Like many ambitious women, Stephanie Tersigni always had a very vivid dream of where she wanted to end up in life: owning a small fashion boutique. But, for Stephanie this was a long-term goal. She didn’t expect to open her own business just four years after graduating from college and she definitely could not have anticipated the success she had found just a few years after opening.
When Stephanie was laid off from her job at Express HQ, rather than surrender to the sudden roadblock she thought, there’s no better time than the present to kickstart her dream. Now, Stephanie is the founder and owner of Jolie Occasions, a women’s online boutique with a storefront located in downtown Columbus, Ohio. As a Columbus native and Miami University alumna, Stephanie has never lived too far from home and continues to reap the benefits of living in such a supportive community, she says.
“Being a business owner has been such a rewarding experience for me … I love the Columbus community, especially the Short North because everyone is beyond supportive and welcoming and it’s such a great neighborhood to be in,” Stephanie says.
“Jolie” in French means “pretty” and the name couldn’t be more fitting for Stephanie’s boutique. Jolie’s brick and mortar location is beautifully designed and allows ample natural lighting into the store to give it a light and airy atmosphere.
Every piece of clothing, accessories and decor is meticulously placed throughout the store to make the customer’s shopping experience as seamless as possible; a sentiment that Stephanie stays true to as a small business owner.
“I want [customers] to remember their experience coming to the store,” she says. “Everybody who comes in, I love to talk to them and if I see a familiar face I love that because it means [that person] wanted to come back and shop here because they either liked what they bought or had a good time and they trusted us that they are making a good purchase.”
Since she first had the idea of opening a boutique, Stephanie has known that she wanted her business to be more than just a way to make money. Jolie’s mission is to positively impact the lives of its customers and support the community and give back whenever possible.
This is reflected in the inventory sold at Jolie. In addition to a variety of pieces Stephanie finds at buying shows, Jolie also collaborates with local designers and artists, like Red Giraffe Designs, to stock locally made and sourced products as well.
“I want people to know that we do more than just offer clothing,” Stephanie says. “We’re really inclusive, we support all types of people and we love giving back in any way that we can.”
As a brand dedicated to giving back, Jolie has partnered with more than a dozen non-profits, including In Christy’s Shoes, the American Heart Association, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Salvation Army of Central Columbus. This year, Jolie is excited to be a sponsor for the Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade.
The desire to give back goes deeper than a monetary level. Jolie is also committed to work toward giving back to the planet by using shopping bags which are 100% recyclable and has stopped using tissue paper and printing paper receipts. (Bonus: If you opt to go bag-less, you’ll save $0.50 on your purchase!)
“I want people to think of Jolie as a business that’s doing good and whose purpose isn’t only to make money,” Stephanie says. “Yes, I want to make money because this is my job, however I want to do it in the best way possible and want to help others along the way.”
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