Names: Michelle Burden and Wendy Banks
Hometown: Chicago and Highland Park
Name of business: SoShee Boutique
Describe what you do/sell/serve: As owners/buyers of a women's boutique, we proudly stock clothing, jewelry and accessories.
What sets you apart from similar businesses? We are truly interested in our customers' satisfaction and happiness with the way they look and feel in our clothes. We strongly believe "only make your purchase if you love your selection and feel great wearing it." Honesty and trust are very important to us.
What made you want to open this type of store? We have always had a passion for style and fashion — firmly believing "its easy to feel and look amazing" with the right "ingredients."
Why did you decide to open your business in Highland Park? Great historical location; many plans are in development to enhance the beauty and generate new businesses as well.
Why did you pick this specific location/storefront? What neighborhood doesn't need a great women's boutique for convenience? It's so nice to walk to work.
What obstacles did you find when you started? Obstacles, none. Great landlord, location geographically desirable, timing should have been sooner.
Did you make use of any programs or incentives offered by an organization or local government? We did not. Our dream came to fruition so quickly that we were not able to dig deeply for incentives that more than likely would have been readily available.
If you could offer local officials one piece of advice to make their town more attractive to entrepreneurs, what would it be? Any support to enhance the Ravinia business area would be greatly appreciated.
What mistakes did you make? Not opening sooner. We both have always wanted a women's boutique, and to live out our passion now has been a true blessing.
What did you do right? We picked each other to go into business with, not sure either of us would have taken on the challenge with anyone else. We followed our hearts and opened up our business, in a time when the economy was failing. We put everything we could into growing our business and continuously evaluating ourselves and our client needs.
What advice would you give to someone else looking to open a business in Highland Park? If someone was interested in opening a business in Ravinia, we would hands down recommend following their passion — there's enough room for everyone. When you genuinely love what you do — it shows! Ravinia is a quaint, historically sound community that pulls together for events and definitely extends in supporting one another. We also deeply appreciate all of our extended support from neighboring communities as well.
What are your hours/address/phone number/website?
Our standard hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Summer hours: Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.