Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shopping for deals

As black Friday approaches, we sit back and think about what we look forward to when shopping for deals. Is it the door busters, the markdowns or the rush of the crowds that we look forward to?  Here at A Cut Above we feel it is a combination of all three.

Although all of our clothing is priced at less than $50 year round, we always look forward to Black Friday.  It is a time where stores are bustling, customers are getting amazing deals and the holiday spirit is in the air.  It's definitely an exciting time for stores and for customers.

Here are a five tips to help make your Black Friday shopping experience better than ever. 

Tip # 1 - Arrive early.  In order to get the best selection of merchandise plan on arriving early.  Although you probably won't need to camp out in front of our store for days, you should plan on getting there prior to us opening at 10:00am to get the best spot in line. 

Tip # 2 - Limit distractions.  If at all possible leave husbands at home.  :)  We all know that we don't want to be rushed on the busiest shopping day of the year!

Tip # 3 - Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to change out of or easy to slip clothing over as you try it on. This will keep your fitting room time down so you have more time digging for deals!

Tip # 4 -  If you think you want an item, don't put it down! We have seen it a million times! You look at a top or dress you love and want to "think" about.  As soon as you put it down someone comes in and swoops it up before you make your decision.  Since we only stock a limited number of our products and since everything goes quickly on Black Friday if you see something you are thinking about buying then keep it with you!

Tip # 5 - Be patient with us and with other customers.  Although we do the best we can, it is possible that you'll have to wait in line either at the door, for a fitting room or when checking out.  Please also be patient with other customers who are shopping.  We promise it'll make your day go a lot easier. 

Bonus Tip - Join our email list HERE to get the latest updates on our Black Friday deals.  

Be sure to check back with us often this week.  We will be announcing our Black Friday deals (for the store and website) soon . . . and they will KNOCK YOUR CHRISTMAS SOCKS OFF!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What's behind the name?

A brief history of A Cut Above Boutique and how the name came about.

"A Cut Above Boutique."  

It's a name all of us here have said a thousand times.  It's our company name and is what we're known by all across the country.  But what exactly is behind this name?  What's the meaning, the reason, the purpose, the history?  

Let's take a journey back in time about 3 years.  Brittney Denman, the company owner, was a hairstylist who had dreams of someday opening her own women's clothing boutique.  Since every retail venture requires substantial capital and lots of time it seemed more like a pipe dream than anything else.  The reality was that being a hair stylist is what kept the bills paid and there wasn't any money or time left over to pursue her dreams.

Around this same time she gets engaged to the love of her life, best friend, and soon-to-be business partner, Casey Denman.  Although a business owner himself and someone she has always considered to be supportive, Casey wasn't too open to the idea of her quitting her job in an attempt to start a business in an industry he didn't have the slightest bit of interest in or knowledge about Shortly after they said their vowels in July 2010 and with a lot of persistence on Brittney's part, the two of them decided it would be best to combine her current job as a hairstylist with her dream of starting a boutique.  Through sheer determination and very creative thinking this led to them opening A Cut Above Salon & Boutique, which was to serve as both a hair salon and a women's boutique.  Because of a much lower price point and no sizing issues to deal with the boutique began with gifts, trinkets, and miscellaneous items.  After a few weeks and much to Casey's dismay (at the time) it expanded to one dress.  Once this dress sold out, Brittney would buy two more dresses to sell which led to a continual cycle of more and more inventory.  After selling a handful of dresses the decision was made to focus more time and capital in the boutique side of the business.  A short time later they set out on their first official "buying trip" to attend market in Atlanta, Georgia.  This was to be the time that inventory was purchased and the boutique would really get started.

After arriving to their hotel at market late one Friday evening they both retired to bed with excitement and anticipation of expanding the boutique.  Much to their alarm, around 5:30am Casey wakes up to his phone ringing steadily while Brittney looks at her phone realizing she has missed multiple calls from various unknown numbers. Although they didn't know it at the time, these phone calls would literally change their life.  When Casey answered his phone, it was the landlord of their building with some devastating news. The building had caught fire overnight and at least a third of the building had been completely destroyed.  Six hours away, with very little they could do, their minds started to wonder about the damage and what would happen next.  The excitement to be on their first buying trip immediately turned to discomfort, uncertainty and tears.

As it turned out, their unit sustained severe smoke damage which ruined all of their inventory and caused them to revisit their business plan.  After a series of emotional conversations, they decided it would be best to focus all their time and effort on the boutique side of the business and close the salon permanently.  Although it meant Brittney would lose her income, the boutique side of the business is where Brittney's heart was really at and is what gave her the most happiness.  In June 2012, a few months after the fire, the salon was closed permanently and the standalone boutique was reopened in a larger, more convenient location. 

Since a following (albeit small) had been built in the previous location they decided to keep a similar name to the original which was to be A Cut Above Boutique. 

Photos used are from the first location. A Cut Above Salon & Boutique

Friday, November 1, 2013

10 questions with the owner

We recently sat down with Brittney Denman, owner of A Cut Above Boutique and, to ask her ten questions about herself, her style and her life.  

Describe yourself in one sentence.  
I'm a 20 something southern brunette, lover of all things fashion and monograms.

When did you decide you wanted to open a boutique?  
When I competed for Miss Florida USA you had to look the part in every way.  This meant you always had to be cute and on trend, and you definitely didn't wear anything twice.  Unfortunately this meant it got extremely expensive very fast.  I had always wanted a career in fashion, but it was then that the light bulb went off in my head.  Why not have cute and on trend clothes that are affordable?  I took the idea and ran with it.

How would you describe your personal style?  
Casual chic.

What's your favorite fall outfit consist of?  
Since I live in Florida layering is definitely key.  It can be cool in the mornings and outright hot in the afternoons so I like to be able to take layers off as necessary.  Of course, scarves and cardigans are always a favorite.

What's one fashion trend that you hope never comes back?  
Two words: Fanny Packs

                                                                                    What is the favorite part about your job?  
It's pulling into my business everyday with a huge smile on my face because I have so much love for what I do.  It's such an incredible feeling everyday to be able to realize that dreams do come true. 

Besides A Cut Above (obviously), what are three other brands you incorporate into your wardrobe?  
Lilly Pulitzer, J Crew, and Tory Burch

What's your favorite quote? 
"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."  Coco Channel

What's one thing we would be surprised to see in the boutique?  
My little four pound Yorkie, Coco!  You can find her little toys scattered across the warehouse between the racks of clothing.

What have you learned about yourself since opening in 2011? 
I've learned the definition of hard work and just how few hours of sleep I need in order to function.  :)    I've also learned that it's okay to make mistakes on occasion and what matters most is how you work through them.  Make the most of what you've been given by God, and through hard work and sheer determination you can accomplish any goal you set out for.

You can learn more about Brittney Denman, owner of A Cut Above Boutique
 on her personal blog - Diary Of A Southern Brunette or by following her on instagram