When you walk along Beaver Street in Sewickley, you can’t help but smile. While you’re only a few miles outside of the city, the adorable shops, locally-owned eateries, and coffee shops make you feel like you are in the kind of quaint, small town that existed years ago. Rosewood Boutique, with its adorable store window and white hardwood floors, is one of those charming spots in town. Rosewood has been a part of Sewickley for almost five years (be on the look-out for their special events in April celebrating their 5-year anniversary). However, I somehow just discovered Rosewood over this past year. Wow – had I been missing out! Kathryn, the store’s owner, is one of the sweetest (most fashionable) people you will meet. She is also the true definition of a hard-working small business owner. I was in the shop last week and we joked about having too many ideas and not enough time in the day to work on all of them! A girl after my own heart. Did I mention she's already a mama to an adorable little girl and baby number two will be arriving in a few short weeks? Again - definition of hard working.
Rosewood Boutique carries a gorgeous selection of trendy pieces as well as chic, classic staples. Think the perfect ripped denim, adorable spring dresses, and tops for any occasion. Oh and the jewelry and other accessories: must-haves. The best part, unlike a lot of boutiques, these prices won't break the bank! Read on to learn more about Kathryn and her "tiny store. huge heart."
1. Give us a little history lesson on Rosewood – when did you open? Why Sewickley?
We opened in spring 2011. My husband and I had traveled the world for business and pleasure and we were finally ready to settle down. We choose Sewickley because I grew up shopping here as a teenager for prom dresses. It was that cute quaint town that we loved visiting! At the time there was not an affordable boutique like mine in town and I thought it would be a great addition to the town. We must fit right in because we are getting ready to celebrate our 5 year anniversary this April!
2. What motivated you to open your own boutique?
Rosewood was not the first! I opened a store with my sister-in-law during the Great Recession. So when we moved back to Pittsburgh I knew it was something that I could do on my own and make work.
3. What type of merchandise is offered at Rosewood?
We carry women's clothing and accessories. We try to keep our prices below $100 on clothing, but sometimes we will bring in a few special pieces that are more than that.
4. If you had to describe Rosewood Boutique’s style in three words – what would they be?
Affordable, Chic & Girly
5. There is a bit of a style transformation going on in the city. What do you think makes Pittsburgh’s style unique?
Pittsburgh is such a neighborhoods city. I love to go the different neighborhoods and people watch. People's identities tend to vary by borough, and they dress accordingly.
6. What have been the biggest challenges of opening a boutique? What about the biggest rewards?
There are steep learning curves on stuff you wouldn't even think to put in a business plan, but you figure it out. The biggest reward by far is creating a little community of people that are kinda like fans, but more like friends.
7. With the nicer weather starting to roll in, everyone is getting spring fever. What are the big spring trends you are seeing?
Oh we can't wait for spring! We are seeing lots of cute light weight trenches and poncho jackets. Lace is back this season as well as distressed denim!
8. Why do you think it’s so important to shop small and support local businesses?
Shopping small is where you find those unique items/gifts that make your friends ask "Where did you get that?". You receive a more personal experience and if that's not enough, you don't have to weed through racks and racks of clothing to find something that you like!
9. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Do your research! Make sure you choose the right area to open your shop and that you will have enough traffic to support your business. And it's a 24/7 job owning your own business so if you think you work a ton in your 9-5, just be prepared to work after hours and weekends. But when you are doing something you LOVE the hours don't matter :)
10. I’m sure running a boutique keeps you plenty busy! If you get any free time, where do you head in Pittsburgh?
We love to eat and going to all of Pittsburgh's different neighborhoods to do it! So our top favorite places to go our Legume, Station, Thai Cuisine, Bar Marco for brunch of drinks (have you tried their wine room?) and 4121 Main for coffee. We go to museums with our 2 year old daughter, Isla and stroll. A lot.
All photos are Kathryn's own! Thanks Kathryn!