch on to how it worked, how to make it work for me, and honestly, I would sometimes go a whole month without posting!!  I only had 400 followers on Demure's Instagram page until November 2016... I've tripled that number since then - in just 6 months I've tripled the number of followers that I had gotten in the previous 2 years combined!!  It makes me so sad really, when I think back on it...  I don't even know how much farther I would have gotten had I truly understood the importance of the social media influence when I first started... But I was also probably too young to have started a business then, so God has me right where He wants me right now!!!

Ok ladies, this post is already too long as it is!  I will stop here for now, but PLEASE leave your questions below!!  There is really an infinite amount of stuff I could tell you, but it would be so much easier for me to continue this in a series if I have exact questions to answer, so I could condense my thought into what is relevant to y'all, specifically!!

I hope you've enjoyed reading what I've had to say so far!  And I look forward to reading and answering your questions!!!

XOXO - Rachel

P.S. To celebrate being in business for 3 years, I am holding an Anniversary Sale - 40% off your entire purchase!!  Use code: HAPPY3RD at checkout to receive it at http://www.mydemure.com